Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill

Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulWatchdog calls for probe into Gohmert 'disregarding public health guidance' on COVID-19 Massie plans to donate plasma after testing positive for COVID-19 antibodies After trillions in tax cuts for the rich, Republicans refuse to help struggling Americans 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.

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The House also rejected an amendment proposed by Rep. Justin AmashJustin AmashKudlow acknowledges executive orders may end up in court: 'We're going to go ahead with our actions anyways' Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Peter Meijer wins GOP primary in Amash's Michigan district 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 TrumpNew Bob Woodward book will include details of 25 personal letters between Trump and Kim Jong Un On The Money: Pelosi, Mnuchin talk but make no progress on ending stalemate | Trump grabs 'third rail' of politics with payroll tax pause | Trump uses racist tropes to pitch fair housing repeal to 'suburban housewife' Biden commemorates anniversary of Charlottesville 'Unite the Right' rally: 'We are in a battle for the soul of our nation' 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.