Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Adam B. Lerner / Politico – 2015-06-02 02:00:51
Senate Republicans, White House Blast Rand Paul Over Surveillance Opposition
Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com
(June 1, 2015) — The Senate is full of career politicians who know how to tow the party line. After last night’s failure to force through an extension of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, those politicians are blind with impotent rage, shaking their fists at Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) for not just going along to get along.
The official party line is that NSA surveillance is a good thing, and it apparently doesn’t matter to them that the polls show Americans strongly in Sen. Paul’s corner. The line is not to be challenged, and cannot possibly be wrong. That led Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) to accuse Paul of lying to raise money for his 2016 campaign.
Sen. Coats knows Paul can’t be right, because he disagrees with the party leadership. He complained Paul didn’t attend meetings on the NSA held by the party’s leaders to tell everyone how to vote. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) agreed, saying Paul’s opposition to the party line was a â€œfundraising exercise.â€
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is so unfamiliar with internal opposition he seemed at a loss to even process it, saying Paul had his opportunity to say his peace and that â€œnow is the timeâ€ for him and everyone else to vote the way the leadership wants.
The White House wants the bill passed too, and is likewise slamming Sen. Paul, accusing him of making America â€œless safe,â€ and blasting the Senate in general, warning them against any discussion of amendments to the extension that would make the debate take any longer, and insisting they just give the president what he wants immediately.
A vote is unavoidable, but that doesn’t mean the vote will go the way of the pro-surveillance crowd. We can still make a difference if we can convince enough Senators to vote against it.
You can find your Senator’s contact information here, and below is a list of the 10 most important Senators to focus on, along with their contact information. Others should be contacted as well, of course, to emphasize how much we, the American public, oppose the surveillance state.
Paul, Rand (R-KY)
167 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
King, Angus S., Jr. (I-ME)
133 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Enzi, Michael B. (R-WY)
379A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Kirk, Mark (R-IL)
524 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Cassidy, Bill (R-LA)
703 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Ayotte, Kelly (R-NH)
144 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Moran, Jerry (R-KS)
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Crapo, Mike (R-ID)
239 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Toomey, Patrick J. (R-PA)
248 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Boozman, John (R-AR)
141 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Poll: Americans Support Rand Paul’s
NSA Position over Mitch McConnell’s
Adam B. Lerner / Politico
(June 1, 2015) — While Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and allies in his party ostracize the junior Bluegrass State senator, Rand Paul, for opposing the Patriot Act, the American people lean far more towards Paul’s position than McConnell’s.
A new poll from Morning Consult found that 27 percent of respondents prefer allowing provisions that enable the National Security Agency to collect bulk data on Americans’ cell phones to expire, like the 2016 presidential contender Rand Paul. Only 12 percent agree with McConnell that the Patriot Act provisions should be extended as they were originally passed.
A plurality, 42 percent of respondents, believe the provisions that allow the NSA to collect so-called metadata should be extended with some modifications. This includes 41 percent of tea party supporters and 40 percent of millennials ages 18-29.
At midnight early Monday morning, the Patriot Act expired as lawmakers failed to reauthorize it in its original form.
Instead, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to end debate and bring to a vote a new bill called the USA Freedom Act that would curb some of the NSA’s bulk collection authority, but not end the practices entirely. The Senate is widely expected to take the new bill up again this week, though McConnell and his allies have said they will continue to lobby their colleagues to pass a new version of the original law.
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