An aide for Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says the senator will oppose the USA Freedom Act, a bill supporters believe reins in the National Security Agency’s metadata collection program. Paul and House opponents claim this bill does not tame the NSA effectively and also extends the Patriot Act, a law many civil libertarians consider problematic.
Paul’s aide spoke first with CNN’s Ashley Killough. “Sen. Paul does not feel that Sen. Leahy’s reforms go far enough. There are significant problems with the bill, the most notable being an extension of the Patriot Act through December 2017,” an aide told Politico’s Burgess Everett.
The USA Freedom Act passed the House in May by a vote of 303-121 and outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is moving to a vote as early as next week.
Sen. Paul seems to be taking a position similar to Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who said in May that the bill “claims to end bulk collection of ‘Americans’ data only in a very technical sense.”
An Amash spokesman told Rare then that there are “no new limits on collection programs” and even called the bill “a sham,” a surprising turn of events considering that Amash was one of the original cosponsors.