House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has requested a Gang of Eight briefing after government officials reported that a suspected Chinese spy balloon is hovering over the continental United States.
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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has requested a Gang of Eight briefing after government officials reported that a presumed Chinese spy balloon is hovering over the continental United States. “China’s brazen disregard for U.S. sovereignty is a destabilizing action that must be addressed, and President Biden cannot be silent. I am requesting a Gang of Eight briefings.” McCarthy stated.
Who are the Gang of Eight?
The term “Gang of Eight” refers to a group of eight members of the US Congress who receive classified intelligence briefings from the executive branch. The members of the Gang of Eight are specifically the party leaders from the Senate and House of Representatives as well as the chairman and minority-ranking members of the Senate and House intelligence committees.
Mike Turner, Mark Warner, Marco Rubio, Kevin McCarthy, Hakeem Jeffries, Chuck Schumer, and Mitch McConnell are the current members of the gang of eight.
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The controversial warrantless surveillance of American citizens by the National Security Agency during the George W. Bush administration was widely covered, leading to the widespread use of the term “Gang of Eight” in the context that only the Gang of Eight members of Congress were made aware of the programme, and they were forbidden from disclosing that information to other members of Congress. The Bush administration said that the briefings given to the Gang of Eight were sufficient to maintain the checks and balances between the legislative and executive branches and to give Congress supervision of the programme.
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On January 18, 2006, the impartial Congressional Research Service issued a legal analysis that stated: “If the NSA surveillance programme were to be considered an intelligence collection program, limiting congressional notification of the NSA programme to the Gang of Eight, which some Members who were briefed about the programme contend, would appear to be inconsistent with the law, which requires that the ‘congressional intelligence committees be kept fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities’, other than those involving covert actions.”