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Senate clears way to extend terror-fighting bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — The Senate has voted to end debate on the use of three terrorism-fighting tools and has cleared the way for a final vote to extend them past midnight. That’s when their legal authority ends.

One of the tools lets law enforcement officials set roving wiretaps to monitor multiple communications devices. A second tool allows officials to get court-approved access to business records and other documents, including library check-outs that might be relevant to a terrorist threat.

The third one permits surveillance of “lone wolf” suspects not known to be tied to specific terrorist groups.
Senators voted 79-18 to end debate and move to a final vote on legislation to extend the provisions for four years.
Senate passage would send the bill to the House for a vote before it could reach President Barack Obama. Because Obama is now in Europe, Congress may have to agree to extend the deadline for a few days.