Senate approves NSA surveillance bill, legislation goes to Obama’s desk

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WASHINGTON — The Senate approved on Tuesday a bill to reform National Security Agency domestic surveillance programs, ending a drawn-out showdown on Capitol Hill that saw counterterrorism provisions expire.

The vote was 67 to 32.

The bill, which passed the House nearly three weeks ago, now heads to President Barack Obama, who has pledged to sign the bill.

The legislation requires the government obtain a targeted warrant to collect phone metadata from telecommunications companies, makes the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the FISA court) which reviews those warrant requests more transparent and reauthorizes Patriot Act provisions that lapsed early Monday.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, had prolonged passage of the measure — seen as a compromise from reauthorization of the Patriot Act — because of civil liberty objections.