Thursday, June 22, 2006

Judiciary Committee Wants Info on NSA Programs

In a surprise move yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee adopted - by voice vote, mind you - a Democratic motion to demand that the Administration turn over documents relating to the NSA warrantless eavesdrop and phone call data collection programs. The proposal, introduced by Rep. Robert Wexler of Florida, is non-binding, and still must be approved by the full chamber; nonetheless, its acceptance by Republican committee members, including chairman James Sensenbrenner, was unexpected.

Dana Milbank reports this morning on Sensenbrenner's action:

"'I hope this committee will report this resolution favorably to send the administration and the Justice Department a message,' the jowled chairman growled. 'The Justice Department has once again failed to respond fully to questions,' he said in an exasperated, singsong voice, and it is 'imperative that this committee be provided the information it needs to provide appropriate oversight to ensure the constitutionality of this program.' The committee obliged."

The Senate Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, is set to consider several proposals relating to the NSA programs at a meeting today. Similar action could be taken at that meeting, so stay tuned.


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