Rand Paul has been vocal opponent of the Patriot Act. In fact, he held up voting on the measure in the Senate in order to make a point and introduce amendments. And on the floor of the Senate yesterday, he laid out his position in a passionate speech.
Paul eventually agreed to let the bill go forward after he was given a vote on two amendments to rein in government surveillance powers. Both were soundly defeated. The more controversial, an amendment that would have restricted powers to obtain gun records in terrorist investigations, was defeated 85-10 after lawmakers received a letter from the National Rifle Association stating that it was not taking a position on the measure.
"Well I think there are victories and then there are symbolic victories, and I think we had a symbolic victory here in the Senate in the sense that we did get to talk about some of the constitutional principles," Paul said, according to TPM.
"23 votes against the extension of the Patriot Act are much better than zero or one," he added. "I don't think it came easy, I'm kind of worn out. But I consider it to be a great success that we got to debate it."
The "constitutional principles" and "debate" came during a speech from Paul on the floor of the Senate explaining his concern for the act. He invoked everything from Thomas Jefferson to even gold and guns, and made the case that the bill is "emotional" and nearly impossible to stand up to. Listen to a montage of his remarks below: