High-ranking members of the US House of Representatives have warned the Senate that proposed changes to the USA Freedom Act, a bill reforming domestic surveillance, are unlikely to pass the House and might harm the spy programme.
US Representative Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Representative John Conyers, the panel's top Democrat, issued their statement while members of the Senate debated amendments to the bill proposed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
The amendments include a proposal to keep spy agencies' bulk collection of Americans' telephone data in place for 12 months, double the six months included in the version of the Freedom Act the House passed overwhelmingly on 13 May.
"The House is not likely to accept the changes proposed by Senator McConnell," the House lawmakers said in a statement.
If the Senate amends the bill and the House does not pass it, they warned three domestic surveillance programmes that lapsed yesterday could end for good.
Provisions of the USA Patriot Act, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, that provide the legal authority for US spy agencies' collection of Americans' phone records and other data expired at midnight on Sunday after the US Senate failed to pass the Freedom Act.
In the Senate, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to move up the next vote on the Freedom Act, hoping to minimise the amount of time the surveillance programmes are suspended.
When Republican Senator Rand Paul blocked that move, Mr McConnell said the next procedural vote, to limit debate on the bill, would take place at 11am EDT (4pm Irish time) on Tuesday.
The Freedom Act still faces several steps before it can become law. They include the procedural vote on Tuesday, consideration of amendments, and a Senate vote on final passage. But if the Senate approves amendments, the amended bill must pass the House before it can be sent to the White House for Democratic President Barack Obama's signature.