The Obama administration has forcefully urged the defeat of a legislative measure to curb its wide-ranging collection of Americans' phone records, setting up a showdown with the House of Representatives over domesticsurveillance.

A statement from the White House press secretary, Jay Carney, late on Tuesday evening capped an extraordinary day of near-revolt on Capitol Hill concerning the secret National Security Agency surveillance programes revealed by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden and published by the Guardian and Washington Post.