Republican senators fight over NSA surveillance reform law

Washington, June 2 (IANS) The approval of the reform of the surveillance law of the US under which the National Security Agency (NSA) gathers bulk metadata has become the new battlefield for Republican senators, Efe news agency reported.

The US Senate continued its debate on the reform of the Patriot Act on Monday after some of its provisions expired on Sunday midnight.

A bipartisan majority in the Senate is aiming to amend the act that authorises massive collection of telephone data on US citizens.

The bill, known as USA Freedom Act, was approved by the House of Representatives two weeks ago.

After three attempts to push for the renewal of an unaltered Patriot Act, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell settled for proposing some amendments to the bill.

Among the amendments, there is one that demands that private companies gathering data notify the Congress in case of a change in their registration methods.

Meanwhile, Republican Senator and possible 2016 US presidential candidate Rand Paul blocked an attempt by McConnell to hold another round of voting on the bill and its amendments on Monday.

This means the Senate will now vote on the legislation on Tuesday along with the series of amendments proposed by McConnell.

If approved, the new bill will be sent to the lower house to get its approval before being signed into law by US President Barack Obama.

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