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Bachmann retains intelligence assignment despite protests

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 8:32 p.m.
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TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 12: Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann speaks during a presidential debate sponsored by CNN and The Tea Party Express at the Florida State fairgrounds on September 12, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. The debate featured the eight candidates ten days before the Florida straw poll.. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann will remain privy to some of the nation's most sensitive national security information despite demands she be removed from the committee that oversees intelligence operations.

Having won a fourth term as congresswoman for Minnesota's 6th Congressional District, Bachmann will keep her seats on the House of Representatives' Permanent Select Intelligence and Financial Services committees.

Bachmann, who sought re-election after an unsuccessful bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, announced the committee assignments in a statement on her swearing-in to a new Congress last week.

“I am honored to move forward with the important work of the Financial Services Committee and the Intelligence Committee as we put in place policies to create more jobs, to enhance economic growth and to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” Bachmann said.

The news was disappointing to People for the American Way, one of several groups that called for Bachmann's removal from the intelligence committee last summer when she and four House colleagues suggested a top aide to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and others had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, a fundamentalist Islamic group.

People for the American Way has collected more than 86,000 signatures on a petition urging House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to remove Bachmann from the committee, which often reviews classified documents.

The group plans to deliver the signatures next week to Boehner, who is responsible for naming the committee's Republican members.

Drew Courtney, a spokesman for People for the American Way, said that in allowing Bachmann, founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, to remain on the committee, Boehner failed to heed the message of voters.

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