The Senate failed to pass legislation late Sunday to extend three Patriot Act surveillance measures ahead of their midnight expiration. The National Security Agency’s bulk telephone metadata collection program—first exposed by Edward Snowden in 2013—is the most high profile of the three spy tools whose legal authorization expired.
Sen. Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky. John Pemble
President Barack Obama was set to sign the bill, the USA Freedom Act, ahead of the midnight Sunday deadline. But Senate lawmakers who convened in a special session at 4pm ET Sunday could not reach an accord. The Senate is to resume debate Monday at noon ET.
As expected, there was much banter back and forth on the Senate floor about whether the Constitution was being gutted or whether the country would come to ruins if the Senate did not quickly adopt the already approved House legislation ahead of the June 1 expiration deadline. (The three Patriot Act provisions that failed to pass the Senate were renewed days ago in the House through 2019.)
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