Sen. McConnell Moves for a "Clean" 215 Reauthorization

By Benjamin Wittes
Monday, April 27, 2015, 2:25 PM

This actually happened last week, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has introduced and fast-tracked a bill (S. 1035) to extend through the year 2019 three USA Patriot Act provisions set to expire at the end of May. The so-called "clean" extension of the provisions, which include Sec. 215, includes none of the reforms in the USA Freedom Act, which has stalled. But it's not a short-term stopgap extension measure, meant to give Congress more time to consider the matter, either. The extension would operate for another five years. It thus constitutes a significant outflanking of the Obama administration, which has supported the USA Freedom Act compromise bill. With the clock ticking on the provisions' expiration, it will be very interesting to see how the Congress responds. Here is some press coverage. And here's Steve Vladeck's analysis from Just Security.