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House Judiciary Committee passes resolution demanding NSA telecom requests

John Byrne
Published: Wednesday June 21, 2006

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The House Judiciary Committee unexpectedly passed a Democratic resolution Wednesday morning calling on the Justice Department to turn over all requests made by the National Security Agency and other federal agencies to telephone service providers to obtain information without a warrant.

The measure was passed by a voice vote Wednesday morning with support of Republican Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI). It was introduced by Florida Democrat Robert Wexler.

Sensenbrenner told the Committee he would bring the measure to the full House floor for a vote if the Justice Department did not comply with his earlier requests for information about the program.

The resolution is not a subpoena. It would have to pass the full House before it had the effect of law.

Ranking Judiciary Democrat John Conyers (D-MI) applauded the move.

"I am pleased that the House Judiciary Committee is exercising its oversight authority and demanding real answers of the Administration," Conyers said in a statement. "We do not know how trillions of phone call records were obtained, nor how they are being used. And there is no guarantee that this private information will ever be destroyed."

The resolution comes on the heels of last month’s revelation by USA Today that the National Security Agency was amassing the phone records of Americans in possible violation of federal law. Officials speaking under the condition of anonymity estimated the collected phone records number in the trillions.

The resolution follows.

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HRES 819 IH

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 819

Requesting the President and directing the Attorney General to submit to the House of Representatives all documents in the possession of the President and the Attorney General relating to requests made by the National Security Agency and other Federal agencies to telephone service providers requesting access to telephone communications records of persons in the United States and communications originating and terminating within the United States without a warrant.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 17, 2006

Mr. WEXLER submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

RESOLUTION

Requesting the President and directing the Attorney General to submit to the House of Representatives all documents in the possession of the President and the Attorney General relating to requests made by the National Security Agency and other Federal agencies to telephone service providers requesting access to telephone communications records of persons in the United States and communications originating and terminating within the United States without a warrant.

Resolved, That the President is requested and the Attorney General is directed to submit to the House of Representatives, not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, all documents in the possession of the President and the Attorney General, including all legal opinions, relating to requests made without a warrant by the National Security Agency or other Federal departments and agencies to telephone service providers, including wireless telephone service providers, for access to telephone communications records of persons in the United States (other than as authorized under title I of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (50 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) or chapter 119 or 121 of title 18, United States Code), subject to necessary redactions or requirements for handling classified documents.


 

 
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