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 McConnellBiden says Beau's assessment of first 100 days would be 'Be who you are' McConnell says he's 'great admirer' of Liz Cheney but mum on her removal McConnell: 'Good chance' of deal with Biden on infrastructure 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 PaulBuckingham Palace requests 'Trump Train' remove image of queen from bus The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Overnight Health Care: Biden announces 1M have enrolled in special ObamaCare sign-up period | Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins | Biden vows to get 'more aggressive' on lifestyle benefits of vaccines MORE (Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeHillicon Valley: Global cybersecurity leaders say they feel unprepared for attack | Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan | Senate panel approves bill that would invest billions in tech Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan GOP governor says Republican Party has to allow for differences MORE (Utah) — voted against the GOP proposal that was spearheaded by Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRepublicans have dumped Reagan for Trump The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Cheney poised to be ousted; Biden to host big meeting Cheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP MORE (R-Ariz.) and backed by leadership. 
 
Sens. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoDemocrats, GOP agree on one thing: They're skeptical of a deal Top Republican seeks clarity on estimate of trillion in unpaid taxes Biden to meet with GOP senators amid infrastructure push MORE (R-Idaho), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyRepublicans fret over divisive candidates Everybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (D-Ind.), Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinIf you want Julie Su at the DOL, don't point to her resume Senate Democrats push Biden over raising refugee cap Lawmakers react to guilty verdict in Chauvin murder trial: 'Our work is far from done' MORE (D-Calif.) and Robert MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezDemocrats reintroduce legislation to ban 'ghost guns' Juan Williams: A breakthrough on immigration? Biden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 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.
 
Asked if he anticipates supporters will be able to get 60 votes, Sen. John CornynJohn CornynPolice reform talks hit familiar stumbling block CNN asks Carol Baskin to comment on loose Texas tiger Biden-McConnell cold war unlikely to end at White House MORE (R-Texas) separately told reporters "that's certainly my expectation."
 
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 ReidBottom line Biden's first 100 days is stylistic 'antithesis' of Trump The Memo: Washington's fake debate on 'bipartisanship' MORE (D-Nev.)—voted to move forward with the GOP proposal.

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonChina fires back after NASA criticism of rocket debris reentry The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Infrastructure, Cheney ouster on deck as Congress returns NASA criticizes China after rocket debris lands in Indian Ocean 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.