- Senator Tom Cotton said he plans to introduce legislation that would delay the end of the bulk collection of phone metadata by the NSA to Jan. 31, 2017.
- Cotton said ending the program in less than two weeks is a bad idea when the threat level for the U.S. is "incredibly high.”
- Cotton may not get enough support in the Senate, however. The USA Freedom Act, the legislation that would end the NSA’s collection of phone data, was passed with strong support and the backing of the Obama administration in June.
Cotton said he believes that the termination of the program "takes us from a constitutional, legal, and proven NSA collection architecture to an untested, hypothetical one that will be less effective."
The USA Freedom Act restricts the NSA to conducting only targeted searches of phone records for investigative purposes. Some of the provisions of the Act took effect immediately, but the ban on collection of call records allowed for a 180-day transition of the program. Cotton now wants to extend that to January 2017.
Cotton has dubbed the new legislation the "Liberty Through Strength Act.”