GOP senators reject NSA eavesdropping inquiry, opt for oversight

[JURIST] Majority Republicans on the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence [official website] agreed Tuesday to establish a new seven-member subcommittee to oversee surveillance methods [press release] utilized by President George W. Bush's domestic spying program [JURIST news archive], but passed up a proposed full-scale investigation [Sen. Jay Rockefeller motion, PDF] of National Security Agency [official website] eavesdropping on US citizens. Democrats on the Committee opposed the oversight plan and claimed they had been shut out of discussions about it with the White House.

Senator Mike DeWine [official website] and three other Senate Republicans moderately critical of the program have meanwhile put forward an alternate proposal - the Terrorist Surveillance Act of 2006 - which would require the White House to provide justifications and obtain warrants for eavesdropping beyond 45 days, and would include a sunset of five years on the program as a whole if that were not extended by Congress. Reuters has more.



 

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