US House votes will end phone record collection program of National Security Agency
A bill, under which the National Security Agency's mass collection of phone records will be ended, has received large support in the US House. However, main Republican leaders in the Senate were not convinced regarding the requirement of reform.
The USA Freedom Act has been approved by the House. Under the bill, huge collection of phone 'metadata' would be kept out of government approach plus it will revise the federal government's surveillance practices. Last year, similar legislation was approved in the House prior to stalling in the Senate.
Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said prior to the vote on Wednesday that the bill would protect their foreign intelligence capabilities and asked the Senate to follow the bill. According to Boehner, "All I know is, these programs expire at the end of this month. They are critically important to keep Americans safe. The House is going to act, and I would hope the Senate would act soon as well".
However, Republican Senate leaders want that the agency should continue with the ability to collect the records so as to prevent a terrorist attack. Lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who is a presidential candidate, wants the law supporting the NSA program to end completely.
According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), he is preparing to go ahead with a renewal of the NSA's existing authority. Last week, a federal appeals court in New York ruled that law didn't offer enough legal authority for the phone records program; however according to main supporters of the program, there is no need to make changes to the law.
McConnell's top leadership deputy, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) defended the new surveillance programs.
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