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Donnelly Urges Senate To Reauthorize Suveillance Programs


Indiana Senator Joe Donnelly says the Senate can‘t afford to miss a Sunday deadline to reauthorize government surveillance programs.

Donnelly and Florida‘s Bill Nelson were the only Democrats to support a two-month extension last weekend -- most Democrats allied with Republican privacy advocates led by Kentucky Senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul to defeat the bill.

Donnelly says he‘d prefer to simply extend the Patriot Act -- he notes the last reauthorization five years ago sailed through on a voice vote.

But he says he’ll support a House-passed measure which modifies the National Security Agency‘s authority to sift phone records in bulk, by shifting that responsibility to the telecommunications companies.

"I'm concerned about that portion of it," says Donnelly. "But we've had a number of our military officials and others say 'Hey, listen. It does go far enough to enable us to protect the nation.' And that's what's most important to me."

Donnelly says the U.S. is still at risk for a terror attack and it would be irresponsible to let surveillance authority lapse.