While most Congressional observers are focused on the battle to avert a weekend government shutdown (an outcome that's looking increasingly likely), the Senate on Thursday quietly passed an extension of the NSA's spying surveillance program, sending the bill to the president's desk a week after the House voted to authorize the controversial plan.
Even President Trump voiced scepticism about reauthorizing the bill in a tweet earlier this year, where he claimed it had helped the Obama administration spy on the Trump campaign, although he infamously flip-flopped later.
As the Hill pointed out, the vote comes after an (almost) tension-filled hour on the Senate floor earlier this week where opponents tried, but failed, to mount a filibuster to force additional debate on the legislation, with both sides spotted lobbying key holdouts. Opponents rallied against the bill ahead of Thursday's vote, arguing the legislation is being rushed through.
"The American people deserve better than the legislation before us. ...The American people deserve better than warrantless wiretapping," said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.).