WASHINGTON - The US Senate passed a bill on Thursday to renew three expiring provisions of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act, rejecting demands for additional safeguards of civil liberties.
The Senate vote was 72-23. With the provisions set to expire at midnight on Thursday (0400 GMT on Friday), the House of Representatives was expected to give swift final congressional approval to the Senate-passed bill.
Democrats and some Republicans favored more protections for law-abiding citizens. But congressional leaders, racing the clock and possibly short on votes, agreed to a four-year, unaltered extension of the provisions to track suspected terrorists.