Tags: Edward Snowden | Homeland Security | NSA/Surveillance | War on Terrorism | Ron Wyden | patriot act | filibuster

Sen. Ron Wyden: I'll Filibuster Patriot Act Renewal Without Reforms

By    |   Monday, 11 May 2015 03:16 PM

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon says that unless the reauthorization of the Patriot Act includes major reforms in light of the recent court ruling on the National Security Ageny's surveillance program, he will filibuster the measure.

Specifically, Wyden wants to see the provision that gives authority to the NSA to collect data on almost all U.S. phone calls brought to an end, he told MSNBC on Sunday.

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"The question will be, as you know, the Senate Republican leadership has been looking at a variety of ways to move forward to keep the bulk phone records collection program going," said Wyden, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"What usually happens is they say, 'Let's just have a short-term extension of it.' I'm tired of extending a bad law," he said.

"If they come back with that effort to basically extend this for a short term without major reforms like ending the collection of phone records, I do intend to filibuster," Wyden added.

The Patriot Act is set to expire on June 1, but a vote will need to happen before lawmakers take their Memorial Day week's break; i.e., sometime before May 22.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants to see the post-Sept. 11 law renewed. He does not support the USA Freedom Act, which would place limits on the NSA and which the House will likely vote on this week. There is an identical bill by a group of bipartisan lawmakers in the Senate as well.

The extent of the NSA phone collection section of the law was revealed by documents released by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden.

A federal appellate court ruled on Thursday that the portion of the Patriot Act that allows the NSA to engage in bulk data collection of Americans' phone records is illegal because it lacks congressional authority.

However, the court did not end the program because it is set to expire so soon, saying that it was "prudent" for Congress to address the issue.

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Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon says that unless the reauthorization of the Patriot Act includes major reforms in light of the recent court ruling on the National Security Ageny's surveillance program, he will filibuster the measure.
Ron Wyden, patriot act, filibuster, NSA
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2015-16-11
Monday, 11 May 2015 03:16 PM
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