Mike Rogers Is Retiring—but Not Stepping Down Early as House Intel Chair

Rogers is not resigning early from his position, despite a news report saying he would.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-MI,  the recently named Chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence for the House, sits down for an interview with Chris Stohm in his office on Monday, January 24, 2011.
National Journal
Sara Sorcher
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Sara Sorcher
March 27, 2014, 6:19 p.m.

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.
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