White House asks House not to undercut NSA program

July 24, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is urging lawmakers in the House to reject legislation that would undercut the National Security Agency's ability to collect phone records of millions of Americans.

The House is likely to vote Wednesday on an amendment to a defense spending bill that would end the NSA's authority under the Patriot Act, preventing the agency from collecting records unless an individual is under investigation.

White House spokesman Jay Carney says the Obama administration welcomes an ongoing debate on privacy and national security. But he says the House measure would hastily dismantle a counterterrorism tool. He says it's a blunt approach that didn't result from an informed or open process.

Carney says the administration prefers an approach that reviews what tools can best secure the U.S.