Big Government is at it again. What are they doing, might you ask? Expanding the Patriot Act. Yes – you read that correctly. The Patriot Act‘s almost fourteen year tenure as one of the most intrusive pieces of legislation since Hammurabi’s Code is not enough for those who wish to expand the Government’s reach.
Unfortunately for party line voters both Democrats and Moderate Republicans are pushing the big government agenda. This showdown is heating up, just in time for the run up to the 2016 election.
Senator Tom Cotton (R) is at the forefront of the push to expand the Patriot Act. On the other side of the battle, Tea Party Republican and Presidential hopeful, Senator Rand Paul (R – KY) and other libertarian leaning Republicans stand against him.
The 37-year-old Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, who vaulted to the Senate this year after a single term in the House, is maneuvering to build support for extending existing surveillance authority for the U.S. government — without the additional safeguards civil libertarians want.
The Arkansas senator, who caused an international firestorm last month with his controversial letter to Iranian leaders, has spent many recent Fridays in Washington at FBI and National Security Agency headquarters, meeting with senior intelligence officials and administration lawyers to build his case for a clean extension of three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. With the support of GOP leaders, he’s serving as an emissary on the issue to GOP freshmen who are weighing whether to extend the controversial law. And he is seeking to sell his views on surveillance to Republicans from libertarian-minded states through classified briefings conducted by senior intelligence officials.
The emergence of Cotton, an unbending hawk celebrated by neoconservatives as a next-generation party leader on national defense, shows how intent Republican leaders are to prevail over the Paul wing of the GOP. Libertarian-leaning Republicans want to scale back — if not repeal — the Patriot Act before key provisions are set to expire May 31.
The Tea Party movement is looking to allow parts of the Patriot Act to expire this year. Other Republicans will only allow the un-Patriotic Act to be renewed if the NSA’s domestic spying – uhh…surveillance program is restricted. The expiring provisions cover surveillance against ‘lone wolves’ and specific wiretaps known as roving wiretaps.
What are your thoughts on the Patriot Act – should the Tea Party allow it to be extended? Will a vote one way or another disqualify candidates from receiving your future support?