Amash: Intelligence Committee withheld surveillance document from House

But according to Amash, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and ranking member Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.) never provided the document to all House lawmakers.

“Less than two weeks ago, the Obama administration released previously classified documents regarding ‪#‎NSA‬’s bulk collection programs and indicated that two of these documents had been made available to all Members of Congress prior to the vote on reauthorization of the Patriot Act,” Amash wrote in the Facebook post.

“I can now confirm that the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence did NOT, in fact, make the 2011 document available to Representatives in Congress, meaning that the large class of Representatives elected in 2010 did not receive either of the now declassified documents detailing these programs.”

{mosads}Since the program became publicized, many lawmakers, including Patriot Act author Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), have expressed shock at the scope of the phone data collection program. 

Susan Phalen, an Intelligence Committee spokeswoman, said Rogers hosted classified briefings on the NSA programs for all members prior to votes to reauthorize the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. 

“The House Intelligence Committee makes it a top priority to inform Members about the intelligence issues on which Members must vote,” she said. “This process is always conducted consistent with the Committee’s legal obligation to carefully protect the sensitive intelligence sources and methods our intelligence agencies use to do their important work.”

She said that in the past two months, Rogers has hosted four classified briefings with NSA officials for all Republican members.

“The Committee has provided many opportunities for Members to have their questions answered by both the [House Intelligence Committee] and the NSA. And Chairman Rogers has encouraged members to attend those classified briefings to better understand how the authorities are used to protect the country,” Phalen said.

Amash has been a vocal critic of the NSA surveillance, and sponsored an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have curbed its phone data collection program. The amendment fell just seven votes short of passing the House last month. 

Tags Jim Sensenbrenner
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