Senator and presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) has forced the expiration of the Patriot Act.
(Rep. Massie, Rep. Amash, Sen. Rand Paul today)
Paul took to the floor during a rare Sunday Senate session to lay out his case, probably more for the public than for his colleagues; nevertheless, he managed to to back up the procedure so that the final vote on the USA Freedom Bill would not come until Tuesday. The bulk data collection dragnet snooping operation will cease at midnight this evening.
The House passed the USA Freedom Act before leaving for their vacation. The only option on the table today would be for the Senate to pass the same bill as the House to avoid a shutdown of the program, as there isn’t time for a back and forth between the Senate and the House to iron out the differences in any other bill.
The bill will ultimately pass, admitted Paul. “The Patriot Act will expire tonight. It will only be temporary.”
You can watch Senator Paul on the floor here:
One of the more notable moments was Senator John McCain getting pissy with Senator Paul, telling him to “learn the Senate rules.”
Writes Roll Call, “Senators voting to filibuster proceeding to the USA Freedom Act were all Republicans: Susan Collins of Maine, Roy Blunt of Missouri, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Michael D. Crapo of Idaho, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Dan Coats of Indiana, Pat Roberts of Kansas, Paul, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Jodi Ernst of Iowa, Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Marco Rubio of Florida, Jim Risch of Idaho and John Thune of South Dakota.”
Not all these folks support Paul, but they do believe some of the shortcomings need to be ironed out.
Expect this issue to be at the top of the agenda when the Senate returns next week.