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.
What We're Following See More »
"Freddie Mac shareholders cannot force the mortgage finance company to allow them to inspect its records, a federal court ruled Tuesday." A shareholder had asked the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to allow him to inspect its books and records, as Virginia law allows him to do. "The court held that Freddie shareholders no longer possess a right to inspect the company’s records because those rights had been transferred to the Federal Housing Finance Agency when the company entered into conservatorship in 2008."
The Pentagon has "provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns." Trouble is, it can only account for about 700,000 of those guns. The rest are part of a vast arms trading network in the Middle East. "Taken together, the weapons were part of a vast and sometimes minimally supervised flow of arms from a superpower to armies and militias often compromised by poor training, desertion, corruption and patterns of human rights abuses."
"Since the beginning of the year, the Baltimore Police Department" has been using a Cessna airplane armed with sophisticated camera equipment "to investigate all sorts of crimes, from property thefts to shootings." The public hasn't been notified about the system, funded by a private citizen.
The cost of EpiPens have risen 400% since 2007, and members of Congress increasingly want to know why. Judiciary Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) sent a letter to Mylan, which makes the allergy injection devices, on Monday. “Many of the children who are prescribed EpiPens are covered by Medicaid, and therefore, the taxpayers are picking up the tab for this medication," he wrote. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) "called earlier for a Judiciary Committee inquiry into the pricing and an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission."