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July 25, 2013

Boehner spokesman hopes NSA vote will be "wake-up call to the White House"

In the wake of Wednesday's close vote to curb the National Security Agency's data collection programs, House Speaker John Boehner's office is warning the White House to be more forthcoming.

"Last night, the House defeated an amendment that would have gutted the president’s NSA surveillance program. It required a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats," said press secretary Brendan Buck. "The Speaker opposed the amendment, but allowed a vote as part of his commitment to run a more open House.  We’re pleased the amendment failed, because – as the Speaker has said repeatedly – this program is important to our national security and saves American lives."

But Buck noted, "The vote was close. Closer than it should have been. That’s because the president continues to demonstrate a troubling reluctance to sufficiently defend this program.  Like it or not, it is the president’s responsibility to explain – regularly and repeatedly if needed – the program’s focus, scope, and necessity to the American people.

"Hopefully this vote will serve as a wake-up call to the White House. Hopefully the president will now consider making a real, consistent effort to explain what would be at risk if this type of national security program went away. This is an obligation the president has and one only he can fulfill. Hopefully he’s up to it."

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