Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Friday said “disagreements remain” between Democrats and Republicans as they seek an amendment agreement that would allow them to renew a key intelligence community surveillance tool before it goes dark at the end of the day.

There is broad support in the Senate for Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and it will eventually be approved. But it has fierce critics in both parties who have privacy and other concerns and they have the ability procedurally to drag out final passage of the bill into the weekend if an agreement is not reached.

“We’re still trying to see if there’s a path to getting this bill done quickly, but disagreements remain on how to proceed. Our work is not done. So, we’re going to keep at it. We want to get FISA done as soon as we can, because it’s very important for our national security. But as everyone knows, any one member can halt progress in this chamber. So, both sides need to fully cooperate, if we want to get FISA done,” Schumer said on the floor.

Under FISA’s Section 702, the government hoovers up massive amounts of internet and cell phone data on foreign targets. Hundreds of thousands of Americans’ information is incidentally collected during that process and then accessed each year without a warrant — down from millions of such queries the US government ran in past years. Critics refer to these queries as “backdoor” searches.

The trove of data, including a large portion of US internet traffic, is meant to provide US intelligence agencies with quick access to data regarding foreigners in other countries.

According to one assessment, it forms the basis of most of the intelligence the president views each morning and it has helped the US keep tabs on Russia’s intentions in Ukraine, identify foreign efforts to access US infrastructure, uncover foreign terror networks and thwart terror attacks in the US.

The New York Democrat told senators they should be prepared to work this weekend to complete FISA and also possibly take up the funding bill for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, which the House is poised to pass Saturday. Schumer said he wants the Senate to pass it “expeditiously.”

“We will see how things go in the lower chamber over the next day or so. And I hope the House gets this legislation passed without further delay. If the House sends us a supplemental package, the Senate will move expeditiously to send it to the president’s desk. And the president has said if Congress passes the supplemental, he will sign it,” he said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also pressed for passage of FISA bill, which he said has a number of changes in it to address past “abuses” by the FBI. The Kentucky Republican also warned that some critics of the bill were “fear mongering” that the legislation would allow spying on Americans in coffees shops and other places and should be ignored.

“There will be serious consequences if the Senate fails to do its job today. The stakes of such an outcome are grave. The authorities in question today have quite literally been the only defense against what would be national security disasters,” he said.

McConnell also pressed for quick passage of the foreign aid funding bill.

CNN’s Katie Bo Lillis contributed to this report.


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