Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill

Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year Despite amnesty, DACA bill favors American wage-earners MORE (R-Ky.) on Thursday appeared to call for a filibuster to try and block a bill passed in the House that renews government surveillance powers. 

“No American should have their right to privacy taken away! #FILIBUSTER,” Paul tweeted.

The House voted Thursday morning to approve a bill that renews the National Security Agency's warrantless surveillance program, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, with a few small changes. The bill passed 256-164.

The House also rejected an amendment proposed by Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashOvernight Defense: House votes to renew surveillance program | More drones, troops headed to Afghanistan | Former officers urge lawmakers to curb Trump's nuclear powers Overnight Tech: House votes to reauthorize surveillance powers | Twitter on defensive after Project Veritas video | Senate panel to hold hearing on bitcoin Overnight Cybersecurity: House votes to renew NSA spying | Trump tweets spark confusion | Signs Russian hackers are targeting Olympics | Bannon expected to appear before House Intel panel MORE (R-Mich.) that would have placed new limits on when the NSA and other agencies can surveil Americans without a warrant.

Just a few hours before the vote, President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems flip Wisconsin state Senate seat Sessions: 'We should be like Canada' in how we take in immigrants GOP rep: 'Sheet metal and garbage' everywhere in Haiti MORE roiled lawmakers by sending out a tweet that appeared to contradict his own administration’s opposition to Amash's proposal, though he later clarified his stance.

The bill now heads to the Senate, which is expected to take up the measure before the surveillance program expires on Jan. 19.

Paul previously threatened to filibuster “any long term extension of warrantless searches of American citizens.”

Last month Paul put a hold on one of Trump’s Justice Department appointees over concerns regarding the nominee’s views on surveillance. 

The nominee, John Demers, had previously spoken favorably about Section 702 surveillance, which privacy hawks like Paul have argued provides a backdoor for authorities to surveil American citizens.