The U.S. Senate Judiciary committee says it has scheduled a hearing next week on a proposal to censure President Bush for his controversial domestic surveillance program.

The Republican-led committee says it will discuss the issue Friday. Chairman Arlen Specter is quoted as saying the proposal is baseless, but he is prepared to deal with it.

Senator Russ Feingold, a Democrat, introduced a resolution earlier this month calling for the Senate to censure the president, accusing him of breaking the law for the wiretapping without a warrant.

The Senate majority leader, Republican Bill Frist, has called the censure proposal a political stunt. Feingold's call has not been widely endorsed by his fellow Democrats.

President Bush authorized the secret program shortly after the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. It allows officials to monitor, without warrants, telephone and e-mail communications between people in the United States and suspected terrorists abroad.

Mr. Bush argues the wiretaps are legal, and necessary to keep the nation safe. But critics say the program threatens civil liberties.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters.