The USA PATRIOT Act reauthorization is headed to the House after Senators reached an agreement on amendments and passed the measure Thursday afternoon.
The 72-23 vote came after two days of wrangling between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Rand Paul over amendments the Kentucky Republican wanted to propose for the legislation. Reid and Paul ultimately reached a deal allowing votes on two of the freshman Senator’s amendments.
The proposals, including a controversial gun-related amendment, essentially failed when bipartisan majorities voted to table the measures.
The anti-terrorism law expires at midnight Thursday. The reauthorization is expected to easily clear the House, but some of the law’s provisions might temporarily lapse because of a delay in getting President Barack Obama’s signature. Obama is traveling in Europe, and the enrolled reauthorization is expected to be flown to him.
A statement of administration policy released after the Senate vote expressed the White House’s strong support for the reauthorization and urged lawmakers to immediately act to avoid a lapse.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.