Republican senator and presidential hopeful Rand Paul has done what he promised to do — lead the charge in the upper chamber to block, at least temporarily, the ability of the National Security Agency (NSA) to collect in bulk the phone records of millions of Americans. It was a bold and defiant move that some believe could cost Paul the GOP nomination for president in 2016.
The authorization under the Patriot Act for the NSA to gather phone metadata without citing a specific reason expired after midnight Sunday. However, as Fox News reports, the NSA snooping program hasn’t been killed, rather it’s just taken a body blow that halted it for a period of time. “…that program, as well as several other post-9/11 counterterrorism measures, were likely to be revived in some form in the coming days after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. reluctantly embraced a House-passed bill that would extend the anti-terror provisions, while also remaking the bulk collection program.”
A highly upset McConnell let his follow senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, know in no uncertain terms how unhappy he was with Paul’s forcing the consideration of an alternative bill known as the USA Freedom Act that was drawn up in the House.
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“We shouldn’t be disarming unilaterally as our enemies grow more sophisticated and aggressive, and we certainly should not be doing so based on a campaign of demagoguery and disinformation launched in the wake of the unlawful actions of Edward Snowden,” McConnell said, referring to the former NSA contractor who revealed the agency’s bulk data collection program in June 2013.
As for Sen. Paul, he took for the floor of the chamber with a rather surprising take on the feelings of McConnell and other lawmakers who opposed his move to derail the NSA surveillance program. You can see what Rand Paul said were his opponents “secret” feelings by clicking on the video above.
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