NSA program to stop unless congress acts

Parts of the Patriot Act expire on Monday

In this June 6, 2013 file photo, a sign stands outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. The National Security Agency has begun winding down its collection and storage of American phone records this week after the Senate failed to agree on a path forward to change or extend the once-secret program ahead of its expiration at the end of the month. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(CNN) – The Obama administration says the NSA will have to start shutting down surveillance programs at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday.

“Without action from the Senate, we will experience a serious lapse in our ability to protect the American people,” said U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Officials explain the NSA will actually start turning off servers and reconfiguring software by 8:00 p.m. Sunday and will then be unable to reverse the shutdown.

Weeks ago, the House passed the USA Freedom Act to reauthorize the programs which are set to expire at midnight Monday morning, but added restrictions on some NSA surveillance programs became a sticking point in the Senate and it failed by three votes.

Senator and Republican Presidential candidate Rand Paul has been one of the most vocal critics, of late, of the NSA’s bulk phone data collection programs; “Our forefathers would be aghast.”

His opposition drew an eye roll from a fellow republican. It also helped force what will be an unusual Sunday session of the Senate this weekend, as the chamber returns from a week-long recess.

Even if deal-makers reach a compromise this weekend, an alternative to the USA Freedom Act, there are no plans for the House to come back to work before the deadline has already passed.

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