McConnell (UC), Reid, Leahy

USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 2048)

Senator McConnell: (3:04 PM)

  • Unanimous Consent –
    • The cloture motion on the motion to proceed to H.R. 1735, the National Defense Authorization Act, be withdrawn.
    • Wednesday, June 3 at 11:00 AM, the Senate proceed to the consideration of H.R. 1735, and Senator McCain be recognized to offer amendment #1463, the text of which is identical to S. 1376, the Armed Services Committee reported NDAA bill.
    • The time until 2:30 PM be for debate only and equally divided.
  • (Without objection)


Senator Reid: (3:05 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Defense Authorization Act.  
    • "We want to help move things forward. But I also want to be clear. We're not going to require a vote to move forward on the defense authorization bill, but everyone should be aware the president said he will veto this bill. It's got all this strange funding in it, the OCO funding, funding which my Republican colleagues railed against on previous occasions and now they're using it. We have grave concerns about this bill. Unless it's changed, I repeat, the president will veto it, and I hope there is some significant changes in the bill while it's here on the floor so that we can help vote to get it off the floor. So based upon that, I do not object."


Senator Leahy: (3:48 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "We worked for two years across the aisle and across the Capitol. I don't know how many meetings Senator Lee and I and others have had. And now the Senate is finally poised to pass the U.S.A. FREEDOM Act and send it to the president for his signature. It is much-needed reform for government surveillance authority. It will end the bulk collection of America's phone records. It will increase transparency. It will improve oversight. Most importantly, help restore America's privacy, all the while ensuring the intelligence community has what they need. I'm proud to have done this. I have fought to protect the privacy and constitutional rights of Vermonters and all Americans."


Senator McConnell: (3:49 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "Today the Senate will vote on whether or not we should take one more tool away from those who defend this country every day. The ability of a trained analyst under exceedingly close supervision and only with the approval of the foreign intelligence surveillance court to query a database of call data records based on reasonable, articulable suspicion. No content, no names, no listening to phone calls of law-abiding citizens. None of that is going on. We're talking about call data records. And these are the providers' records, which is not what the fourth amendment speaks to. It speaks to the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects. But these records belong to the phone companies. Let me remind the Senate the standard for reasonable, articulable suspicion is that the terror suspect is associated with a, "Foreign terrorist organization" as determined by a court. Nobody's civil liberties are being violated here … I cannot support passage of the so-called U.S.A. FREEDOM Act. It does not enhance the privacy protections of American citizens, and it surely undermines American security by taking one more tool from our war fighters, in my view, at exactly the wrong time."


Senator Reid: (4:00 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "My friend, the majority leader, he's concerned, as he should be, about why the country's less secure, especially in the last couple of weeks. He should look in the mirror. We have a situation where he's trying to divert attention from what has gone on here. It was as if there had been a big neon sign flashed saying you can't do highway reauthorization, you can't do FISA reauthorization and you can't do trade in four or five days. To do this right, you should have spent some time on FISA, and because of the mad rush to do trade, that didn't happen. So today to try to divert attention from what I believe has been a miscalculation by the majority leader, it's making this country less safe. Every day that goes by, with the FISA bill not being reauthorized, is a bad day for our country. It makes us less safe."