Blumenthal, Wyden, Paul, Lee

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

Senator Blumenthal: (9:39 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "We make better decisions when we know the argument against what we're going to do, what we're going to think, what we're going to say. It's the genius of the American system of jurisprudence that judges listen to both sides in open court before they make a decision, and their rulings are public, they are evaluated, and judged themselves. Nine years after the FISA court's ruling in May of 2006, we continue to wrestle with the impact of the court's egregious, egregious error. But we cannot simply fix the mistake without fixing the court. We can't fix the system without remedying the process. Because that process is so broken it will make more mistakes not only predictable but inevitable."

 

Senator Wyden: (10:13 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "I have repeatedly pushed the intelligence agencies to publicly explain what they think the rules are for secretly turning Americans' cell phones into tracking devices. They have now said that the N.S.A. Is not collecting that information today, but they also say the N.S.A. May need to do so in the future, and general Alexander in particular failed in a public hearing to give straight answers about what plans the N.S.A. Has made in the past. Now, to be clear, I don't think the government should be electronically tracking Americans' movements without a warrant. What's particularly troubling to me is there's nothing in the patriot act in addition that limits this sweeping bulk collection authority to phone records. Government officials could use the patriot act to collect, collate, and retain medical records, financial records, library records, gun purchase records, you name it. Collecting that information in bulk in my view would have a very substantial impact on the privacy of ordinary Americans."

 

Senator Paul: (10:18 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "I think the American people are ready for it to end. The American people think the bulk collection of our records with a generalized warrant is a mistake and ought to end and I think we are working very hard and at this point our hope is that between your actions and my actions that hopefully leaders of your party and our party, my party, we will agree to allow amendments to the PATRIOT Act. The goal of being here today has been to say to not only to the American people but to say to the leadership on both sides and to all the members that we want an open amendment process, that the discussion of the fourth amendment is an important discussion, and that we shouldn't run roughshod over this by saying there's a limit and a deadline and we don't have time for debate and we'll put it off yet again."

 

Senator Lee: (10:42 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "With regard to the specific question of whether or not we should allow section 215 of the PATRIOT Act to expire in its entirety - I don't believe we need to do that. I would prefer that we pass the U.S.A. Freedom Act as passed by the House of Representatives by an overwhelming margin of 388-88 last week, while we disagree on that issue, I absolutely stand with you, Senator Paul, and I believe with the American people on the need for an open, transparent process and debate regarding this issue. And I also stand with you with regard to the belief that bulk metadata collection is wrong. It is not something that we can support, not something that the American people feel comfortable with, and that it's incompatible with the spirit if not the letter of the fourth amendment to the constitution of the United States, which we've all sworn an oath to uphold to protect and defend."