Rep. Mike Rogers is retiring at the end of his term, but he is not resigning early from his position as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — despite a news report Thursday evening saying the Michigan Republican would.
The Hill had reported Rogers would serve an abbreviated term as chairman. His spokeswoman quickly denied that report. “He is not stepping down as Chairman of the House Intel Committee,” Susan Phalen said via email Thursday night.
Rogers, in a surprise move, announced early Friday morning that he would retire in November to begin a new career as a talk radio host.“They may have lost my vote in Congress, but you haven’t lost my voice,” Rogers told WJR-AM radio this morning, according to Detroit News.
Before Rogers departs from the helm of the powerful congressional committee, he is seeking some major legislative reforms to the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of U.S. phone calls.
Rogers has been a highly visible figure in the recent debate over the NSA’s once-secret surveillance programs. Earlier this week, Rogers introduced a bill along with the panel’s top Democrat, Dutch Ruppersberger, to allow the agency’s vast database of phone records to stay in the hands of the phone companies. House Speaker John Boehner indicated he plans to allow a vote on that legislation.
Rogers has been a fierce defender of the NSA after former contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the once-secret surveillance programs — and sparked widespread concerns about Americans’ privacy. Rogers, according to the Detroit News, said the program was being changed “based on a perception, not a reality.”“We think that we have found a way to end the government bulk collection of telephone metadata and still provide a mechanism to protect the United States,” Rogers said.