Stories by Tim Starks:
Jan. 28, 2014
When Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday outlined the Senate agenda for the upcoming work period, he left out a bill that 59 members of his body are co-sponsoring: Iran sanctions legislation.
Oct. 22, 2013
Passions are so high over the National Security Agencyís record collection programs that congressional turmoil over that issue has done collateral damage to another subject this year: cybersecurity legislation.
Oct. 22, 2013
The fight over the future of the National Security Agencyís phone record and Internet data collection programs had its first skirmish in the House in July, with a vote that nearly defunded the phone record initiative. And Congress has been building toward a prolonged ó and potentially nasty ó battle this fall and winter.
Sept. 26, 2013
Congress almost certainly wonít pass any kind of major cybersecurity legislation in 2013, according to industry officials, lobbyists and others who track the issue.
June 17, 2013
Edward Snowden, the man who publicly exposed several controversial National Security Agency programs, said Monday that he was inspired to leak the secrets because of spy agency leadersí ďliesĒ to Congress, and because congressional leaders did nothing about it.
June 10, 2013
Lawmakersí wildly conflicting accounts of how much they knew about newly leaked surveillance programs has cast a new glare on the difficulties of congressional oversight of intelligence and the stratified rules about which members and staffers can be briefed on what.
May 31, 2013
Backers of a controversial cyber-threat information-sharing bill overcame a White House veto threat and vocal criticism from privacy and civil liberties groups to push it through the House last month by a resounding margin.
May 23, 2013
President Barack Obama tried to use a wide-ranging speech Thursday to reset the narrative on a counterterrorism record that has been a political thorn in the White Houseís side in recent months. But the immediate reaction from adversaries in Congress about new policies relating to the GuantŠnamo Bay, Cuba, prison and drone strikes suggested he had changed few minds.
March 19, 2013
The Department of Defenseís Cyber Command reportedly wants to quintuple its workforce, but its leader, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, told a House Armed Services subcommittee last week that the threat of furloughs is going to hamstring his ability to recruit people to defend U.S. computer networks.
March 19, 2013
The budget crunch, Obama administration officials contend, is already threatening the federal governmentís ability to recruit the people it needs to respond to cyberattacks. But it might end up being even harder on the next generation of would-be cyber-warriors.
March 7, 2013
Sen. Rand Paul waged an old-fashioned filibuster of CIA director nominee John O. Brennan Wednesday, taking to the floor for more than 12 hours to protest the Obama administrationís stance over whether the U.S. government can conduct targeted killings of suspected terrorists on U.S. soil.
March 5, 2013
The confirmation prospects for John O. Brennan to become CIA director got a boost Tuesday with Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein announcing that the administration would supply her panel with additional legal opinions on the targeted killing of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism overseas. The committee then approved his nomination Tuesday afternoon in a closed 12-3 vote.
March 4, 2013
The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to vote Tuesday on CIA director nominee John O. Brennan ó and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants a full Senate vote this week ó but Republicans still want more answers on last yearís terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Feb. 27, 2013
House Judiciary Committee members differ over whether an after-the-fact review of drone strikes targeting U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism overseas was preferable to a court review beforehand.
Feb. 26, 2013
Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee saw some of the documents they wanted Tuesday about last yearís attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, but they were not sufficient to clear a path for President Barack Obamaís CIA director nominee.
Feb. 25, 2013
The Senate Intelligence Committee is all but certain to vote Feb. 28 on the nomination of John O. Brennan to lead the CIA, and the panelís chairwoman predicted the committee would vote to support him.
Feb. 15, 2013
In written answers to Senate Intelligence Committee questions released Friday, CIA director nominee John Brennan would not say whether the U.S. could conduct drone strikes inside the United States ó only that it did not intend to do so.
Feb. 13, 2013
Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul announced Wednesday that he plans to place a hold on the nomination of John O. Brennan to run the CIA until he receives information related to the administrationís use of armed drones.
Feb. 12, 2013
Senators donít just want Justice Department legal opinions on drone strikes or documents about last yearís attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, as they consider whether to confirm John O. Brennan as CIA director.
Feb. 10, 2013
With 19 days to go, the sequester standoff hardened Sunday. Congressional leaders from both parties said the deep automatic spending cuts must be prevented from taking effect, but Republicans drew a line in the sand against making tax increases part of any stopgap alternative, and Democrats did the same in vowing to protect entitlements and social programs.
Feb. 10, 2013
Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, offered new details Sunday about his ideas for creating a special court to oversee drone strikes against U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism, which has gained momentum as senators consider John O. Brennanís nomination to run the CIA.
Feb. 8, 2013
John O. Brennanís nomination for CIA director has fueled a surge in congressional exploration of legislation to rein in the use of drones, both abroad and domestically.
Feb. 8, 2013
Senate Intelligence Committee member Angus King on Friday asked the leaders of the panel to incorporate language into the fiscal 2014 intelligence authorization bill setting up a court to review targeted killings of U.S. citizens in foreign countries.
Feb. 7, 2013
At a spirited confirmation hearing Thursday, CIA director nominee John O. Brennan staunchly defended the Obama administrationís drone strike policy, as well as his own record on the subjects of harsh interrogation methods and leaks.
Feb. 6, 2013
In a reversal on the eve of John O. Brennanís confirmation hearing to lead the CIA, and with pressure mounting from Congress, the White House said Wednesday that the administration will provide classified Office of Legal Counsel legal documents about targeted killings of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism to the House and Senate Intelligence committees.