Parts of Patriot Act Expires, Senate Fails to Renew

In an effort led by Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul, the U.S. Senate failed to renew several key measures of the Patriot Act last night in a rare Sunday session. One of the provisions was the controversial phone data collection policy.

This sets the Senate up to vote on a bill that would permanently ban phone data collection later this week. But over the weekend, the Patriot Act was severely weakened.

The Senate on Sunday let key sections of the Patriot Act law expire at midnight, but voted to advance a bill that would eventually replace its most controversial provision.

The drama on the Senate floor over the anti-terrorism law, passed in the wake of 9/11, highlighted sharp divisions within the GOP over privacy concerns and national security and carried immediate implications for government surveillance programs.

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The Senate voted 77-17 to advance a bill that would end the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk collection of the phone data of millions of Americans not suspected of any terrorist activity.

But final passage of the USA Freedom Act will not come until later this week, meaning that three sections of the Patriot Act will expire before senators can take further action.

“Tonight begins the end of bulk collection,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. “The bill will ultimately pass.”

So, what do you think? Is this a good thing? Or does it make us less secure?

Warner Todd Huston

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago-based freelance writer, has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and is featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment.com, BigJournalsim.com and all Breitbart News' other sites, RightWingNews.com, CanadaFreePress.com, and many, many others. Additionally, he has been a frequent guest on talk-radio programs across the country to discuss his opinion editorials and current events as well as appearing on TV networks such as CNN, Fox News, Fox Business Network, and various Chicago-based news programs. He has also written for several history magazines and appears in the book "Americans on Politics, Policy and Pop Culture" which can be purchased on amazon.com. He is also the owner and operator of PubliusForum.com. Feel free to contact him with any comments or questions : EMAIL Warner Todd Huston and follow him on Twitter, on Google Plus , and Facebook.

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