NSA Domestic Surveillance Debate Reveals Differences in Hawaii Delegation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As more revelations come out about the NSA’s controversial domestic surveillance program, Hawaii’s congressional delegation is taking an array of different stands on the issue.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard voted to just kill it. Other members want to reform it. But to varying degrees, they differ in where they think the balance between privacy and national security should be.
To observers, the fact that Hawaii’s delegation — long a very unified group under senior Sen. Daniel K. Inouye — is landing at different spots offers a window into their leanings and their political calculations.
Hanabusa is a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has crossed party lines to support defense funding, and it’s not surprising that she has, more than any other member of the delegation, placed a strong emphasis on national security interests.
It's a somewhat nuanced difference, but Schatz, as he suggested in a recent interview with Civil Beat, is placing greater emphasis on privacy concerns, which is clear from a bill that he is co-sponsoring to reform oversight of National Security Agency domestic surveillance activities. While Hanabusa, commended President Barack Obama for supporting those reforms, she also seemed to stop short of supporting them herself. And she made it a point to underscore what she sees as the surveillance program's crucial role in thwarting terrorism.