Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul announced via Twitter on Saturday that he plans to force the expiration of the Patriot Act, which will sunset on Sunday night if Congress fails to take action.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called a rare Sunday session in order to vote on the provision. However, Senate rules require unanimous agreement to expedite procedure, and Paul plans to refuse consent and run the clock down.
The portion of the Patriot Act most under fire in recent days relates to the provision that allows bulk data collection by the NSA — what Paul described in his statements on Saturday as “the NSA illegal spy program.” The Kentucky senator, who has made his opposition to the Patriot Act a forefront issue in his campaign, delivered an epic 10-hour speech on the Senate floor May 21 in protest of the legislation.
Paul insists he will accept no compromises in renewing or amending the Patriot Act. The House earlier this month passed the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would end the bulk collection of Americans’ metadata as allowed under the Patriot Act.
President Barack Obama in has pushed for the Senate to pass the bill this weekend and insisted that it is the best way to preserve the national security measures allowed under the Patriot Act while addressing the controversial portions.
Paul has argued that the USA Freedom Act merely extends the existing legislation. “He can likely prevent the bill from passing until Thursday, three days after the expiration of a law many argue is central to the nation’s security,” reports Politico.
See Paul’s full statement as rolled out in his tweets below: