Senate Dems to Obama: Don't wait for us on NSA

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A trio of Senate Democrats says President Barack Obama should end contested National Security Agency (NSA) operations immediately, without waiting for Congress.

In a letter, the same day the agency’s legal authority to continue collecting Americans’ phone records comes up for court renewal, Democratic Sens Mark Udall (CO), Ron Wyden (OR) and Martin Heinrich (NM) said that President Obama should use the powers he has now.

“We believe the way to restore Americans’ constitutional rights and their trust in our intelligence community is to immediately end the practice of vacuuming up the phone records of huge numbers of innocent Americans every day and permit the government to obtain only the phone records of people actually connected to terrorism or other nefarious activity,” they wrote.

“More comprehensive congressional action is vital, but the executive branch need not wait for Congress to end the dragnet collection of millions of Americans' phone records for a number of reasons." The Obama Administration will likely ask the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to renew the NSA’s bulk collection of phone records for 90 days.

The Senate is currently debating legislation to end that program and require the government get a court order to search records held by phone companies.

Senate Dems to Obama: Don't wait for us on NSA