Senators voted against three amendments to the USA Freedom Act proposed by majority leader Mitch McConnell, each of which would have essentially gutted key provisions of the house-passed legislation. The amendments were bad news for both privacy and civil liberties, and by “filling the tree” with his amendments, McConnell essentially prevented Ron Wyden, Rand Paul, and others from proposing any that might have strengthened the bill.
Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) urged lawmakers to vote no on all amendments earlier this afternoon, saying, “They would only prolong and deepen the uncertainty around the continuation of important national security authorities.”
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