The head of the National Security Agency is urging House lawmakers to reject a defense bill amendment that would stop domestic spying.
Seven Republican committee chairmen issued a similar plea.
And the White House sent out a warning that a tighter leash on the programs would put the nation at risk for another terrorist attack.
"We oppose the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our Intelligence Community's counterterrorism tools," White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a late-night statement. "This blunt approach is not the product of an informed, open, or deliberative process."
Meanwhile, Germany is pointing to the U.S. debate as a reason to expand a 1966 U.N. treaty guaranteeing privacy.
And it's urging European Union states to support a new global charter protecting personal privacy online.