Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is in a box on the Patriot Act. Two weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the USA Freedom Act—a bill that would reform several Patriot Act surveillance authorities that Edward Snowden’s revelations exposed in 2013. Those authorities are set to expire in less than two weeks and have already been ruled unlawful by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Obama administration and the intelligence community have endorsed the USA Freedom Act as a meaningful reform that protects privacy and maintains sufficient surveillance capabilities.
Now, the only thing standing in the way of meaningful surveillance reform is the Senate majority leader and the sway he has over some of his caucus. The choice for Sen. McConnell is clear: reform government surveillance by passing the USA Freedom Act or allow the Patriot Act surveillance authorities to expire and risk a complete shutdown of the program.
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