Patriot Act Expires – At Least For Now

Rand Paul’s 10 hour filibuster on Wednesday, May 20th was initially viewed by many as a failure. Indeed, reports at the time were that even Paul himself knew that the filibuster wouldn’t stop anything.

However, as I predicted on Wednesday, the Patriot Act will expire tonight at midnight. The question of the moment is, “for how long?”

The USA Freedom Act has already passed the House.  The bill contains most of the Patriot Act, with a few sections modified to address concerns about the NSA. The bill has already been voted on once by the Senate, and failed: 57-42. However, at least some of the Senators who opposed it appear to have opposed it because they wanted the increased power of the full patriot act. It is unclear what the vote will be now that we know for certain that the full act will not pass the Senate.

The vote appears to be set for Tuesday morning, so we’ll know soon. The bill already passed a cloture vote tonight, so only a simple majority vote is needed at this point to pass it. Still, that’s seven votes that need to be swayed from the last time the bill was voted on. This is going to be a very interesting week.

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