It’s crunch time for Mitch McConnell and his Republican-controlled Senate.

The chamber will convene at 4 p.m. for a rare Sunday session in a last-ditch effort to keep provisions of the PATRIOT Act from lapsing at midnight — a herculean task complicated by the imminent deadline, a divided GOP and Rand Paul’s presidential aspirations.

Paul announced Saturday that he would not consent to any effort to speed up debate on a House-passed surveillance reform bill – which has wide support on Capitol Hill and is backed by President Barack Obama – nor any extensions of the current law. That would effectively force the controversial national security law, enacted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, to expire – at least temporarily.

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