PATRIOT Act Expires
Senator Rand Paul posted this 13 hours ago on his Facebook:
“It’s 12:02…officially a new day in America. A day with more liberty and freedom!
Thanks to your help provisions that allowed bulk collection on innocent American citizens have expired.
This is a major victory for the Constitution.”
He was joined in jubilation with Congressman Justin Amash, who wrote:
“Goodbye, US PATRIOT Act.
Hello, U.S. Constitution.”
The Kentucky senator, however, might find a little tension as he continues his week in the Capitol. Many Republican senators believe that this was a publicity stunt for the presidential hopeful, and that his refusal to meet with the GOP caucus for an hour meeting shows that it is his way or the highway.
It is a little unfair to state that this is publicity, as Paul has been steadfast against the NSA even before he decided to run for president. Nevertheless, key senators such as Senator John McCain, Senator Dean Heller, Senator Tom Cotton, and Senator John Coats are not happy, and believe there should have been more meetings before Paul did everything he could to stop the PATRIOT Act renewal. Many lawmakers believe that the NSA phone monitoring is a crucial part to prevent terrorism, but Paul states that these are not hand in hand, and that Americans should not sacrifice privacy for safety.
Senator Rand Paul has gone as far to say that it is almost like his colleagues want a terrorist attack to prove him wrong. Paul, however, has stated that this issue is about the Constitution, which was issued by our Founding Fathers to protect individual rights.
If anything shows the separation within the party, against the old guard and the new, it was the Senate floor last night where senators interrupted each other, and many directly criticized Senator Rand Paul for disrupting terrorism preventative measures. Ironically, Senator McConnell, who relied heavily on Senator Rand Paul’s popularity to win his election last November, also turned against him and objected his political tactics.
Paul, who vows he is standing with Americans and not his colleague in the Senate, did not back down. His Facebook post shows his pride in his victory, and he clearly views this as a landmark moment in history.
Many voters want a change in the Republican Party, and this could not be more illustrated than Paul stepping away from the old and into the new. Paul has the most followers on social media, and is a popular candidate for millennials. Many people want change in Washington, and with this last week, they may think they have found it in Senator Paul.