WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Administration of US President Barack Obama calls on the Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act on Friday before going on recess, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a press briefing.
“We continue to call on members of the Senate and both parties to take up and pass the USA Freedom Act today,” Earnest said on Friday.
On May 13, the US House of Representatives passed the USA Freedom Act aimed at amending the Patriot Act to end the US National Security Agency’s (NSA) bulk data collection.
However, both the House and Senate are expected to leave Washington, DC for a week-long Memorial Day recess, and will reconvene after the June 1, 2015 expiration date for the Act’s key provisions.
Earnest said the US administration is concerned about the fact that the Senate has “refused to take up and pass the commonsense bipartisan compromise that was crafted in the House of Representatives.”
The only way to ensure that there is no lapse and no operational risk in the NSA’s program is to pass the USA Freedom Act, the press secretary added.
On May 7, 2015, a US federal appeals court ruled that the NSA’s mass phone surveillance program exceeded the scope of what the US Congress had authorized under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
Section 215 has been legally interpreted by NSA and two presidential administrations to justify the mass surveillance program on Americans