House Speaker John A. Boehner said Thursday that the NSA’s snooping programs helped stop a plot to attack the Capitol, and said it his colleagues need to keep that in mind as they debate whether to renew the law that allows the government to collect bulk information from its citizens.

“We would never have known about this had it not been for the FISA program,” Mr. Boehner said, referring to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provision that allows for bulk collection of data.

On Wednesday, the FBI arrested an Ohio man and charged him with a plot to detonate pipe bombs at the Capitol in Washington, and then to follow that up with an attack using rifles. The FBI arrested the man, Christopher Cornell, after he bought two rifles they said he planned to use in the attack.