Jan 18, 2018

Senate sends spy program renewal to Trump’s desk

A bipartisan group of senators holds a news conference about their proposed reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in the Russell Senate Office Building. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Lawmakers in the Senate voted Thursday to approve a bill that extends a key part of a surveillance law for another six years. The House passed the bill last week.

Why it matters: Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is controversial because of concerns the digital surveillance it enables, of foreign nationals located abroad, could pick up communications from Americans without a warrant. The program expires tomorrow if President Trump doesn't sign the bill.

The details: The bill approved 65-34 on Thursday extends Section 702 for six years. Privacy advocates worry it doesn’t do enough to address their concerns and, in fact, opens the door to restarting searches of collected communications based on whether a target is just mentioned.

What’s next: The White House said the president would sign the bill, although he expressed reservations about it in a tweet last week.

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

House Democrats asked Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue for more information Thursday on how the agency chose which companies to award $1.2 billion in food assistance contracts.

By the numbers: More than 98,400 people have died from COVID-19 and over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Over 379,100 Americans have recovered and more than 14.6 million tests have been conducted.

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 5,547,523 — Total deaths: 348,040 — Total recoveries — 2,269,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 1,671,728 — Total deaths: 98,493 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in, and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's historic crewed launch.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy