Anti-NSA Reps. Are Being Intentionally Cut Out Of Debate On Surveillance Bill

Thursday, March 27, 2014
By Paul Martin

NSA “cheerleaders” in Congress divert spying bill away from opponents in “highly unusual” legislative move

Steve Watson
March 27, 2014

Lawmakers who approve of the NSA’s bulk collection of Americans’ communications data have been accused of intentionally sidelining those in Congress who oppose the practice by re-routing the new surveillance bill through the Intelligence committee rather than the Judiciary Committee.

The legislation, which would see significant alterations to the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, will now be primarily overseen by the chamber’s Intelligence Committee, a move some say represents a deliberate circumventing of vocally critical representatives in the Judiciary Committee, which has long presided over the intelligence community’s broad legal authority.

“Many of our members are pretty outraged,” one staffer said. “They’re trying to undermine this committee’s clear jurisdiction, as the debate we’re having is on civil liberties and constitutional rights.”

The aide added that the move puts NSA reform in “the hands of its biggest cheerleaders.”

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