Oct 24, 2017

Senators clear bill to re-up surveillance program

The leadership of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved a bill during a closed 12-3 vote Tuesday that would reauthorize a key surveillance program.

Why it matters: The surveillance law, known as Section 702, expires at the end of the year. There's movement in the House to reform the law, which privacy advocates say can inadvertently pick up the communications of Americans. Meanwhile, some in the Senate have pushed to make the law permanent and some want more significant reforms.

Per Mark Warner, the committee's top Democrat, elements of the bill include:

  • The FBI would be required to receive an after-the-fact review from the national security-focused FISA court when they used the surveillance program in some cases.
  • Warner said that "if the court determined that some agent inappropriately used that, that information could not be used in any further proceeding."
  • The program would be renewed for a total of 8 years.
  • The FISA court would have to approve the revival of the program's so-called "about" searches that were previously halted and have been a target of criticism by privacy advocates. Congress could stop those queries from being brought back, per Warner.

What's next?: The bill has yet to move to the Senate floor. There are also differences between the reform bill in the House and what Warner described: the House bill only reauthorizes the program for six years, for example.

Go deeper: New York Times reporter Charlie Savage has been keeping tabs on the differences between some of the reauthorization proposals.

Go deeper

Joe Biden places second in Nevada caucuses, ahead of Pete Buttigieg

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden a Nevada Caucus watch party in Las Vegas on Saturday. Photo: Ronda Churchill/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden secured second place in the Nevada Democratic caucuses with former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg third, according to NBC News projections Sunday.

By the numbers: With almost 88% of precincts reporting, Biden has 20.9% of the Nevada votes and Buttigieg has 13.6%.

Flashback: Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucuses

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Sanders reveals free childcare plan for preschoolers

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally on Saturday in El Paso, Texas. Photo: Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders announced on CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday a new plan to guarantee free child care and pre-kindergarten to all American children from infancy to age four.

Details: In the wide-ranging interview, Sanders told Anderson Cooper he planned to pay for universal childcare with a wealth tax. "It's taxes on billionaires," he said.

Exclusive: Trump's "Deep State" hit list

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: WPA Pool/Getty Pool, Drew Angerer/Getty Staff

The Trump White House and its allies, over the past 18 months, assembled detailed lists of disloyal government officials to oust — and trusted pro-Trump people to replace them — according to more than a dozen sources familiar with the effort who spoke to Axios.

Driving the news: By the time President Trump instructed his 29-year-old former body man and new head of presidential personnel to rid his government of anti-Trump officials, he'd gathered reams of material to support his suspicions.