Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzAll hostages free, safe after hours-long standoff at Texas synagogue: governor Overnight Energy & Environment — Lummis holds up Biden EPA picks Equilibrium/Sustainability — Bald eagle comeback impacted by lead poison MORE (R-Texas) on Friday reiterated his support for a National Security Agency reform bill slated to hit the Senate floor next week.
Cruz is one of three Republican co-sponsors of the USA Freedom Act, which would end the government's bulk collection of phone records. He called the legislation essential to rein in what he described as the Obama administration's "extreme" position on U.S. privacy.
"One of the most troubling things we have seen in recent years is an expansion of federal government authority into surveilling American citizens. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of the USA Freedom Act," he said during a speech in Austin outlining his position on a number of technology issues.
Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) legislation would end the government's bulk collection and storage of phone records belonging to U.S. citizens — including call times, numbers and durations. It would also create new positions for privacy advocates to argue in front of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Cruz, along with Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), are the only Republican senators who have co-sponsored the legislation. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he opposes the bill in its current form because it does not go far enough.
During the speech, the Texas Republican referred to a 2012 Supreme Court case to highlight how "extreme the administration is" on the issue. In the case, that the Justice Department lost, the court unanimously ruled that law enforcement cannot track a suspect's car without a warrant.