Members of Congress from both sides of the house have been denied access to details of NSA spying, even as they are being asked to vote on extending funding for continued surveillance. Both GOP Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia and Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida have been stonewalled for weeks by the their colleagues on the House Intelligence Committee, who will not even discuss whether a vote was taken to approve NSA spying, nor how that vote went. The existence of such a vote, let alone how it went, is a secret, as are the details of the programs that Congress are being asked to vote for.
But just over four weeks later, the Chairman of the Committee, GOP Rep. Mike Rogers, wrote to Grayson informing him that his requests had been denied by a Committee "voice vote".
In a follow-up email exchange, a staff member for Grayson wrote to the Chairman, advising him that Congressman Grayson had "discussed the committee's decision with Ranking Member [Dutch] Ruppersberger on the floor last night, and he told the Congressman that he was unaware of any committee action on this matter." Grayson wanted to know how a voice vote denying him access to these documents could have taken place without the knowledge of the ranking member on the Committee, and asked: "can you please share with us the recorded vote, Member-by-Member?" The reply from this Committee was as follows:
Thanks for your inquiry. The full Committee attends Business Meetings. At our July 18, 2013 Business Meeting, there were seven Democrat Members and nine Republican Members in attendance. The transcript is classified."
Members of Congress denied access to basic information about NSA [Glenn Greenwald/The Guardian]