Legislation on foreign surveillance clears Senate hurdle

January 16, 2018 - 8:00 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation extending a government program established to gather information from foreigners overseas has cleared a key Senate hurdle.

The Senate voted 60-38 to limit debate on the six-year reauthorization of the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program.

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill's vote to limit debate got supporters to the threshold needed for the Senate to move to a final vote.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer had pushed Democrats to oppose limiting debate, saying lawmakers from both parties should get an opportunity to offer amendments.

Schumer says the legislation will stand for six years and "that is too quick for too much."

The House has already passed the measure, which includes a new restriction on when the FBI can dig into the communications of Americans swept up in foreign surveillance.

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