House committees vie for dominance over NSA reforms


Tony Romm
Politico
November 21, 2013

A turf battle is brewing in the House over which committee will get a first crack at NSA reform — and the outcome could determine the extent to which lawmakers try to reshape U.S. surveillance practices.

House Intelligence Committee leaders had planned to consider at least one proposal at a classified session on Thursday — a bill by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) to grant Congress better access to key surveillance orders and court denials, multiple sources told POLITICO. House leadership, however, requested it be pulled.

The intelligence panel certainly has jurisdiction over the law at hand — the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — but so does the House Judiciary Committee, where some members already are backing a bill that takes a harder line on NSA snooping. And the intervention by House GOP brass this week highlights leadership’s effort to manage the competing visions over how much to curb the spy agency’s powers.

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