Ahead of rolling out a series of proposed reforms to the nation’s surveillance programs, President Obama is slated to meet on Thursday with key members of Congress to discuss issues relating to the National Security Agency.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.; Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., are among those who will be in attendance, CBS News has confirmed. House Judiciary Committee Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., was also invited to the meeting. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., a member of the Judiciary Committee and one of the authors of the Patriot Act, will also be in attendance.
For the past few weeks, Mr. Obama has been reviewing the 46 recommendations put forward by a task force the president assembled to review the nation’s surveillance and intelligence gathering activities. The recommendations include revoking the NSA’s control over its phone-records database, making the director of the NSA a Senate-confirmed position and creating a “public advocate” to argue against the government’s case in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court.
“I'm going to assess based on conversations not just with the intelligence community but others in government and outside of government how we might apply and incorporate their recommendations,” Mr. Obama said at a press conference last month. “And I'm going to make a pretty definitive statement about all of this in January where I'll be able to say, here are the recommendations that we think make sense; here are ones that we think are promising but still need to be refined further; here's how it relates to the work we're doing not just internally but also in partnership with other countries.”
The nation’s surveillance practices came under scrutiny last summer after former government contractor Edward Snowden leaked to the press classified information about sweeping NSA programs.
Next week, the Senate Judiciary Committee plans on hearing from the five members of Mr. Obama’s NSA task force in a hearing to review their conclusions and recommendations.