The Senate's second-ranking Democrat is pressing the Obama administration to explicitly spell out its justification for using drones for targeted killings.
Sen. Dick Durbin made the comments on Tuesday at the start of a Senate hearing on the use of drones. Durbin said the administration must work with Congress to answer several outstanding constitutional and practical questions. He said greater openness will ensure strong support from the American people.
The hearing comes a month after Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul waged a nearly 13-hour filibuster of CIA Director John Brennan's nomination over whether the president has the authority to use a drone to kill a U.S. citizen on American soil if the citizen is not engaged in combat.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the president does not have that authority.