After previously shutting down efforts by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to reform the law to better protect Americans from unwarranted surveillance, the Senate today approved, 65-34, renewing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act for another six years. The version of the bill actually allows the feds to access Americans' data collected without their knowledge for a whole host of domestic federal crimes. It heads to President Donald Trump to sign into law.
- Opposition is growing to a short-term spending bill to keep the federal government operating through Feb. 16. Will we see a shutdown?
- The Department of Health and Humans Services has announced a Conscience and Religious Freedom Division to protect health workers who do not want to perform medical procedures (like abortion or sex transition surgeries) that violate their moral or religious beliefs.
- Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka is allegedly wanted in Hungary (and has been for years) for some sort of gun charges, but Gorka is disputing the report's accuracy.
- The death toll of the cold and snow and deep freeze that has struck the entire Eastern side of the United States is up to 15.
- Police reportedly showed up at the offices of Newsweek in New York and took photos of their servers. Details are sketchy.