Paul Vows Opposition to PATRIOT Act Bill

Posted February 9, 2011 at 2:30pm

Leaders who had hoped to clear a USA PATRIOT Act extension this week now have tea party trouble on both sides of the Capitol.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) vowed Wednesday to demand debate and amendments on the extension should the House pass it and send it to the Senate. He plans to oppose it in its current form, arguing that it violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition unreasonable searches and seizures.

Paul also rebuked House Republican leaders for their method of bringing the bill to the floor Tuesday.

“Last night, there was little debate, no committee hearings held, no amendments allowed, and no examination of whether our government had lived up to its responsibility to protect the liberty of the people,” Paul said in a statement.

The measure narrowly failed to get the two-thirds majority required under suspension of the rules, with most Democrats and 26 Republicans combining to bring down the bill.

“I firmly believe it is a primary duty of our government to do what it can to protect the lives of its citizens,” Paul said. “But I also believe it must in equal measure protect our liberty, and in this our government has failed us.”