Rand Paul sounds off on own GOP leadership
May 26th, 2011
02:48 PM ET
12 years ago

Rand Paul sounds off on own GOP leadership

Washington (CNN)–Freshman Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who angrily squared off with the top Senate Democrat Wednesday, turned his sights on his own party’s leaders Thursday, accusing them of preventing a vote on his amendment to the Patriot Act that would require government investigators to get a court order before reviewing people’s gun ownership records.

The stand off had threatened to cause key post-9-11 anti-terrorism surveillance tools to lapse for several hours past midnight when those provisions of the law are set to expire.

Republican leaders ultimately relented and agreed to allow votes on Paul’s proposals. In spite of the struggle, the amendments were overwhelmingly rejected and the Patriot Act was approved and sent to the House for a final vote.

Earlier, in a rare public rebuke of his Senate leadership, Paul told CNN he was “disappointed” by their actions and urged people to contact GOP leadership offices in protest.

“I’ve been working for two long days filibustering the Patriot Act in hopes that we can have a constitutional debate over certain provisions of it and we can try to reform it to take away some of the encroachments on our freedoms,” Paul said in an interview.

“Unfortunately, what we’re finding now is that the Democrats have agreed to allow me to have amendments but my own party is refusing to allow me to debate or present my amendments.”

The Kentuckian, who was elected with the backing of the Tea Party movement, said he wanted the American people to press GOP leaders to allow a vote.

“If you believe that your gun records should be private and they shouldn’t be opened and sifted through by unknown bureaucrats without a judge’s warrant than you should call your Republican leadership in Washington and tell them you’re unhappy,” he said.

Paul said he believed Republicans leaders didn’t want a vote on his amendment because they were conflicted by it. On one hand, he said, they didn’t want to vote to weaken the Patriot Act by making it more difficult for law enforcement to obtain any information – including gun records - related to a terrorism investigation. On the other hand, they didn’t want to take a vote that will be potentially viewed negatively by gun rights groups.

Late in the day, shortly after an agreement was announced, Senate aides released a letter from the National Rifle Association in which the influential gun group said it decided not to take a position on the amendment.

Filed under: Harry Reid • Patriot Act • Rand Paul • Senate
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. s kel

    Dont compermise,work with, placate, or give into any rebublican agenda at all. They hate anyone but them power,they lie, they use and hate most americans. The best to do with them is vote them out, just get rid of them.

    May 26, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. debby

    Why is,nt Mr.Rand Paul wearing a "Patriot" uniform? Imagine what that would look like? You don,t look presidential,your a "Break the Bank " for mainstreet Americans,and you don,t like the poor? Ah, your a good choice for the Gop Greed Patrol! There,s plenty of "Crazies" out there,they love ya? YOUR ALL LABELED- MIDDLECLASS ROBBER BARONS! Obama 2012

    May 26, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  3. Republican Robber Baron

    Thank you Senator Rand. Enjoy your rare moment of praise from me. In certain cases Libertarians and Liberals are in 100% solidarity. Thank you for having the backbone to stand-up against the horrible Patriot Act and the assault on our Civli LIberties.
    Please abolish the Patriot Act Police State.

    May 26, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Roscoe

    What a tool

    May 26, 2011 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  5. Knucklehead

    My gun records are sacrosanct, but they can listen in to my phone calls when they want? Look at my library records? Suspend Habeas Corpus? Anything else but my gun records?

    May 26, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Knucklehead

    I thought that was Dennis Quaid...

    May 26, 2011 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Rand from VA

    Thank you Rand Paul. The Patriot Act really is an affront to our Bill of Rights. Thank you for standing up for the Due Process for the citizens of the United States. This fear-mongering that getting a court order for searching and seizing evidence would somehow prevent a terrorist from being caught is completely false and needs to change. Keep being a thorn in the side of Republicans.

    May 26, 2011 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Go home Rand Paul, Washington isn't your private club in Kentucky, you're no more than a spoiled brat in need of attention.

    May 26, 2011 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. herpderples

    FACT: Rand Paul sticks to his principles.

    So few in Washington are willing to fight this disgusting violation of our 4th amendment rights.

    May 26, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  10. herpderples

    Also, inb4 people who haven't even listened to what Rand has to say ridicule him.

    May 26, 2011 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    This guy Rand Paul scares the hell out of me,.. there is something sinister in his persona, evil in his eyes, and hate written all over his face.

    May 26, 2011 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. J-Ren

    I'm curious as to why gun records deserve a special exemption...

    May 26, 2011 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. GrogInOhio

    I find it startling and disturbing that I'm in agreement with Rand Paul about the infringement of civil liberties by the inaptly named Patriot Act. Yikes...

    May 26, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. ART

    The patriot act went to far as far as I'am concerned but this one part about gun ownership is the only thing I have no issue with. Why should a court order be necessary to see whether a gun is legal or not? This idiot Rand scares me, he s more radical than his decrepit father

    May 26, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. Peggy - TX

    "Records should be private " Paul says, but why? Who are you protecting? My best guess is the only person being protected by keeping this info private are folks that horde guns becasue they are nuts and one day may go postal in a big and scary manner and those that illegally sell them to criminals such as the Mexican Crime Organizations; Otherwise, why would some one care. I personally would like out Government to be able to detect a potential problem and be able to at least interview the person to see if thier gun facination is ligitimate.

    May 26, 2011 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. NVa Native

    All these teapends crowd acting like they have a clue about what is in the Constiution and in the same breath supporting the illegal The Patriot Act. We don't need any more evidence of how screwed up the GOP/tea-baggers are? Please just head back to your caves.

    May 26, 2011 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. bearced

    Typicall republican leadership; more freedom, smaller government, unless it is something we like. The patriot Act infringes to deeply on the rights of private citizens, but since Bush and the Republican congress wrote it they cannot bear to change it.

    May 26, 2011 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  18. herpderples

    Ugh, the ignorance of these posts. Rand Paul IS for required warrants for ALL searches/wire taps. This is not about the second amendment as some would have you believe. It is about the fourth.

    May 26, 2011 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  19. Bert in UT

    Paul is so far right he has wrapped back around to the left and supports protecting the privacy of our personal information over "big brother" trampling rights in the name of counter terrorism. It won't be worth much to prevent terrorism at the cost of our personal freedoms and privacy. Wonderful to see the far right and the left connect on something.

    May 26, 2011 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
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