NSA bill blocked by Senate Republicans
(Image credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, a bill that would have ended the National Security Agency's program that collects the phone records of Americans in bulk stalled in the Senate.

The bill was supported by the Obama administration and technology companies like Google, Yahoo, Apple, and Microsoft. It fell two votes short of the 60 necessary to pass, with Democrats and a few Republicans voting in favor.

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) said the program as it is now works to fight terrorism, and "this is the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our backs."

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Under the bill, most records would have stayed with the phone companies. An analyst would have had to get a new type of court order to obtain records, and they would only have access to records up to two degrees away from a suspect, The New York Times reports.

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