The announcement of an attempt to speed through so called NSA reform legislation in the Senate came as a surprise to many this week. While some rights groups are applauding the effort, Senator Rand Paul says he will not support the bill because it doesn’t go far enough.
The bill, written by Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy and supported by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), purports to reign in NSA’s ability to monitor the communications of Americans.
However, Paul says it is too weak and notes that it will in fact extend the sunset clause on the Patriot Act, the very legislation under which the NSA has justified mass domestic spying.
“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,” a Paul aide said Friday.
The aide noted that Paul would consider supporting the legislation only if the Patriot Act provision was removed, and the reforms strengthened to properly restrict the NSA from carrying out bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.
The legislation, loosely known as the USA Freedom Act, would have to pass both the Senate and the House of Representatives by the end of the year to become law.
Critics have suggested that while the legislation is a step in the right direction, it does not close all the loopholes on bulk call data collection. A watered-down version of the bill passed the House in May.
Rand Paul still has a lawsuit pending against the federal government regarding the NSA metadata collection.
Meanwhile, it seems that Paul is preparing to announce a decision to run for President in 2016. Paul’s supporters, aides and advisors gathered Wednesday at a hotel in Washington.
Reports indicate that campaign planning is already in the advanced stages, and Paul gave “optimistic remarks that left little doubt about his intentions.” Aides are thought to be 95% sure that the Senator will announce a presidential run in March.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.