Capitol Report New Mexico - It’s not often that the one Republican and two Democrats in New Mexico’s House of Representatives delegation on Capitol Hill vote the same way but it happened. Democrats Michelle Lujan Grisham and Ben Ray Luján joined the GOP’sSteve Pearce in voting for an amendment calling for the defunding of the National Security Agency phone metadata program.
The amendment failed 217-205 but the closeness of the vote drew plenty of attention, indicating growing calls form some Americans to rein in government surveillance programs. The amendment’s sponsor, libertarian Republican Justin Amash of Michigan took to Twitter to write, “We fight on.”
Both New Mexico Democrats voted for the amendment even though the Obama administration defended the phone log collection program and labeled the amendment a “blunt approach” that is not “the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process.”
Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner, and the Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, each voted against the amendment, meaning that each member of the New Mexico delegation bucked their party leadership.
The domestic spying issue makes for strange political bedfellows: joining the left wing’s concerns about civil rights and whose adherents express sympathy for the likes of Edward Snowden and Julian Assange with the libertarian wing of the GOP that worries about the size and scope of government infringing on individual liberties.
On the same day as the vote on the NSA amendment, a Washington Post/ABC News poll showedAmericans overwhelmingly think the NSA surveillance efforts intrude on some citizens’ privacy rights – 74 percent say so – and about half, 49 percent, see the spying as an intrusion on their own personal privacy. More