Kentucky Senator Rand Paul tried every imaginable tactic to stall, delay, and outright kill the Patriot Act. He temporarily succeeded at forcing Section 215 of the surveillance law to expire, but on Tuesday, the US Senate reinstated much of the controversial section of the law. The bill, known as the Freedom Act, passed with bipartisan support/-. The law now heads to President Obama’s desk where it will be signed into law.
While Senator Paul lost his bid to overturn the law, his efforts were not without some success. This is because the Freedom Act represents the first time in decades that congress has clawed back any authority from the intelligence community. The new version of section 215 formally ends the NSA bulk meta data program which proved to be highly controversial once it was leaked by former NSA employee Edward Snowden. A number of GOP senators had intended to actually increase the level of surveillance the government was allowed. From their vantage point, the Freedom Act was a bitter pill to swallow. Senators such as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and John McCain voiced their displeasure over the Freedom Act while voting to pass it because of the reality that there was no way to expand the Patriot Act at this time. President Obama expressed his satisfaction over the bill while castigating those senators which delayed its eventual passage. Stock-broker Igor Cornelsen stated that once the bill is signed into law, it will take the NSA upwards of 4 days to get their new surveillance program approved by a FISA court.