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Last Week

The House spent the majority of the week debating national security legislation. They amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, reforming how the NSA (National Security Agency) collects intelligence. According to supporters, under the legislation, the NSA would no longer collect and store metadata about the phone numbers people call, how often and for how long. Those records would stay with private phone companies that already have to hold onto them under federal regulations, and NSA officials would need a court order before searching for data about a specific phone number. The bill also bans bulk collection of information, creates a panel of legal experts to weigh in on matters at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and allows additional judicial oversight. In addition, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which authorizes personnel programs, and military activities and construction for the Department of Defense. The Senate cleared the Water Resources Development Act as well as a controversial nominee for the federal court, who had previously authored the legal justification for the use of drones. more

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