After the debate and amendments to the PATRIOT Act were shut down by a cloture vote in the Senate late Monday, on Tuesday Senator Rand Paul carried out a seven-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate to buy time to fight back against the proposed four-year extension of the PATRIOT Act. Majority Leader Harry Reid and other leaders in the House and Senate still don't want to hear debate or consider amendments to the bill.
A combination of the Senate’s arcane rules and Sen. Rand Paul’s insistence on voting on several controversial amendments may cause the Patriot Act to lapse at the end of the week (at least for awhile), reports The Hill.
According to The Hill, here is how Senator Reid is fighting back:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday evening tabled a motion to proceed to an extension of the Patriot Act in a complicated maneuver to circumvent Paul.
The purpose of the maneuver was to save time in the face of Paul’s staunch resistance to an extension of the homeland security law, which expires at 12:01 am Friday.
The tactic will save time by denying Paul votes on several amendments he was pushing. It will also allow the Senate to vote on ending his filibuster on Thursday instead of Friday, according to Senate aides.
However, if Paul insists on using all 30 hours of post-cloture debate he is entitled to under Senate rules, he could force the Patriot Act to lapse for a day.
Even if Paul waives the 30 hours of post-cloture debate, lawmakers will have to scramble to get the extension signed into law by Thursday because President Obama is in Europe.
Officials will have to fly a copy of the Patriot Act extension overseas if they are to prevent it a range of law-enforcement powers from expiring.