DC complains about not hearing from his senators when he bugs them, but here's why I'm sorry I bother to write mine: March 2, 2006 Dear Jana: Thank you for contacting me. As you know, following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to begin monitoring international phone calls in which one party is in the United States and one party is a member, or suspected member, of a terrorist organization. In a time of national emergency, I expect the President to take such actions to protect our Nation, even if those actions are not specifically authorized by statute. Public and congressional awareness of the program now has caused a great deal of debate and has sparked a series of hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee and briefings in the Senate Intelligence Committee; I am a member of both committees and have participated fully in these hearings and briefings. There are legal and constitutional questions about whether the President must, after a period of time, come to Congress for statutory authorization of the NSA program. Certainly the country and the President would be stronger with such authorization. I believe that statutory authorization and congressional oversight for this program would avoid a divisive debate in Congress and throughout the Nation. That is why I am drafting legislation that would authorize the surveillance of terrorist communication, but would also ensure substantial congressional oversight. Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me anytime with additional questions or concerns. Very respectfully yours, MIKE DeWINE United States Senator RMD/bf Disclaimer: The email account that this message originated from does not accept inbound messages, therefore please send all electronic correspondence through our webform located at: http://dewine.senate.gov.