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President Barack Obama's agenda full this week

7:34 AM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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By Melissa Mollet, NBC News

As many kids across the country start heading back to school, President Obama is also heading back to work after his summer break.

Even with Congress in recess, there is still a lot on the president's agenda. He has two big assignments this week, what to do about U.S. aid to Egypt as violence there continues, and revelations of more abuses at the NSA.

Top lawmakers on both sides debate aid to Egypt as bloody clashes between the Egyptian military and supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi continue.

"And now with the recent violent crackdown, I do not see how we can continue aid. I believe it must be suspended," said Senator Kelly Ayotte, (R) New Hampshire.

Hundreds have now been killed there in less than a week.

Though the President took a break from his vacation to condemn the violence - and cancel a planned joint-military exercise, he stopped short of suspending any aid.

"Well, the acts of the last two days by the Egyptian military are completely unconscionable. And I do believe we have to change our aid," said Senator Jack Reed, (D) Rhode Island.

But some Republicans are on the president's side, for now.

"We should maintain our relationship with the military. I'm reluctant to cut off aid," said Rep. Pete King, (R) New York.

Other lawmakers, focusing on the NSA surveillance program are still critical of its legitimacy after a newly-revealed audit showed the agency broke privacy rules, thousands of times per year.

"We need better Congressional oversight. Where was the Congress in this? Was the Congress informed?" said Senator John McCain, (R) Arizona.

Hearings, and a plan for additional checks and balances, expected to be initiated by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy this fall.

NBC News

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