Rand Paul begins hours long "filibuster" of Patriot Act

05/20/2015 04:52 PM

Taking to the U.S. Senate floor just after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul began to “filibuster” the Patriot Act and the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens under the program.

The issue over the surveillance program has been a key point in Paul’s campaign for president. In his speeches in early primary states and announcing his presidential bid from Louisville Paul says, “Our phone records are none of their damn business.”

“I remember having this debate about three years ago when we talked about the Patriot Act,” Paul said. “I was walking along talking to another senator and he was alarmed the Patriot Act would expire at midnight. ‘What would we do?’ And I was like, ‘Couldn’t we just for a couple hours, you know, live under the Constitution?’”

Paul is split with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on the issue. McConnell downplayed a Paul filibuster when on a Sunday morning show over the weekend.

The filibuster from Paul is under debate from some national Democrats as he began his talking filibuster before debate on a fast-track trade deal and not the re-authorization of the Patriot Act that will expire at the end of the month.

Still, Paul’s taken to the floor of the Senate and doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, had joined Paul on the floor of the Senate, saying that the Patriot Act will be debated before a vote, according to The Hill.

This is not Paul’s first talking filibuster. In March of 2013 Kentucky’s junior senator shook up Washington with a marathon talking filibuster on the U.S. drone program that lasted nearly 13 hours.


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