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White House Signals Frustration With Rand Paul After Patriot Act Lapses

The Obama administration appears frustrated with Sen. Rand Paul, after his obstructions in the Senate forced elements of the Patriot Act to expire.

“On a matter as critical as our national security, individual Senators must put aside their partisan motivations and act swiftly,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a statement last night. “The American people deserve nothing less.”

Paul and his supporters have painted his principled stance as a direct challenge to President Obama in support of the Fourth Amendment.

The Obama administration has resisted taking on Paul personally, but hinted that his principled stance is an attempt to draw attention to his presidential campaign.

“At some point the political ambitions of individual members of the United States Senate are going to have to come second to the national security of the United States,” Earnest told reporters on Tuesday.

Paul’s efforts on Sunday delayed passage of the USA Freedom Act before the midnight deadline of the Patriot Act provisions, allowing him to claim victory.

But the Senate moved forward on the USA Freedom Act, a move welcomed by the White House as “an important—if late—step forward.”

“We call on the Senate to ensure this irresponsible lapse in authorities is as short-lived as possible,” the White House said.

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