On Tuesday, Feb. 8, the House attempted to once again pass a renewal of provisions of the PATRIOT Act, some of whose original provisions have been found unconstitutional. These provisions up for renewal empower the federal government to violate the Fourth Amendment rights of our citizens. In a statement today, Sen. Rand Paul offered his opinion of the PATRIOT Act and how he will address it if it comes to the Senate.
"Last night, there was little debate, no committee hearings held, no amendments allowed, and no examination of whether our government had lived up to its responsibility to protect the liberty of the people. I commend the House for rejecting the renewal of the PATRIOT Act on these grounds," Sen. Paul said.
"The fight will continue in the House over the next week. It is likely that even with this temporary victory, the House will pass these extensions and send the PATRIOT Act renewal to the Senate. And when they do, I will oppose it," he continued.
"I do not say that lightly. I firmly believe it is a primary duty of our government to do what it can to protect the lives of its citizens. But I also believe it must in equal measure protect our liberty, and in this our government has failed us. We should remember the words of Ben Franklin, who famously said "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.'"
"It is time for Congress to stop quietly extending this law and avoiding a serious discussion about protecting all the rights of all Americans. I will insist the Senate allow debate and amendments as we consider this important legislation," he concluded.