The Patriot Act deadline: What you need to know

Key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire at midnight on Sunday, an issue that has caused intense debate within Congress over what legislation should change, remain the same or expire.

Section 215 of the law has stirred the most controversy, as the NSA has used it to collect bulk phone metadata to track potential terrorist activity.

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While some members in Congress are trying to rein in the NSA to protect privacy rights, others are fighting to uphold the agency's powers, citing national security.

The House offered a resolution with its passage of the USA Freedom Act, which would uphold aspects of the Patriot Act while requiring the NSA to get a court order before obtaining phone metadata.

The effort will be for naught, however, if the Senate can't agree on a way to move forward.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has expressed interest in a clean reauthorization bill, meaning he wants no changes made to the existing language of the Patriot Act. Fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul balked at that idea, staging an informal filibuster last week to protest what he viewed as government overreach.

The Senate didn't have enough votes on Saturday to approve the USA Freedom Act, and President Obama has called on the chamber to act immediately to reach a resolution.

If Congress can't agree on the intelligence issues before Sunday's deadline, the provisions will expire.