The approaches taken by Feinstein and Rogers to preserve the data collection is a way to provide "a fig leaf for the intelligence community," to continue its controversial surveillance, Sensenbrenner said.
"It would be far too small of a fig leaf," Sensenbrenner said. "We are going to have to beat them on the floor, and we are going to do it."
The Obama administration has taken steps to increase transparency on the NSA surveillance programs by making classified documents public, but President Barack Obama has defended the need for the surveillance programs to combat terrorism. Sensenbrenner said he was not certain he would have the votes to override a veto of the bill by the president if it passed both houses, but added if Obama did veto the bill then the collection of metadata would "fall directly on the president's shoulders."
The controversy over the collection of the data began when former NSA contract worker Edward Snowden released details of the widespread nature of the collection of phone and email records pertaining to U.S. citizens. Since then, there have been various revelations about the collection of data from email service providers, Internet search engines and social media companies. That has spawned various attempts to halt the NSA's data collection, which various entities in the federal government have claimed has been useful in thwarting terrorist attacks against Americans, both at home and abroad.