Democrats Threaten To Kill The Patriot Act’s Domestic Spying Programs With Filibuster


Democrats and libertarian-leaning Republicans have unified around the common goal of killing some of the Patriot Act’s worst domestic spying programs with a filibuster.

Politico reported on the fact that key parts of the Patriot Act are set to expire with no deal in sight:

The prospects of a deal look grim: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday night proposed just a two-month extension of expiring PATRIOT Act provisions to give the two sides more time to negotiate, but even that was immediately dismissed by critics of the program.


The Senate is stalemated. McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) want to prolong the authorities for 5½ years untouched. But libertarian-leaning Republicans and Democrats are threatening to let the authorities expire. Just extending them a few months faces long odds of clearing Congress before the break.

“I’m going to filibuster. I’m going to do everything it takes to block a short-term extension,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). He and Paul (R-Ky.) have threatened to filibuster any attempt to prolong the bulk collection program.

There is broad support for the USA Freedom Act, which is a bill of modest reforms, but McConnell and other spying hawks want a five and a half year extension of the full Patriot Act that is unlikely to happen.

Democrats and their Republican allies on this issue can win by doing nothing. They are never going to pass a two-month extension of the program, and they are definitely not going to pass McConnell’s plan.

The Patriot Act is one of the ugly living legacies of the post-9/11 Bush years. It is a horrible piece of civil liberties violating legislation that was hurriedly passed in the panic after 9/11. Some Republicans have already started to trot out the scare rhetoric of the terrorists coming to kill us all if the NSA loses its illegal data collection programs, but the tide has finally turned.

Most Americans are ready to put their liberties ahead of fear. Getting rid of some of the most egregious programs in the Patriot Act would not only restore freedom. It would also be the first steps towards removing another ugly stain that was left behind by George W. Bush.

10 Replies to “Democrats Threaten To Kill The Patriot Act’s Domestic Spying Programs With Filibuster”

  1. It’s well past time for Congress to act on getting rid of the Patriot Act abortion.

    You Cons claim you’re for Smaller Government!

    Prove it!

  2. Wow something I agree with Rand Paul on. I guess he’s been too outspoken of his toughts on the issue to change them now. I bet ole Mitch is about as happy on this subject as he was when Randy lent him his criminal campaign manager.

  3. Just 1 thing, does anybody out here think that the NSA actually cares about the law? They’ll kill the code name and slip the whole mess into another black program and keep right on going. No agency ever gave up the money it must be costing us to run the metadata program.

  4. I really don’t see why people are so upset because every time you log on corporations know more about you than you know about yourself and nothing is ever said about that

  5. It just amazes me that people can scaremonger about some unlikely terrorist threat and completely ignore the real negative consequences of climate change. All I can say is “Glub, glub, bubble, gasp”!

  6. I’m looking and looking for the George Stephanopoulos $75,000 Clinton Foundation story, but I can’t find it! Maybe later tonight, I’ll keep looking…

  7. You hitting it out the ball park today. I would take it a little bit further. If they want to impress me, then they need to stop blocking of closing Gitmo.
    Which EVERY democrat in the senate and the house have voted to keep the illegal prison open and block every attempt to either to transfer the prisoner to federal prison facility and closing Gitmo. And this include Sanders, Brown, Boxer, Black caucus, progressive caucus..
    So excuse me, if I’m not impress.

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