Senate narrowly rejects new FBI surveillance
© Greg Nash
The Senate narrowly rejected expanding the FBI's surveillance powers Wednesday in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. 
 
Senators voted 58-38 on a procedural hurdle, with 60 votes needed to move forward. Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellThe Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? Dems charge ahead on immigration Biden and Bernie set for clash MORE, who initially voted "yes," switched his vote, which allows him to potentially bring the measure back up. 
 
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A handful of Republicans — including GOP Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulDem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment Booker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen MORE (Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeKushner saying immigration plan will be 'neutral' on legal admissions: report DHS plan for face scanning at airports sparks alarm Dem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment MORE (Utah) — voted against the GOP proposal that was spearheaded by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhy did Mueller allow his investigation to continue for two years? If you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era MORE (R-Ariz.) and backed by leadership. 
 
Sens. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoGraham says he's 'not interested' in Mueller testifying Senate needs to stand up to Trump's Nixonian view of the Fed Senate bill seeks to bring freedom back to banking MORE (R-Idaho), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyK Street boom extends under Trump, House Dems Some in GOP fear Buttigieg run for governor Paul Ryan joins University of Notre Dame faculty MORE (D-Ind.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinDems reject Barr's offer to view Mueller report with fewer redactions Five takeaways from Mueller's report Only four Dem senators have endorsed 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezWe can accelerate a cure for Alzheimer's The Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Acting Defense chief calls Graham an 'ally' after tense exchange MORE (D-N.J.) didn't vote. 
 
The Senate GOP proposal—being offered as an amendment to the Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill—would allow the FBI to use "national security letters" to obtain people's internet browsing history and other information without a warrant during a terrorism or federal intelligence probe. 
 
It would also permanently extend a Patriot Act provision — currently set to expire in 2019 — meant to monitor "lone wolf" extremists. 
 
Senate Republicans said they would likely be able to get enough votes if McConnell schedules a redo.
 
"I’m not positive but I’ve been told, because I don’t count votes, that there were a couple of people who were in favor who were not there," McCain said.
 
 
McConnell urged support for the proposal earlier Wednesday, saying it would give the FBI to "connect the dots" in terrorist investigations. 
 
"We can focus on defeating [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] or we can focus on partisan politics. Some of our colleagues many think this is all some game," he said. "I believe this is a serious moment that calls for serious solutions." 
 
But Democrats—and some Republicans—raised concerns that the changes didn't go far enough to ensure Americans' privacy. 
 
 
"Due process ought to apply as it relates to guns, but due process wouldn't apply as it relates to the internet activity of millions of Americans," he said ahead of Wednesday's vote. "Supporters of this amendment...have suggested that Americans need to choose between protecting our security and protecting our constitutional right to privacy." 
 
Approximately a dozen Democratic senators—including Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidSenate buzzsaw awaits 2020 progressive proposals Sanders courts GOP voters with 'Medicare for All' plan Glamorization of the filibuster must end MORE (D-Nev.)—voted to move forward with the GOP proposal.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonTrump administration renews interest in Florida offshore drilling: report Dem reps say they were denied access to immigrant detention center Ex-House Intel chair: Intel panel is wrong forum to investigate Trump's finances MORE (D-Fla.), who supported it, rejected his colleagues' argument that it infringes on privacy.

"Before you can even issue a letter you've got to go and get a judge approval," he told reporters. "We've never had that protection in the past on issuing national security letters."
 
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) also came out in opposition the Senate GOP proposal on Tuesday, warning it would urge lawmakers to vote against it. 
 
—Julian Hattem contributed to this report, which was updated at 1:08 p.m.