Two reporters at Reuters quote an anonymous administration official saying that the White House doesn't think Congress should reform legal provisions related to foreign surveillance while considering whether to re-approve them this year:

"We support the clean reauthorization and the administration believes it's necessary to protect the security of the nation."

Timing is everything: The blind comment comes as the House Judiciary Committee holds an initial hearing on re-approving one of the more prominent elements of the law in question, which is used to justify the surveillance of foreign targets located abroad. A classified session this morning between lawmakers and government officials ran on for hours.

Why it matters: The provision, known as Section 702, is set to expire at the end of the year unless lawmakers act. That means a battle between privacy advocates and surveillance hawks is coming, since civil libertarians believe the law can be too broadly applied. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

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