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Senate Renews Patriot Act; Lets FBI Monitor Americans' Web Search History

‘We got some good reforms here…’

McConnell: If House Votes to Impeach, Senate Will Have 'No Choice' But to Hold Trial
Mitch McConnell/IMAGE: CNBC via YouTube

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) The Senate on May 13 narrowly voted to let the FBI monitor the web browsing history of US citizens without a warrant as part of the Patriot Act’s renewal, Vice reported.
Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Kt., proposed the amendment to grant this additional power to FBI, Salon reported.
Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Steve Daines, R-Mont., introduced a bipartisan amendment that would have prevented the FBI from gaining the power to spy on the internet search histroy of Americans.
“Under the McConnell amendment, Barr gets to look through the web browsing history of any American — including journalists, politicians, and political rivals — without a warrant, just by saying it is relevant to an investigation,” Wyden said to the Daily Beast.
Needing 60 votets, the Wyden-Daines amendment failed 59-37.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., did not show up to vote for the amendment, despite his oppositon to the federal government’s domestic spying powers.
Sens. Rand Paul, R-Kt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah., led the opposition to the Patriot Act from within the Republican Party.
Paul introduced an amendment that would have made it illegal for federal government’s law enforcement agencies to spy on Americans without a warrant.
The amendment failed; 85 Senators voted against it, USA Today reported.
After debate on amendments, the Senate voted 80-16 to reauthorize the Patriot Act, Politico reported.
Lee, who had previously advised President Donald Trump that he may need to veto the bill, praised it.
“We got some good reforms here,” he said. “They are consistent with many of the aims that House members who negotiated the last House bill had in mind.”
He said he hoped the House would amend the bill to include the Wyden-Daines amendment.

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