Washington D.C.- Senator Rand Paul has declared victory over the NSA spy program reportedly authorized by Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
As we reported, late Sunday the National Security Agency (NSA) shut down its bulk data collection program as the PATRIOT Act expired thanks to Paul’s efforts. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell attempted to pass several bills that would temporarily extend the law’s expiring spying authorities but was blocked by Rand Paul, first through a perfectly-timed filibuster and then through additional procedural stalling tactics that pushed the timing of the vote past May 22, when senators were set to leave Washington DC for recess. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell scheduled a last-minute vote on May 31 in an effort to reauthorize the provisions prior to their expiration, but Senator Rand Paul objected to any votes on PATRIOT Act reauthorization bills or the USA FREEDOM Act, a house-passed bill that Congressman Justin Amash (R-MI) said would outsource NSA spying to corporations, until the Senate had sufficient time to debate, thus tabling the votes until Tuesday of this week at the earliest, forcing the PATRIOT Act to officially expire as of 12:01 EST Monday morning.
A new Washington Post article is now suggesting that Senator Paul slipping in Iowa because of this stance against the NSA’s program. The latest polling from Iowa shows Paul tied with Dr. Ben Carson for second place in Iowa at 10 percent apiece. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is the far-and-away frontrunner, however, reaching 17 percent.
In an interview with Breitbart News, Sen. Paul slammed establishment Republicans who have been supporting the program for years.
“I’ve been all over the United States in the last year, particularly in the last week or so when we’ve been talking just about the PATRIOT Act, and we get hundreds of people showing up at every stop who are all saying you know what, they don’t want President Obama to be collecting their phone records. So I find that not only is it the right position, it’s also a very popular position among Republicans—just not in the Washington establishment Republicans. But when you’re out there meeting with grassroots Republicans, the grassroots by and large think that President Obama went way too far with this illegal collection of our phone records.”