Paul, Wyden, Lee, Heinrich

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

Senator Paul: (1:18 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "The second-highest court in the land has said this is illegal and the president does nothing. The president says to Congress, oh, yeah, I'll do it if Congress will do it. Well, it's a bit disingenuous, Mr. President. The PATRIOT Act, according to records doesn't even justify this. We're looking at telephone records, we're looking at e-mail records. Epic, Electronic Privacy Information Center, has another big complaint about this, that people were put forward and then told that they couldn't even talk about the fact that they had been given a warrant. They were threatened with five years in prison for even mentioning that they had been served a warrant. This is in obvious contradiction to the first amendment. So we have legislation that contradicts the fourth and the first amendment. The national security letters in three years, from 2003 to 2005 - these are the warrants that are written by F.B.I. agents, not written by a judge - there was 143,000 warrants given out in our country to Americans without a warrant written by the police."

 

Senator Wyden: (3:42 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "I've seen several of my colleagues come to the floor of the Senate talking about why we ought to keep bulk phone record collection. And the statement has somehow been that this is absolutely key for strong counter-terror. That is a baffling assertion, I would say to my colleague from Kentucky, because even the director of national intelligence and the attorney general are saying that it isn't. So what we have is members of the Senate saying that bulk collection, some of them, ought to be preserved in order to fight terror, and the director of national intelligence and the attorney general, two individuals who are not exactly soft on terror, saying that it's not. Now, if senators and those who might be following this debate are seeking a more detailed analysis, I hope that they'll check out the very lengthy report on surveillance that was issued by the president's review group."

 

Senator Lee: (4:27 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "This type of dragnet operation is incompatible with our legal system, it's incompatible with hundreds of years of Anglo-American legal precedent, it's incompatible with the spirit, if not the letter, of the United States constitution, and it's not something that we should embrace. At the end of the day, we need to do something with this program. Not everyone in this chamber agrees on what that something is and not everyone in this chamber who believes that we need reform, who believes that the N.S.A.'s program of bulk metadata collection is wrong, agrees on the same solution. But the way for us to get to a solution must involve open, transparent debate and discussion and it absolutely should involve an open amendment process."

 

Senator Heinrich: (4:59 PM)

  • Spoke on the PATRIOT Act.
    • "The president has asked Congress to give him additional authorities so that he can carry out the program in an effective manner and the U.S.A. Freedom act seeks to do just that. Now, the Republican-led House of Representatives last week passed that bill, the U.S.A. Freedom Act, by a vote of 338-88, with large majorities from both parties. At a time when everyone believes we agree on nothing, large majorities of Republicans and Democrats supported that legislation. And further, the second circuit court of appeals ruling that the N.S.A. is violating the law by collecting millions of Americans ' phone records, is even more proof that we've gone too far and need to recalibrate and in my view, refocus our efforts. Why are not Earth, I would ask you, why on Earth would we extend a law that this court has found to be illegal?"