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May 23, 2015

Posts in "Rand Paul"

May 22, 2015

Rand Paul Pledges Another Patriot Act ‘Filibuster’ (Updated)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

McConnell is trying to cut a deal to extend the Patriot Act. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 9:24 p.m. | The Senate appeared to be lurching toward passing a short-term extension of existing surveillance authorities under the Patriot Act, despite insistence by the House that members on that side of the Rotunda wouldn’t be coming back before a June 1 deadline.

But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., indicated on Twitter that he has other ideas.

“Will be seeing everyone overnight it seems. My filibuster continues to end NSA illegal spying,” Paul said.

Shortly after that, his Kentucky colleague Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that unless there’s a deal, the next votes will be at 1 a.m. Saturday. That’s when pending cloture motions are scheduled to “ripen.”

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May 21, 2015

McConnell Says Senate Could Finish Friday ‘With Cooperation’ (Video)

The Kentucky senators are at odds on the NSA surveillance issue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky senators Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell might want to have a chat about the schedule. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The senior senator from Kentucky might need to have a little chat with the junior senator from Kentucky.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Thursday the Senate could finish its work on trade, Patriot Act surveillance authority and a highway patch by close of business Friday. That would let lawmakers make it to their home states well in advance of the Memorial Day parades.

But that would require “cooperation” that at this point is nowhere to be found, principally because of Sen. Rand Paul’s threat of maximum obstruction of any extension of the NSA’s surveillance powers. Full story

May 20, 2015

Just Before Midnight, Rand Paul Ends ‘Filibuster’ (Updated)

Rand Paul's "filibuster" led to a long day in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rand Paul’s “filibuster” led to a long day in the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated May 21, 7:18 a.m. | Sen. Rand Paul continued to speak until almost midnight — and his campaign operation continued to solicit fundraising dollars — on the most eventful day of waiting the Senate’s seen in a while.

By the time he yielded the floor after roughly 10 and a half hours, the Kentucky Republican had many colleagues join him on the floor. After finishing, Paul told a small gaggle of reporters who had stayed until the end that he seized an opportunity earlier in the day, and said he didn’t advise Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., before doing so.

“I didn’t tell him or anything because obviously if they block you from the floor, you can’t take the floor. So, I had to wait my turn and hope nobody would block me,” Paul said.

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As Many #StandWithRand, Edward Snowden Sits Alone

Rand Paul launched an attempt to filibuster an extension of NSA surveillance powers Wednesday, but doesn't back clemency for Edward Snowden, the contractor who exposed the scope of the programs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rand Paul launched an attempt to filibuster an extension of NSA surveillance powers Wednesday, but doesn’t back clemency for Edward Snowden, the contractor who exposed the scope of the programs. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

If time heals all wounds, then Edward Snowden needs more time to get right in Washington.

Snowden is exiled in Russia, having been charged with espionage and no sign that President Barack Obama will grant him clemency.

On Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul launched a long floor speech hoping to end the bulk data collection programs that Snowden exposed. Most of the bipartisan coalition of senators who aided Paul in relief did so while promoting a bill that would end one of the programs — the one collecting telephone metadata. And a few weeks ago, a federal court ruled the program violated the law.

But still, Snowden still sits alone. No senators on Wednesday said their perception of the former National Security Agency contractor had softened or changed since he two years ago leaked to the media data exposing the scope of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.

Comments around the Senate ranged from outright contempt to calling him a criminal whose actions may have led to some good. But no one defended him. Full story

Stabenow: Opponents ‘Have to Deal With’ Currency Amendment on Trade

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Stabenow is insisting on a simple majority vote on the currency amendment she cosponsored with Portman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Whenever the Senate’s able to vote to limit debate on the pending trade legislation, senators will still have to tackle a tough amendment about currency manipulation.

And the supporters of the amendment, led by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., about the inclusion of enforceable currency provisions in trade agreements, have no reason to make their proposal easier to defeat by agreeing to a 60-vote super majority threshold.

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Rand Paul Takes the Floor to Contest NSA Surveillance (Updated) (Video)

Paul toured Independence Hall on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul toured Independence Hall on Monday and vowed to “filibuster” an extension of the NSA’s surveillance powers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 2:44 p.m. | At approximately 1:18 p.m. Wednesday, Sen. Rand Paul took to the Senate floor for what’s best described as an extended oration about the Fourth Amendment.

Unlike Rand Paul’s filibuster of the choice of John O. Brennan to head up the Central Intelligence Agency in 2013, which was designed to protest the Obama administration’s use of drones, the Kentucky Republican isn’t really holding up Senate business this time since the chamber is sitting through an “intervening day.”

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May 18, 2015

Rand Paul Says He Has Votes ‘Outside the Beltway’ on NSA Surveillance

Paul has made standing up for the Fourth Amendment a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Paul has made standing up for the Fourth Amendment a cornerstone of his presidential campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

RollCall-On-the-Road-Logo(150x150)PHILADELPHIA — Standing on the lawn outside the landmark where the framers debated the Constitution, Sen. Rand Paul launched his newest Fourth Amendment campaign.

“Here in front of Independence Hall, I call for the president to obey the law. The court said last week that it is illegal to collect all of your phone records, all the time, without a warrant with your name on it,” Paul said. “I call on the president today to immediately end the bulk collection of our phone records.”

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May 17, 2015

McConnell Shrugs Off Paul’s NSA Surveillance Filibuster

The Kentucky senators are at odds on the NSA surveillance issue. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Kentucky senators are at odds on NSA surveillance as Paul contemplates a filibuster. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The split in the Kentucky Senate delegation over the government’s surveillance powers was on full display again Sunday on the morning news programs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told ABC’s This Week that while he agrees with his junior Republican colleague Sen. Rand Paul on most topics, the question of authorities for the National Security Agency to collect phone records under the Patriot Act is clearly not one of them.

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Rand Paul’s NSA Filibuster Vow Complicates Senate’s Memorial Day Getaway

Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell are on opposite sides of the NSA surveillance debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Kentucky’s senators are on opposite sides of the NSA surveillance debate. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Senate is supposed to be finishing up a six-week work period, but would lawmakers really leave for the Memorial Day recess without resolving the debate over National Security Agency surveillance?

For Sen. Rand Paul the answer is “yes,” because a lack of affirmative legislative action by the Senate by June 1 would mean the expiration of the authorities under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

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May 14, 2015

Mr. Cruz? Mr. Cruz? Presidential Contenders’ Missed Votes Pile Up

Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call Graphic

Ryan Kelly/CQ Roll Call Graphic

At least five senators are running, or thinking about running, for president. That means absences in the Senate are piling up. Full story

May 11, 2015

Senators See Bipartisan Momentum for Criminal Justice Overhaul

Proposals to overhaul the criminal justice system are piling up in Grassley's committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Proposals to overhaul the criminal justice system are piling up in Grassley’s committee. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senators’ plans for an overhaul of the criminal justice system are piling up in the Judiciary Committee — and the latest spate of officer-involved tragedies could give them a boost.

While many bills touching all aspects of criminal justice sit idly by, recent movement in the committee shows change could be coming. One bill seeks to review the entire criminal justice system, while another approved last month addresses recidivism; and a subcommittee is set to review body cameras for police officers.

But even as senators speak of change and bills pop up in the hopper, America can expect a slower, more measured response from the Senate.

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May 7, 2015

Paul’s Anti-NSA Push Is at Odds With McConnell’s Agenda (Updated) (Video)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

McConnell, right, has introduced a long-term extension of surveillance powers. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 12:34 p.m. | Sen. Rand Paul is calling the debate on an issue that puts him at odds with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell “a defining moment for our country.”

In a series of tweets, the junior Kentucky Republican declared he would do what was in his power to preclude reauthorization of expiring National Security Agency surveillance powers under the Patriot Act.

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April 29, 2015

Paul Seeks to Block FCC on Net Neutrality

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul has launched an effort that could get a bill to the White House to upend net-neutrality efforts.

The Kentucky Republican announced Wednesday he was proposing to use the Congressional Review Act to block the Federal Communications Commission from moving forward with regulating the Internet as a public utility.

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April 23, 2015

Leahy, Paul Honored Together as ‘Constitutional Champions’

Leahy and Paul were honored Wednesday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Leahy and Paul were honored Wednesday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Looking only at voting records, you wouldn’t expect Rand Paul and Patrick J. Leahy to share an award of any kind.

But the Kentucky Republican who’s running for president and the Vermont Democrat who is now the longest-serving senator gave remarkably similar policy speeches Wednesday evening. The remarks by the two senators to The Constitution Project’s annual awards gala highlighted the fact that on civil liberties issues, party labels aren’t representative of much.

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April 21, 2015

Rand Paul Calls GOP Hawks Obama ‘Lap Dogs’

 Paul, R-Ky., testifies during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "The Need to Reform Asset Forfeiture" on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Paul calls McCain and Graham “lap dogs” for Obama. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday he thinks fellow Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain are, in effect, “lap dogs” for President Barack Obama.

“If there’s anyone who is the most opposed to President Obama’s foreign policy, it’s me. And these people who call loudest to criticize me are great proponents of President Obama’s foreign policy. They just want to do it 10 times over. But I’m the only one actually standing up and saying, ‘The war in Libya was a mistake,'” the Kentucky Republican said on Fox News. “The bombing of Assad would make ISIS stronger. The arms to the Islamic rebels would make ISIS stronger.”

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