McConnell (UC), Paul

MTP to USA Freedom Act (H.R. 2048)

Senator McConnell: (6:14 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "I tried to get a short-term extension of three provisions that will expire at midnight tonight. Section 215 business records, section 206 roving wiretap authority and the lone wolf provision. Unfortunately, those efforts were unsuccessful. The lone wolf and roving wiretap provisions, however, are not, I repeat, not the subject of controversy with the House bill. So I would propose that we extend at least the lone wolf and the roving wiretap authorities while we continue to litigate the differing views on section 215. More specifically, I would propose that we extend those two provisions, lone wolf and roving wiretaps for up to two weeks."
  • Unanimous Consent –
    • The Senate proceed to the immediate consideration of a bill to extend the expiring provisions related to lone wolf and roving wiretaps for two weeks.
    • The Senate pass the bill.
  • (Senator Paul objects)


Senator Paul: (6:16 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "One of the promises that was given when the PATRIOT Act was originally passed was that in exchange for allowing a less than constitutional standard … We found 99% of the time section 213 is used for domestic crime. I believe that no section of the patriot act should be passed unless our targets are terrorists, not Americans."


Senator McConnell: (6:17 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "Last week I proposed giving the Intelligence Committee the time it would need to work toward the bipartisan legislative compromise Americans deserve. A compromise that would preserve important counterterrorism tools that are necessary to protect American lives. That effort was blocked. Just now, I proposed an even narrower extension that would have only extended some of the least controversial, least controversial, but still critical tools to ensure they do not lapse as senators work towards a more comprehensive legislative outcome. But even that very narrow offer was blocked. I think it should be worrying for our country because the nature of the threat we face is very serious. It's aggressive, it's sophisticated, it's geographically disperse, and it's not - not - going away … And so it essentially leaves us with two options. Option one: allow the program to expire altogether without attempting to replace it. That would mean disarming completely and arbitrarily based on a campaign of disinformation in the face of growing, aggressive, and sophisticated threats. Growing, aggressive, and sophisticated threats. That's a totally unacceptable outcome. Completely and totally unacceptable outcome. So we won't be doing that. And so we're left with option two. The House-passed bill. It's certainly not ideal. But along with votes on some modest amendments that attempt to ensure the program can actually work as promised, it's now the only realistic way forward."