Lawmaker says scandals undermine trust needed for NSA surveillance

Republicans have charged the administration with changing the talking points about the Benghazi, Libya, attack last year that led to the death of four U.S. officials, in order to portray it as a spontaneous uprising instead of a calculated terrorist attack. The GOP has also pounced on the administration scandals involving the IRS targeting conservative groups, and the Justice Department spying on reporters.

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Brooks said revelations about the NSA's surveillance program would lead Congress to reevaluate its parameters — PRISM collects billions of phone and Internet records in an attempt to find patterns of communication used by terrorists.

"We're going to have more vigorous debate than we've ever had before between the kind of information that the National Security Agency, the CIA and others are trying to acquire, versus the desire to prevent New York City, or Washington, D.C., or Redstone Arsenal from being subject to a weapon of mass destruction," Brooks said.

Many conservatives have criticized the program, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has said he is exploring a possible legal challenge to its existence. But others have said the program is legal and part of the work the government was authorized by Congress to do in the wake of 9/11.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has said the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court should remain the body that decides which search programs are legal. Earlier on Monday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Congress should focus on the private contractor who leaked the information about PRISM.

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