President Obama is desperate to save the PATRIOT Act in advance of Sunday’s deadline, but Roll Call reports that would take the unanimous consent of the entire Senate — and good luck getting at least three of them on board with that:
The Senate is slated to return Sunday in a last-ditch bid to extend the Patriot Act after the May 22 meltdown led by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has made his bid to kill the Patriot Act a signature issue for his presidential campaign.
Under Senate rules, there doesn’t appear to be a way around Paul’s objections — or those of other senators, including Democrats Ron Wyden of Oregon and Martin Heinrich of New Mexico — without their consent.
That means either cutting a deal with Paul guaranteeing him simple majority votes on his surveillance-limiting amendments — something leaders refused to do in the early hours of Saturday morning — or letting the authorities expire.
Congress could revive the authorities, but it would take days, if not a week or more, to go through the procedural hoops required in the face of persistent objections from Paul and company.
In his latest fundraising message, Paul again made clear he had no intention of relenting.
I love it when good politics and good policy coincide.
Speaking of Venn diagrams with very little overlap…
There were those who opposed the PATRIOT Act under a Republican president because it was just a laundry list of executive power grabs which would do little or nothing to enhance our security. The were those who opposed the PATRIOT Act under a Democrat president because is was still just a laundry list of executive power grabs which have done little or nothing to enhance our security. And they can change the name to the “USA Freedom Act,” which if nothing else proves that irony is alive and well in Washington, but it is still just a laundry list of executive power grabs which will do little or nothing to enhance our security.
So sitting in the middle of that Venn is you, me, Rand Paul, Ron Wyden and…