WASHINGTON – Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) joined Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) on the floor of the Senate Wednesday to call for a full debate and amendment process for House-passed USA Freedom Act.
“While the senator from Kentucky and I come to different conclusions with regard to specific question as to whether we should allow section 215 of the Patriot Act to expire,” Lee said. “I absolutely stand with the junior senator from Kentucky and more importantly I stand with the American people with regard to the need for a transparent and open amendment process and for an open and honest debate in front of the American people. ”
The USA Freedom Act, which passed the House by a landslide 338-88 vote earlier this month, would end the bulk collection of Americans’ private data under Section 215 of the Patriot Act while still providing our intelligence agencies the tools they need to track suspected terrorists in the United States.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said he will give the USA Freedom Act a vote, but he has not promised a fair debate on the bill that includes an open amendment process. Senator Paul will be speaking on the floor through Thursday morning calling on Senate leadership to allow votes on his amendments with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to the USA Freedom Act. Senator Lee fully supports these amendments getting votes.
“I agree with the junior senator from Kentucky that the American people deserve better than they are getting," said Lee. "And quite frankly it is time that they expect more from the United States Senate. This is not time for more cliffs, for more secrecy, and more 11th hour backroom deals. It’s time for the kind of bipartisan bicameral consensus that I believe is embodied in the USA Freedom Act.”