Boehner: NSA needs to find right balance

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that the National Security Agency was imbalanced as he endorsed a review of the agency’s spying programs.

Asked about the uproar over the NSA spying on foreign leaders, Boehner said the NSA had to do a better job of finding the right balance between U.S. obligations to its allies and the task of keeping people safe.

"I don't think there's any question there needs to be a review, there ought to be reviews. It ought to be thorough,” Boehner said at a press conference. 

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“We've got an obligation to the American people to keep them safe. We've got obligations to our allies around the world. But having said that, we've got to find the right balance here, and clearly we're imbalanced as we stand here,” he said.

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Monday said her committee would lead a “total review” of the intelligence community’s spying programs in response to reports that the NSA was spying on foreign leaders without President Obama’s knowledge.

“It is abundantly clear that a total review of all intelligence programs is necessary so that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are fully informed as to what is actually being carried out by the intelligence community,” Feinstein said.

Both Boehner and Feinstein have defended the NSA’s phone surveillance programs in the face of criticisms from libertarian and liberal lawmakers in Congress.

— Russell Berman contributed.