Tags: Barack Obama | Edward Snowden | Homeland Security | NSA/Surveillance | War on Terrorism | Patriot Act | Obama

WH to Newsmax: Obama Will Lobby Senate on Patriot Act If Necessary

By    |   Friday, 22 May 2015 07:51 PM

Although the White House hopes "that won’t be necessary," press secretary Josh Earnest told Newsmax on Friday that President Barack Obama will personally lobby the Senate to secure passage of a key section of the 2001 Patriot Act before it is set to expire on June 1.

On May 13, by a resounding vote of 338 to 88, the House passed the USA Freedom Act, which has restraints on the National Security Agency’s (NSA) data collection. Lawmakers also voted to extend other key parts of the Patriot Act before the June 1 expiration date.

In the Senate, however, the USA Freedom Act has been stalled. Some senators — notably Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., — want to maintain the Patriot Act in its present form without any restraints.

Others in Congress say this is highly unlikely, given NSA renegade Edward Snowden’s revelations about his organization’s widespread electronic surveillance and data collection.

At the regular briefing for reporters at the White House Friday, Newsmax asked Earnest whether the president was now prepared to personally lobby senators during their recess next week to save the USA Freedom Act.

"Hopefully that won’t be necessary," the president’s top spokesman said. "Hopefully members of the Senate recognize that there is a very easy solution to this problem that will balance our civil liberties protections with the need to protect our country, that will reflect the bipartisan compromise that has already been reached in the House, and that will reflect the deadline that the NSA has already established — which is to pass before the end of the day today the legislation that’s already passed with bipartisan support in the House."

If the Senate does this, Earnest said, "the president will sign that into law before the end of May 31 and ensure there is zero risk that the needed authorities will lapse."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2020 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


   
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Although the White House hopes "that won't be necessary," press secretary Josh Earnest told Newsmax on Friday that President Barack Obama will personally lobby the Senate to secure passage of a key section of the 2001 Patriot Act before it is set to expire on June 1.
Patriot Act, Obama, lobby, Senate, if, necessary, White House, deadline
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2015-51-22
Friday, 22 May 2015 07:51 PM
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