Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, pressed the Obama administration on Thursday for answers regarding the National Security Administration's secret program of gathering information from Verizon about its customers, reports the Washington Times.
Boehner made the request even though members of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee from both sides of the aisle have said the House was well aware of the situation and has been receiving updates on the program.
Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported Wednesday that the U.S. National Security Agency currently is collecting telephone records of tens of millions of U.S. Verizon customers under an order granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Speaking to reporters during his weekly news conference, Boehner said the probe raises “public policy and civil liberties concerns.”
He called on Obama to “explain to the American people why the administration considers this a critical tool in protecting our nation from the threats of a terrorist attack.”
According to the Hill
, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., held a press conference Thursday in which he said Congress has been apprised of the surveillance gathering by NSA regularly and considers the program in keeping with the law.
“It is legal,” Rogers said.
“It's been authorized by Congress and it has, again, judicial oversight and review.”
Also on Thursday, Attorney General Eric H. Holder told a Senate committee the Obama administration has regularly been briefing House members about the program.
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