Deal struck on Patriot Act, votes set for Thursday afternoon

The Senate agreed Thursday afternoon to allow a vote on final passage of the Patriot Act extension bill along with votes on two controversial amendments authored by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.).

The agreement represents a major victory for Paul, who brought progress on the Patriot Act to a halt this week as he demanded greater time for debate and a floor vote on his amendments, which would curtail the law’s powers.

Paul celebrated the fact that he had managed to wrestle Senate leadership into granting him his amendments, but he said he was not completely satisfied with the agreement.

“It took me three days of sitting down here filibustering but I am going to get two amendment votes,” said Paul. “I am very happy and pleased that we came together to get these but I wish we would do more. I wish there were a week's worth of debate.”

Paul's two amendments would clarify that the authority to obtain information under the Patriot Act does not pertain to firearms records and would limit the federal government's ability to view individuals' bank records. 

The votes will begin at 4:35 p.m.