The Senate's big surveillance reform bill just cleared a major hurdle

Senate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell John Barrasso Orrin Hatch John CornynREUTERS/Carlos BarriaSenate Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speak during a news conference accompanied by (L-R) Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) following party policy lunch meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington May 12, 2015.

A bill that would end U.S. spy agencies’ bulk collection of Americans’ telephone data and replace it with a more targeted system cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate on Tuesday, allowing lawmakers to consider amendments to the legislation.

The Senate voted 83-14 to limit debate on the measure, known as the USA Freedom Act. Senate rules provide for up to 30 hours of debate before lawmakers vote on amendments, although Senate leaders said they expect those votes later on Tuesday.

The House of Representatives passed the bill on May 13. But if any of the amendments pass, the amended measure would have to be sent back to the House for its approval before it could be sent to the White House for President Barack Obama to sign into law.

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This article originally appeared at Reuters. Copyright 2015. Follow Reuters on Twitter.

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