NSA Surveillance To Lapse At Midnight Although Extension Imminent With Obama’s Signature
“This is a debate over the Bill of Rights,” exclaimed Rand Paul before this evening’s rare Sunday Senate vote which secured NSA Reform (but leaves a brief window of NSA shutdown before Obama signs the bill), adding, now seemingly falling on the most-bribed and deafest ears, that “this is a debate over the Fourth Amendment. This is a debate over your right to be left alone.”
In two speeches (one before the vote and one after), Paul implored reason among his colleagues.
Following John McCain’s jab that “the senator from Kentucky needs to learn the rules of the Senate,” Paul raged “are we going to so blithely give up our freedom? Are we going to so blindly go along and take it?” The short answer, yes! The longer answer may well be summed up his defiant comment that “I’m not going to take it anymore,” and with his voice rising to a shout, “I don’t think the American people are going to take it anymore.”
So rest easy America… you’re safe again!
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As The Hill reports, The Senate voted on Sunday to advance legislation reforming National Security Agency surveillance programs in a 77-17 vote…
The bipartisan approval sets up a vote on final passage that will send the legislation to the White House, where President Obama has vowed to sign it. Sixty votes were needed to move forward.
But the legislation will not reach Obama’s desk until after midnight, when Patriot Act provisions authorizing the NSA programs expire.
That means there will be a lapse of the programs until the Senate can take a final vote on the legislation.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has made the spying programs unearthed by former government contractor Edward Snowden a central part of his presidential candidacy, has vowed to force the expiration of the Patriot Act.
Paul argues the USA Freedom Act approved by the House does not go far enough to rein in spying programs that he and his allies argue are unconstitutional.
“Are we going to so blithely give up our freedom? Are we going to so blindly go along and take it?” Paul said in heated remarks on the Senate floor before the vote.
“I’m not going to take it anymore,” he declared, as his voice rose to a shout. “I don’t think the American people are going to take it anymore.”
Paul’s comments came during a rare Sunday session of the Senate that was scheduled because of the deadline.
Tensions between Paul and other Senate Republicans were evident throughout Sunday’s proceedings — particularly when the Kentucky Republican sought to speak in opposition to the bill when Sens. Dan Coates (R-Ind.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) were holding the floor.
“The senator from Kentucky needs to learn the rules of the Senate,” McCain said. “Maybe the senator from Kentucky should know the rules of the Senate.”
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Here is the “defense” for continued bulk surveillance…
“He obviously has a higher priority for his fundraising and political ambitions than for the security of the nation,” Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) said of Mr. Paul on Sunday.
Perhaps this will help explain McCain’s anger…