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House Democrats

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans are blasting the Food and Drug Administration for secretly monitoring the emails of agency scientists who went public with allegations that they were pressured to approve certain medical devices.

In a report published Tuesday, House Republicans say the FDA's computer surveillance may have overstepped federal laws designed to protect government whistleblowers. Using software that took rapid fire screen shots of employees' computers, the FDA picked up emails from the five whistleblowers to members of Congress. Such communications are protected under federal law.

House Democrats defended the surveillance at a hearing Tuesday morning, pointing to the findings of the inspector general that oversees the FDA. In a report released ahead of the hearing, the inspector concludes that the surveillance was "reasonable" because the employees were leaking confidential information to the press. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Republicans Blast FDA For Secret Surveillance Of Whistleblowers

Republicans are blasting the Food and Drug Administration for secretly monitoring the emails of agency scientists who went public with allegations that they were pressured to approve certain medical devices.

02/26/2014

The No. 2 House Democrat says a key factor extending the government shutdown is fear among moderate Republicans about a tea party challenge.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

No. 2 House Dem: GOP ‘Looking Over Their Shoulders’ At Tea Party

The No. 2 House Democrat says a key factor extending the government shutdown is fear among moderate Republicans about a tea party challenge.

10/07/2013

An outside political group supporting House Democrats is casting blame for the government shutdown on nine House Republicans in a series of television and online ads.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Dem PAC Launches Six-Figure TV Ads Aimed At Key House GOP Seats

An outside political group supporting House Democrats is casting blame for the government shutdown on nine House Republicans in a series of television and online ads.

10/03/2013

House Democrats have unveiled an immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally and tightens border security. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

House Democrats Ready To Move On Immigration Bill

House Democrats have unveiled an immigration bill that includes a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living here illegally and tightens border security.

10/02/2013

The top Democratic leaders in the House hashed out their to-do list Wednesday at a suppertime powwow with President Barack Obama. (RODRIGO ARANGUA/AFP/Getty Images)

Top Democrats, Obama Discuss To-Do List Over Dinner At Upscale Hotel

The top Democratic leaders in the House hashed out their to-do list Wednesday at a suppertime powwow with President Barack Obama.

05/09/2013

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, Calif., on April 3, 2013. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Obama: ‘I’d Get A Whole Lot More Done If Nancy Pelosi Is Speaker’

Making a down payment on his vow to go all in for Democrats in 2014, President Barack Obama is courting well-heeled donors in California on a two-day fundraising jaunt that requires the president to walk a fine line: Berate Republicans too much, and Obama could put fragile prospects for achieving his second-term goals in jeopardy.

04/04/2013

President Obama had some harsh words for Republican opposition to his second term objectives. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Obama To House Dems: ‘We’re On The Right Side Of This Argument’

Assertive even as he preached humility, President Barack Obama vowed to confront Republicans on the deficit and urged Democrats on Thursday to stick with him on guns and immigration.

02/07/2013

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