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Rand Paul Blasts Critics in the ‘Eye Roll’ Caucus (Video)

Paul hit back at his critics Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Paul hit back at his critics Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)


In his latest fundraising message, Sen. Rand Paul is calling out an “eye roll” caucus of senators who are against his efforts to upend Patriot Act surveillance programs.  

“If I’m going to slug it out Sunday with the spy state apologists, I’m going to need all the help and support I can get,” the Kentucky Republican wrote Wednesday. “Unfortunately, it seems the President, the senior senator from Arizona and other members of the ‘eye roll’ caucus who can’t stand any mention of the Bill of Rights are all operating out of the same playbook.”  

In addition to making references to President Barack Obama and Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., Paul is making a clear allusion to soon-to-be GOP presidential rival Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.  

Graham could be seen rolling his eyes on the Senate floor as Paul spoke during the May 22 standoff over extending National Security Agency authorities set to lapse at the end of the month, including the most contentious: the bulk collection of telephone records.  

The White House has said that that only way forward is for the Senate to take up and clear the House-passed USA Freedom Act during a rare Sunday session, hours before the authorities are set to expire .  

“Keep in mind that the most controversial provision in there, which had to do with the gathering of telephone exchanges in a single government database — that has been reformed in the USA Freedom Act. But you have a whole range of authorities that are also embodied in the Patriot Act that are non-controversial, that everybody agrees are necessary to keep us safe and secure. Those also are at risk of lapsing,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Tuesday .  

But Paul does not view that compromise measure as sufficient, and he’s been demanding votes on amendments. Nothing Paul said Wednesday suggests that’s likely to change.  

“Instead of demanding Congress continue the NSA’s illegal spying program, Barack Obama should take action and end the illegal program himself. After all, it was an Executive Order that started NSA spying in the first place. And it can be undone by Executive Order. But Barack Obama refuses to budge,” Paul wrote. “So on Sunday I plan to end the illegal program for him.”  


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