McCain: Rand Paul’s Opposition To Patriot Act A ‘Fundraising Exercise’

Sen. John McCain, R-Az., walks to the Senate Chamber to begin a special session to extend surveillance programs, in Washington, Sunday, May 31, 2015. The Senate was unable to make a deal to extend contested anti-terr... Sen. John McCain, R-Az., walks to the Senate Chamber to begin a special session to extend surveillance programs, in Washington, Sunday, May 31, 2015. The Senate was unable to make a deal to extend contested anti-terror provisions and as a result, the post-Sept. 11 programs expired at midnight Sunday. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) MORE LESS
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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) lambasted Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) on Sunday for delaying the Senate’s vote to extend some provisions of the Patriot Act, allowing the National Security Agency’s power to collect American’s phone records in bulk to lapse.

“I know what this is about — I think it’s very clear – this is, to some degree, a fundraising exercise,” McCain said, according to Politico. “He obviously has a higher priority for his fundraising and political ambitions than for the security of the nation.”

McCain and his colleague Sen. Dan Coats (R-IN) also criticized Paul for skipping a Republican caucus meeting on the Patriot Act.

“Anything that goes against anything he believes, he never comes,” Coats told Politico. “It’s always helpful if you’re in there working to have your position understood, and we all learn a lot and we all try to come to a much better understanding of what we’re trying to do.”

Paul, who filibustered the bill last week, spoke again about his opposition to the NSA’s collection of phone records on Sunday night.

“People here in town think I’m making a huge mistake. Some of them I think, secretly want there to be an attack on the United States, so they can blame it on me,” he said on the Senate floor, according to The Hill.

Paul and McCain also sparred as Paul attempted to deliver a speech on the Senate floor. McCain objected twice when Paul attempted to speak, accusing the Kentucky senator of not knowing the rules.

“If the Senator from Kentucky doesn’t know the rules of the Senate yet, I’d be glad to instruct him if he’d seek out my counsel,” McCain later told reporters, according to Roll Call.

Paul was eventually permitted to speak.

“I’m not going to take it anymore,” he said about the NSA program, according to The Hill. “I don’t think the American people are going to take it anymore.”

Though the Senate allowed some of the NSA’s authorities to lapse on Sunday night, they advanced the USA Freedom Act passed by the House, which will likely see final approval in the Senate this week. The House bill extends portions of the Patriot Act and remakes the NSA’s bulk data collection program.

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Notable Replies

  1. "[Rand Paul] obviously has a higher priority for his fundraising and political ambitions than for the security of the nation."

    says the man who deemed Sarah Palin fit to be one melanoma away from the presidency

  2. Remember when he was running against Obama and claimed he had a way to end the wars, but wasn’t going to tell anyone until he was elected, just like Donald Trump is doing now?

  3. I know I won’t blame Obama if there is another attack. There is no one elseto blame other than an ineffective, do-nothing Congress. The leadership should have reined ths all in long ago and has failed to do so.

    Why we continue to re-elect these numbskulls is beyond me.

  4. McCain is right actually but if he thinks that he is the guy that everyone is looking to for truth and defense advice, then he’s just a delusional old man that got lucky.

    McCain ought to go away quietly and Paul ought to quit playing games in the Senate because he isn’t going to save the USA by selling paraphernalia.

    Bonus, if you knew how to spell paraphernalia without help.

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