Leahy, Coats, McCain, Paul, Recess

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

Senator Leahy: (4:12 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "The irony of it is the U.S.A. Freedom Act of 2015 is a carefully crafted bipartisan compromise that both protects America's privacy but also keeps this country safe. Before they talk about we're going to keep the country safe, but America's privacy not so much. This is a bill that does both. The legislation would end the N.S.A. bulk collection of America's phone records. It has significant new reforms that would limit government surveillance, to increase transparency, but also promote greater accountability and oversight, something the PATRIOT Act did not have. And the bill is the product of countless hours of painstaking negotiations with key members of both Republicans and Democratic parties in the House and Senate, men and women I respect so much because they want to do what's best for the country, they negotiated with the N.S.A., the F.B.I., the Justice Department. Privacy and civil liberties group, the technology industry, other key stakeholders, brought everybody together."
  • Spoke on Beau Biden.
    • "Marcel and I have known Beau Biden since he was a child. I'm the longest-serving member of this Senate. When I came here, there was one senator who was one term senior to me. That was Joe Biden. I knew the tragedy his family had gone through, and I cherished time, with his office near mine, when his sons Beau and Hunter would be there with him. I watched them grow up. I saw Beau Biden become the epitome of what a, what a state's attorney general should be. That's a model that all attorneys general throughout the country could have followed."


Senator Coats: (4:30 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    •  "I didn't come here to do that and this Senate didn't come here to do that and we will not do that, and that's why this program has more oversight than any other program in the entire United States government, and we will put more oversight on there if that's necessary. I'll stay up all night and stand over the N.S.A. and make sure they're not listening to your phone call. But it's irresponsible, it is misrepresentation, irresponsible misrepresentation to factually state a falsity and not tell the truth, and it's time we told the truth and it's time we stood up to this thing and made sure that we're doing everything we can to protect Americans from threats. A lot of people and a lot of organizations that want to kill us all, that would like to see our heads on the chopping block. And this is real in our country as people not only flock back from Syria trained by ISIS but they inspire people here to pick up weapons and do and harm the American people."


Senator McCain: (4:54 PM)

  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "ISIS has taken Palmyra. They are in the streets burning bodies, killing people, going to destroy 2,000-year-old antiquities. At the same time, Ramadi has fallen with thousands of innocent men, women and children being massacred. And at this time isn't this program as critical as it's ever been since its inception, given the fact that the Middle East is literally on fire and we are losing everywhere?"


Senator Paul: (4:59 PM)

  • Spoke on the Senate schedule.
    • "The time couldn't have been divided equally because somebody must have given one side more time than the other. The presiding officer: The five minutes of time that was allotted to the Democrat side was unused and it was divided at 23 minutes apiece. Mr. Paul: Mr. President, I was here for 30 minutes of the Republican side speaking. I sat in my seat for 30 minutes. It was not 23 minutes of equally divided time."
  • Spoke on the National Security Agency.
    • "Let us be very clear why we're here this evening. We are here this evening was this is an important debate. This is a debate over the Bill of Rights. This is a debate over the fourth amendment. This is a debate over your right to be left alone. Justice Brandeis said that the right to be left alone is the most cherished of rights. The right to be left alone is the most prized to civilized men. Let us be clear, we are here tonight because the president continues to conduct an illegal program. The president has been rebuked by the court, the president has been told in explicit terms, the president has been told that the program he is conducting is illegal."


The Senate stands in recess subject to the call of the chair.