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 Politics Archive 2015

POTUS calls out Rand Paul over his filibustering
of the PATRIOT Act
by Nathan'ette Burdine: June 1, 2015

In his weekly address on Friday, President Obama indirectly called out Sen. Rand Paul for his filibustering of the USA PATRIOT Act earlier last week and Paul’s use of the filibuster in a new campaign ad.

President Obama said, “A majority of the Senate- - Republicans and Democrats- - have voted to move it [USA PATRIOT Act] forward. So what’s the problem? A small group of senators is standing in the way. And unfortunately, some folks are trying to use this debate to score political points.”

Paul, who has declared his candidacy for president, has said that continuing the USA PATRIOT Act is unconstitutional because it takes away citizens’ right to due process.

The one part of the PATRIOT Act that has Paul concerned is section 215. Section 215 gives the government the right to gather information on an individual via phone, computer records or other means without a warrant and to maintain the information for as long as the government deems necessary.

Paul said, “One of the things about the Fourth Amendment that was the biggest part of the Fourth Amendment for our founding fathers was that a warrant should be individualized. General warrants were what we fought the revolution over…The interesting thing is part of the PATRIOT Act allows our police to write their own warrants.”

Due to his efforts to prevent the extension of the PATRIOT Act, Paul has received negative criticism from members of his party.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said that Paul was not fit to be president. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has endorsed Paul for president, said that the threat is too great to allow the PATRIOT Act to expire.

In an effort to extend the PATRIOT Act, the Senate was called into session on Sunday. Although several provisions of the PATRIOT Act have expired, the Senate did have some success in that they voted 77-17 to advance the House’s bill that will amend the PATRIOT Act.

Paul and 16 other senators voted to not invoke cloture on the bill. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who today announced his candidacy for president, was one of the five senators who did not vote at all on the bill.

This is not the first time that Paul has voted against a bill to amend the PATRIOT Act. Last year, Paul voted against Sen. Patrick Leahy’s (D-VT) bill because it would have allowed the government to continue to search an individual’s information without a warrant.

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