On February 16, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller presented a proposal to investigate the National Security Agency warrantless surveillance program.
But Committee chairman Sen. Pat Roberts blocked a vote on the motion until March 7.
“If, by that time, we have reached no detailed accommodation with the Administration concerning the Committee’s oversight role, it is possible that the Committee may vote to conduct an inquiry into the program,” Sen. Roberts said.
“If we are prevented from fully understanding and evaluating the NSA program, our committee will continue its slide into irrelevance,” said Sen. Rockefeller.
“Like Senator Rockefeller, I will not sit idly by and allow the President’s possible breaking of the law to be swept under the rug,” said Sen. Robert Byrd in a February 17 floor statement.
“I am today announcing my intention to submit to the Congress legislation that will establish a nonpartisan, independent, 9-11-style commission to investigate and determine the legality of the President’s actions,” Sen. Byrd said.