WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) added his voice to the growing clamor by lawmakers disturbed about the United States' spying practices, saying Tuesday that the government's intelligence gathering had become "imbalanced."
Boehner, generally a defender of the national security establishment, was reacting to reports that the National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on foreign leaders, including longtime allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), who chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee, slammed the NSA Monday, saying she was totally opposed to spying on allies and that the intelligence community has failed to inform Congress of its activities.
She is calling for a "total review" of U.S. intelligence gathering, a call that Boehner echoed.
"I don't think there's any question that there needs to be a review," Boehner told reporters on Capitol Hill. "There ought to be a review, and it ought to be thorough. We've got obligations to the American people to keep them safe. We've got obligations to our allies around the world.
"But having said that, we've go to find the right balance here," Boehner added. "Clearly, we're imbalanced."
It was unclear what Boehner thought the "right balance" would be, and his spokesman declined to elaborate.
Michael McAuliff covers Congress and politics for The Huffington Post. Talk to him on Facebook.