PATRIOT Act Spying Programs on Death Watch - Seung Min Kim and Kate Tummarello - POLITICO
I’m not a Rand Paul fan or supporter by any stretch. I’m pleased someone, anyone will step up and filibuster the Patriot Act. We don’t need it, the evidence it is necessary is scant and what there is is rather self serving and vague. So with a little admission I’d love a more credible ally, I won’t miss the Patriot Act if it goes down.
With only days left to act and Rand Paul threatening a filibuster, Senate Republicans remain deeply divided over the future of the PATRIOT Act and have no clear path to keep key government spying authorities from expiring at the end of the month.
Crucial parts of the PATRIOT Act, including a provision authorizing the government’s controversial bulk collection of American phone records, first revealed by Edward Snowden, are due to lapse May 31. That means Congress has barely a week to figure out a fix before before lawmakers leave town for Memorial Day recess at the end of the next week.
The prospects of a deal look grim: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday night proposed just a two-month extension of expiring PATRIOT Act provisions to give the two sides more time to negotiate, but even that was immediately dismissed by critics of the program.