This is exactly why I said we’ll see if Harry Reid really will allow Rand Paul to bring amendments up when the Patriot Act extension bill comes before the Senate. The vote has not been taken yet on the extension of the Patriot Act, call your Senators now at the senate switchboard 202-224-3121 and ask them to vote NAY on the extension of the pact.
Reid Preempts Paul, Slips Patriot Act in Small Business Bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has circumvented a call by the newly elected senator from Kentucky, Rand Paul, to debate the Patriot Act.
In order to prevent a filibuster, Reid performed “some procedural gymnastics,” according to Fox News, and slipped Patriot Act language into a House small business bill that is considered filibuster-proof.
In doing so, Reid has skirted objections to the bill led by Paul and has moved closer to extending the Patriot Act without debate. Democrats have applauded this effort to rush the extension into law without debate.
“The suggestion that the extension should be debated fueled considerable opposition, particularly from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D – CA), who insisted it would be a ‘huge mistake’ to debate the bill and might threaten national security,” writes Jason Ditz.
On Monday, Paul went on the floor of the Senate and argued against the extension. He introduced the Leahy-Paul amendment which would have National Security Letters expire on December 31, 2013. It also requires the Justice Department inspector general to audit the issuance of NSL letters and expands public reporting on the use of such letters under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
The National Security Letter provision of the Patriot Act directly assaults the Fourth Amendment. It expands the FBI’s authority to demand personal customer records from Internet Service Providers, financial institutions and credit companies without prior court approval.