Key Republican Changes Mind On Defunding The NSA

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A key Republican leader in Congress wants to revisit defunding the National Security Agency’s surveillance authority. House Oversight Committee Chairman and technology enthusiast Darrell Issa has issued a call to revisit a bill similar to the Amash Amendment, which narrowly failed 205-217 last July.

“Now that it has been publicly acknowledged that the communications of Americans were included in the NSA’s data collection program, likely violating their Fourth Amendment rights, Congress must respond in a manner that both increases the transparency of the Agency’s programs and reinforces the constitutional protections of our citizens,” writes Issa in a letter to House Leader, Eric Cantor.

There’s little explanation for the abrupt change, but it could indicate a new trend in Republican leadership taking more aggressive opposition to the NSA. Regardless, the Obama administration has proposed a review panel that will recommend transparency reforms to Congress later this year. It’s hard to imagine any legislation on the NSA passing before the review panel makes its recommendations.