Texas Senator and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz praised fellow presidential candidate and Senator Rand Paul’s (KY) speech against the renewal of the Patriot Act on Wednesday.
Cruz began, “I would note he [Rand Paul] and I agree on a great many issues, although we don’t agree entirely on this issue, but I want to take the opportunity to thank the Senator from Kentucky for his passionate defense of liberty. His is a voice that this body needs to listen to.” And praised the prior work of Rand and his father, former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX).
He continued, “I think protecting the Bill of Rights is a fundamental responsibility of the federal government. And it is heartbreaking over the last six years that we have seen a federal government that not only fails to protect the Bill of Rights, but that routinely violates the constitutional liberties of American citizens, routinely violates the Bill of Rights.”
Cruz added, “It is the position of the Obama administration that the federal government has the full constitutional authority to track the location of every American citizen, no matter where we walk. That is a breathtaking assertion of power.”
Cruz later stated, “I am entirely in agreement with my friend, the Senator from Utah, that the right resolution of the issue before this body is for the United States Senate to pass the USA Freedom Act. I’m an original sponsor of that bipartisan legislation. The USA Freedom Act does two things. Number one, it ends the federal government’s bulk collection of phone metadata for law-abiding citizens. I am entirely in agreement with my friend, the Senator from Kentucky, that the federal government should not be collecting the data of millions of law-abiding citizens with no evidentiary basis to do so. It is long past time to end this program and the USA Freedom Act does so.” And “as my friend, the Senator from Kentucky, has so observed, the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent general warrants, designed to prevent the government from assuming that everyone in the country is automatically guilty and we will seize your information. Rather, the tools of law enforcement and national security should be particularized based on the facts and the evidence. That’s why I support the USA Freedom Act, because it accomplishes both goals. It protects our privacy rights and the Bill of Rights of law-abiding citizens, but it ensures we have the tools to prevent acts of terrorism.”
He also declared that a “clean re-authorization of the Patriot Act ain’t passing this body, and it certainly ain’t passing the House of Representatives.” And “I will say this, with my friend, the Senator from Kentucky, I entirely agree that he is fully entitled to introduce his amendments to that bill, that this body should engage in a full and open debate considering amendments, and the Senator from Kentucky should be able to propose reasonable commonsense improvements to the USA Freedom Act. We ought to debate them on the merits in a full and open process.”
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