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More Questions from Congress on Surveillance

Rep. James Sensenbrenner,
Rep. James Sensenbrenner, Getty Images

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a heated confrontation over domestic spying, members of Congress say the government has gone too far. And they’re threatening to curtail the government’s authority to sweep up Americans’ phone records.

The most intense moments came when Rep. James Sensenbrenner said Congress never intended to allow the Justice Department to grab millions of phone and business records of innocent people. If the Obama administration doesn’t realize it’s gone too far, he said, Congress will not reauthorize the law underpinning the surveillance.

The Wisconsin Republican’s criticism is significant because he was among the primary authors of the Patriot Act and has been a staunch advocate of expanded surveillance powers.

The Obama administration says it built a library of everyone’s phone records so it can research the calling habits of suspected terrorists.

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