WASHINGTON — With time running out, President Obama on Tuesday urged the Senate to pass legislation to renew surveillance programs that are scheduled to expire next weekend or risk endangering the American people.
“The problem we have now is that those authorities run out at midnight on Sunday,” Mr. Obama told reporters as he hosted NATO’s secretary general at the White House. “So I strongly urge the Senate to work through this recess and make sure that they identify a way to get this done.”
The president’s plea, though, fell on absent ears. With Congress on recess this week, the chances of the Senate’s passing the legislation before the Sunday night deadline are problematic at best even with senators called back for a rare Sunday session. And so the White House faces the prospect that its legal authority to carry out some of these programs will vanish at least for a few days until the political gridlock in the Senate is resolved.