White House plan to reform NSA sparks battle between defenders and critics

Some Republicans signaled opposition to any change, and accused the president of failing to properly defend the significance and lawfulness of the programs when they were first revealed.

“Much of any public concern about this critical program can be attributed to the president’s reluctance to sufficiently explain and defend it,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for Boehner, who cast a rare vote against Amash’s amendment last month.

“Transparency is important, but we expect the White House to insist that no reform will compromise the operational integrity of the program,” Buck said. “That must be the president’s red line, and he must enforce it. Our priority should continue to be saving American lives, not saving face.”

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) said Obama’s call for reforms was a “monumental failure in presidential wartime leadership and responsibility.”…

“Pres Obama’s claim that he was planning to reform these surveillance programs prior to the leaks is laughable,” Amash tweeted. “I hope Pres Obama is serious [about] surveillance reform. Regardless, Americans demand it & dozens of colleagues on both sides will push ahead.”