Several provisions within controversial national security surveillance program, better know as the PATRIOT Act, have elapsed, all due to the efforts of Sen. Rand Paul.
Paul, arguably the loudest voice of opposition to the PATRIOT Act, was able to pound his chest in victory, even as he his moves to diminish the program were called “a campaign of demagoguery and disinformation” by Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell.
Sen. Marco Rubio, who caught a few of Paul’s political jabs for publicly denouncing Obama’s new Cuba policy, returned the favor by landed a round-house kick for his moves to diminish thePATRIOT Act.
Rubio echoed what McConnell said by calling Paul’s actions against the PATRIOT Act the “reckless spreading of misinformation and political posturing,” according to TampaBay.com.
“The national security laws and programs implemented after the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been the cornerstone of our country’s protection since that infamous day,” Rubio said. “Programs like the Section 215 metadata program, which lapsed this evening, have received vigorous congressional and judicial oversight and have allowed us to thwart terrorist plots. After tonight there is no guarantee that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies will have all the tools they need to protect the American people in the face of a growing terrorist threat. Allowing any of these programs to expire is a mistake, but that’s what is happening as a consequence of the reckless spreading of misinformation and political posturing. Our country is now poised to be less safe and Americans at greater risk from growing terrorist threats.”
The Senate will now take up a House bill, a bill that would roll back the data mining of phone records provision found within the PATRIOT Act.
Even President Obama, who wants the entire PATRIOT Act extended, correctly said that the extension of the surveillance program was a “matter of national security.”
Expect this Senate floor spat to spill over into the 2016 Republican presidential primary race between Rubio and Paul.
Rubio is all but sure to tee off on Paul over foreign policy.