The Senate’s failure to extend the USA Patriot Act will bring the legislation on NSA phone-record collection and other key surveillance activities perilously close to expiring on June 1, forcing senators to return early from recess for a rare Sunday session.
The Senate vote was just one of two this weekend that set the stage for dramatic showdowns on Capitol Hill in the coming weeks and months.
The GOP-led upper chamber passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen President Obama’s hand in global trade talks. However, the legislation must now pass the Republican-led House, with help from Democrats because some conservative members oppose the legislation.
Speaker John Boehner supports the measure and says Republicans will do their part to pass it.
Dozens of House Republicans oppose the legislation either out of ideological reasons or because they are loath to enhance Obama’s authority, especially at their own expense.
Senate and now House Democrats are showing little inclination to support legislation that much of organized labor opposes.
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