Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill

Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulBooker, Harris have missed most Senate votes Trump vetoes measure ending US support for Saudi-led war in Yemen Bottom line 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 AmashBipartisan group asks DHS, ICE to halt deportations of Iraqi nationals Overnight Defense: House votes to end US support for Yemen war | Vote expected to force Trump's second veto of presidency | More Russian troops may head to Venezuela | First 'Space Force' hearing set for next week House ignores Trump veto threat, approves bill ending US support for Yemen war 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 TrumpTrump calls Sri Lankan prime minister following church bombings Ex-Trump lawyer: Mueller knew Trump had to call investigation a 'witch hunt' for 'political reasons' The biggest challenge from the Mueller Report depends on the vigilance of everyone 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.