Rand Paul threatens Patriot Act filibuster

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Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said in an interview published Monday that he will filibuster a reauthorization of provisions within the Patriot Act.

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"I'm going to lead the charge in the next couple of weeks as the Patriot Act comes forward," the GOP presidential candidate told the New Hampshire Union Leader. "We will be filibustering. We will be trying to stop it. We are not going to let them run over us. And we are going to demand amendments and we are going to make sure the American people know that some of us at least are opposed to unlawful searches." 

On Sunday, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said he would filibuster a short-term extension of the current provisions, which critics say give the government unreasonable surveillance powers.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) has said that he favors a full reauthorization of the measures, but other lawmakers say they would be willing to pass reform legislation.

A short-term extension would give lawmakers more time to sort out their differences beyond the current June 1 deadline for renewing the law.

A filibuster of the Patriot Act provisions could give Paul more visibility as the presidential campaign ramps up. He lists his opposition to the National Security Agency's surveillance programs on the homepage of his website and sells a “NSA Spy Cam Blocker” in his campaign store.

Paul has been behind notable filibusters in the past. He raised his profile in 2013 by filibustering the nomination of CIA Director John Brennan over America’s drone program.