WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Sen. Rand Paul spent a significant amount of the day on the Senate floor urging Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to keep his word and allow debate and amendments on the USA PATRIOT Act extension.

“Instead of honoring statements he made in February regarding allowing amendments and debate on the bill, Sen. Reid went through procedural hoops to go back on his word. By hurriedly attaching the extensions to the privileged small business bill as an amendment, Sen. Reid denied the Senate the opportunity to debate the constitutionality of its provisions,” Sen. Paul said. “Today’s events further underscore the U.S. government’s lack of transparency and accountability to the American people.”

FLASHBACK Sen. Reid’s comments in the Feb. 15, 2011, Congressional Record: Mr. REID. Mr. President, I express my appreciation to everyone involved. It has been a difficult issue, but I will put on the record what I have told a number of Senators personally, and that is that we will, prior to this expiration occurring, bring up the PATRIOT Act and have an opportunity for an extended period of time--a week at least--to offer amendments and do whatever people feel is appropriate on this bill.  I have talked to a couple of Senators who have told me specifically that they want to offer amendments. Although I didn't agree I would support their amendments--one was a Democrat and one was a Republican--I said that is what we should be able to do, to set this up so they can offer their amendments. And I will do whatever I can to make sure we move forward on this legislation in ample time so that we can pass this PATRIOT Act for a more extended period of time, which is so important to the security of this country. I know people have problems with it, and that is why we are going to have the amendment process.

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