WASHINGTON – He gave more surveillance power to U.S. government spies, railed against civil liberties advocates who warned about privacy abuses and even shut down a 2005 hearing to silence critics.
Now Rep. James Sensenbrenner wants to scale back some of the counterterror laws he once championed, citing an overreach by the National Security Agency.
The Wisconsin Republican plans to offer legislation as early as Tuesday to overhaul the NSA. It mirrors a bill by Democrats on House and Senate judiciary committees and is gaining support from the extreme wings of both parties.
Sensenbrenner was, quote, "appalled and angry" to learn the NSA is sweeping up millions of Americans' phone records.
He says that goes far beyond the intent of the 2001 Patriot Act, of which he was the chief congressional architect.