House urged to cancel vote to renew NSA internet surveillance


(Reuters) – Senior Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives urged cancellation of a vote set for Thursday on whether to renew the National Security Agency’s warrantless internet surveillance program after President Donald Trump appeared to initially question the merits of the program.

Republican Representative Steve Scalise issued a statement saying the Republican majority had no plans to cancel the vote.

The vote would be the culmination of a yearslong debate in Congress on the proper scope of U.S. intelligence collection, one fueled by the 2013 disclosures of classified surveillance secrets by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The provisions have been the target of privacy advocates who want to limit its impact on Americans.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi asked Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, to cancel the vote after a morning Twitter post by Trump, a senior aide said.

Reporting by Dustin Volz; Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, David Shepardson and Susan Heavey; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Bill Trott

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