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As you read this, Sen. Rand Paul is standing on the Senate floor, delivering an old-fashioned talking filibuster. He intends to stand until he can no longer speak.
Why would anyone put themselves through this? Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not allowing an open debate on amendments to the reauthorization of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, to stop bulk spying on innocent Americans.
When McConnell took over the Senate he said he was going to do things differently than Harry Reid. Reid was notorious for not allowing debate and ramming through bills without any meaningful discussion. But the Senate is meant to be a deliberative body. It is meant to be a more thoughtful, less reactionary counterpart to the House of Representatives. It is supposed to allow lengthy and thorough conversations on important policy issues, to make sure that bad laws are not enacted hastily.
McConnell is being a hypocrite. He is subverting the intent of the founding fathers and denying an open debate in the interest of pushing through bad legislation and having the appearance of "getting something done." It's bad leadership that results in bad policy.
Sen. Paul is protesting a bill that does not go far enough in protecting American privacy. He is asking for an end to bulk surveillance that is unconstitutional and ineffective. He is protesting the continuation of a tool that the intelligence community has said they don't even need. He is protesting a practice that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has said is illegal. This is the way that democracy is supposed to work. It's about senators being representatives of the people, not their overlords. This is exactly what FreedomWorks and Rand Paul are asking for in our lawsuit against the NSA. We have to hold these people accountable.
FreedomWorks commends Sen. Paul for his courage and convictions, and we urge all our members to contact their senators and ask them to Stand with Rand, again.