“We warned that it was an invitation to abuse,” Murphy said. “Now what we have that’s different is you have the rise of the tea party, some of who ran on constitutional issues. You also have evidence now of the government abusing the powers that we warned them they would cause.”
Obama’s director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., has publicly said he is resigned to the inevitability of some kind of legislative amendment to the NSA programs. Because the president has the veto pen and powerful allies in House and Senate leaders from both parties, the White House might be able to avert its worst fears about wholesale elimination of certain programs and dramatic limitations on others.
But a powerful groundswell of constituent outrage paired with an array of potent lawmakers standing in opposition means that victory is no sure thing.
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.