You know me: I never get political, but when it comes to Americans' privacy, I always have something to say.
The Patriot Act passed in the wake of the horrifying terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Since then it's become one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed in the last 20 years. I'm not going to comment on that.
I do want to talk about the new USA Freedom Act that prohibits the bulk collection of phone metadata.
That's right, folks. The House voted to change the Patriot Act to outlaw one of the most serious government oversteps into our privacy in history. It's not a law yet. It still has to pass through the Senate, then get a signature from the President. But this is a crucial first step. It passed overwhelmingly, and with bipartisan support, 338-88. That puts tremendous pressure on the Senate and the President to get it done.
It won't be easy though. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is on record as opposing the USA Freedom Act, and other members of both parties in the Senate believe that bulk phone records collection is needed to keep us safe. However, some experts believe there are enough votes to pass the bill in the Senate and avoid filibusters.