Dem Senator: Allow Patriot Act to expire

Last week, congressional leaders in both chambers reached a deal to extend the statutes without changes for four years. 

Tester, who is preparing for a tough reelection battle next year, touted the agility of American intelligence agencies and suggested they do not need the Patriot Act to succeed. 

"Our intelligence services are the best in the world," said Tester. "They do what they need to do without having to snoop around the lives of law abiding Americans and Montanans."

"Our constitutional freedoms are too valuable," he concluded. 

Both liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans have expressed concerns about the bill, arguing the provisions violate civil liberties.

The bill will need at least 60 votes to proceed in the legislative process. A vote is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday.