WASHINGTON, D.C.–It was a no vote from both Mississippi senators on the USA Freedom Act, which passed the U.S. Senate yesterday by a vote of 67-32. The bill was signed into law late Tuesday by Pres. Obama.
“Glad the Senate finally passed the USA Freedom Act. It protects civil liberties and our national security. I’ll sign it as soon as I get it,” Tweeted the president.
Neither Wicker, nor Cochran had Tweeted or released any official statements on their votes by Wednesday morning.
The new law is a compromise bill that is meant to reform government data collection and stop the NSA from collecting what it calls “meta data” from your phone records. That’s essentially all the data about your call, but not the contents.
Phone companies, instead, will collect and keep the data and the federal government will have to get a court order to obtain the info from the phone companies.
There will be a transition period of about six months, during which time the NSA will continue to collect the data.
Some senators on the Republican side did not believe the new bill would leave the government with the most effective ways to fight terrorism, while other Republicans, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ken.) believed that the government should not have been engaged in the collection of data in the first place. He voted against the bill and also helped portions of the Patriot Act expire over the weekend.