Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill

Paul calls for filibuster of surveillance bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulThis week: Congress set for clash on Trump's border request Washington braces for Trump's next move on Iran Overnight Defense: Latest on Iran after Trump halts planed strike | Dems call Trump's approach 'erratic' | Key Republican urges Trump to retaliate | Esper reportedly getting Defense secretary nomination 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 AmashSupreme Court set to deliver ruling on census citizenship question Democrats seek to ban federal spending at Trump businesses DC theatre to host 11-hour reading of the Mueller report 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 TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates 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.