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.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.