As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-KY) pushes for an extension of the NSA bulk spying program, Senator Rand Paul (R.-KY) vows to filibuster the Patriot Act and thereby kill the program.
“I’ll do whatever it takes to stop it,” Paul said. ” I will filibuster the Patriot Act and I will do everything I can to try to adhere to the courts. The courts have now said the bulk collection of records is illegal. They should stop immediately,” he continued.
McConnell wants to see the Act renewed before it expires on June 1.
“What I think is the most important thing is to make sure we still have a program, a program that works, and helps protect the American people from attacks,” McConnell said.
McConnell’s stance on the issue has divided the Republican Party, with members like Rand Paul on one side who want to see the program end, and members like Senator Marco Rubio (R.-FL) on the other who want to see an extension.
“Now’s no time to end NSA program,” said Rubio in an op-ed in USA today May 10.
The the Patriot Act and the NSA spying program was struck with a major legal hurdle earlier this month when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA’s bulk phone data collection program exceeded the authority granted by the Patriot Act and was therefore illegal.
The renewal of the Patriot Act is also being threatened in the House, which overwhelmingly voted for the USA Freedom Act last week, which would effectively end the NSA program as we know it now.
[Washington Post][USA Today]