Daines, Manchin, Coons, Tester

Vehicle for Trade Promotion Authority (H.R. 1314)

Senator Daines: (5:49 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "I stand here today with the people of Montana. I stand here today with my colleague from Kentucky. I stand here today with five members of the U.S. House who are seated in the back of the Senate chamber … You know, I think it's important that the Senate recognizes what the people's House did last week when they passed the U.S.A. Freedom Act. That vote was 338-88, and to suggest that this is just a small minority of congressmen and women that support the U.S.A. Freedom Act, this was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, the chairman of the Armed Services, the chairman of Homeland Security, amongst many others who want to ensure we strike the right balance between protecting the homeland and protecting our civil liberties."


Senator Manchin: (6:04 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "We must also balance that necessity with our constitutional rights. The N.S.A. bulk data collection program clearly did not strike that balance, and the District Court of D.C. and the Court of Appeals of the Second Circuit of the United States struck it down. The courts have made clear this program is not legal, and I understand Senator Paul and Senator Wyden's frustration with any suggestion that it be continued. I believe this bill, U.S.A. Freedom 2015 moves us in a positive direction, ends the bulk data collection program and ensures that the collection of data is related to a relevant, particular terrorist investigation. At the same time it still protects this country. The U.S.A. Freedom Act of 2015 replaces indiscriminate bulk collection and allows the government to collect call details of records on a daily basis if it can demonstrate to the FISA court a reasonable, articulate suspicion that its research term is associated with a foreign terrorist organization."


Senator Coons: (6:41 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "By protecting America's privacy and ensuring our government can still keep our nation safe. In fact, there are some who might argue that the U.S.A. Freedom Act would allow a stronger and more robust and more effective series of actions to keep our nation safe. I urge my colleagues to support it. I know these are difficult decisions for us to make and I know we all have concern about our nation's security, but we have to all have concerns about our nation's freedom."


Senator Tester: (6:47 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "Folks in Montana know that I've been an opponent of the Patriot Act since it was signed into law. Why? Because the Patriot Act violates law-abiding citizens' right to privacy, something we hold dearly in this country. Now, we don't need to make this country as secure as we possibly can. But we cannot do that at the expense of our constitutional rights. It's been talked about earlier today. A federal court recently ruled that the program is flat illegal. But keep in mind that the N.S.A. used the PATRIOT Act to authorize those data collections. Yet here in the United States Senate some of our colleagues think that we should reauthorize those expiring provisions without even having a debate on their merits. We've seen this before. It's happened several times since I've been here in the Senate, trying to jam an extension of the PATRIOT Act through the senate at the last minute. It is not fair to this body, and it's not fair at all to the American people. We deserve a real debate on privacy and security here in the United States senate."