As scrutiny of NSA continues, Grimes not ready to say whether spying program should be defunded

11/05/2013 09:26 PM

In the last two weeks, Google executives , the chancellor of Germany and even a defense hawk like Sen. John McCain have criticized the National Security Agency for aggressive surveillance of American communications and world leaders’ phones.

But Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes on Tuesday wouldn’t commit to whether those programs within the NSA should be defunded.

“We all want to make sure the U.S. is protected … but it is a fine balance that we are currently walking,” she said. She ignored multiple follow-up questions about how she believes that balance should be struck.

NSA spying programs have collected phone and email data of American citizens and, according to the Washington Post, also tapped into data centers run by search engine giants Google and Yahoo, fueling the criticism and distrust on Capitol Hill.

In the U.S. House, congressmen are preparing for another vote on a measure to defund the surveillance program that collects communications data of Americans. An amendment offered by Michigan Congressman Justin Amash failed by a handful of votes over the summer.

But congressmen on both sides of the aisle who supported the measure — including Republican U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky’s 4th District in Northern Kentucky and Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth of Louisville — say they expect the proposal will pass next time.

Here’s what Massie and Republican Reps. Andy Barr of Lexington and Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville had to say about the NSA in interviews two weeks ago:

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.