Ron Paul to Congress: DO NOT Extend the “PATRIOT” Act!

Ron Paul spoke on the House floor today in opposition to extending the unconstitutional “PATRIOT” Act.

After Ron Paul’s speech, the motion to suspend the rules and pass the extension of three PATRIOT Act provisions failed by a vote of 277-148. Since they were attempting to pass it on the suspension calendar, the vote would have required two thirds (290 members) of the House to agree to it. Click here for the roll call vote to see how your representative voted.

This won’t be the last we’ve heard of the PATRIOT Act renewal in the House. The Campaign for Liberty is keeping a close eye on this issue; join their website for ongoing updates.


House Member: Mr. Speaker, I’m pleased at this time to recognize the distinguished gentleman from Texas, Mr. Ron Paul, for three minutes.

Mr. Speaker: The gentleman from Texas.

Ron Paul: I thank the gentlemen. I ask unanimous consent to extend and revise my remarks. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this bill. I was opposed to the PATRIOT Act in 2001, and do not believe now that it’s a good idea to extend it. The 4th Amendment is rather clear, it says that we should be secure in our papers, our persons, our homes, and our effects. And that if warrants are to be issued, we have to do it with probably cause and describe in particular the places, the people and the things that we’re going to look at. And I think what has happened over the years has been that we have diluted the 4th Amendment. It was greatly diluted in 2001, but it started a lot earlier than that when the FISA law was originally written in 1978. That really introduced the notion that the 4th Amendment was relative and not absolute. And later on, it was further weakened in 1998 and then of course in 2001.

I think our reaction to the horrors of 9/11 – we can understand the concern and the fear that was developed – but I think the reaction took us in the wrong direction because the assumption was made, of course, that we weren’t spending enough money on surveillance. And even though then our intelligences agencies received $40 billion, they didn’t give us the right information. So now we’re spending $80 billion.

But it also looks like the conclusion was that the American people had too much privacy, and if we undermine the American people’s privacy, somehow or the another, we’re going to be safer. I think another thing that has come up lately has been that the purpose of government is to make us perfectly safe. Now it is good to be safe, but governments can’t make us safe. I question whether or not we have been made safer by the PATRIOT Act.

But let’s say a law makes us somewhat safer, is that a justification for the government to do anything they want? For instance, if you want to be perfectly safe from child abuse and wife beating, the government could put a camera in every one of our houses and our bedrooms and maybe there would be somebody made safer this way. But what would you be giving up?

So, perfect safety is not the purpose of government. What we want from government is to enforce the law and to protect our liberties. This, to me, has been especially since 9/11 a classical example of sacrificing liberty for safety and security. Now I didn’t invent those terms, they’ve been around for a long time and it’s easily justified. And I can understand it because I was here in 2001 when this came up and people become frightened. The American people want something done. But I think this is misdirected and it doesn’t serve our benefits.

So, I think this time we should really question why we’re extending this. We’re extending the three worst parts. Why were these sunsetted? Because people had concerns about them, they weren’t sure they were good pieces and maybe they were overkill and therefore they were saying, “We better reassess this”. So what have we done? We have already extended it twice and here we’re going to do it again with the intent, I think in a year, to reassess this. But this bill doesn’t make things worse, it doesn’t make anything better, but it does extend what I consider – and others consider – bad legislation. I ask for no vote on this legislation.

Mr. Speaker: The gentleman’s time has expired.

  • bossrube53

    sign the petition at ronpaul 2 0 1 2 . n e t / for ron paul to run for president in 2012.


  • tubester4567

    I agree with Paul on this one, but the government isnt doing this to protect the people, there have been more american deaths fighting the wars than there ever would be from terrorist bombings. Its doing this to protect the capitalist system and wall street from major financial losses

  • thebigtoe1000

    i hate to say it but if ron does run and gets the job he will be a dead man soon after

  • Exposingthetruth41

    Ron Paul is the only sane politician in Washington regarding constitutional rights, the economy and foreign relations. He has been warning people for 30 years about the grave dangers within our government. Stand up, speak up and support Ron Paul before it is too late.

  • thedevos1981

    Hey obama what happened to no transparency??????


  • PsychStudent85

    I’ve never made a Campaign Donation but I will to Ron Paul for a run in 2012!

    Seems like he, his son and just a few others are true followers of OUR CONSTITUTION!

    I don’t agree with all of his policies but hey, none of us are perfect and sure don’t 100% agree on everything!

    If you can move past your Party Loyalty to the point of stupidity issues then you can clearly see that Ron Paul is the man to get this Country running smoothly again without selling us out to special interests!

  • Brant Clore

    You find your spot, you draw your little line, AND YOU STAND ON IT, AND YOU STAND FOR IT. And you stand for your family and your rights and your constitution no matter WHAT LIES they try to feed you. YOU DONT COMPROMISE with tyranny. You stand on your little hill, and if you die there, then you have found the ONLY decent way to die. And you will spend your days with your loved ones in heaven in complete victory. Having done all that a man or woman can , BRAVELY, in the face of evil.

  • prosandkhans

    If Ron Paul had the charisma of a guy like Obama he would have ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM getting elected, and once that happens, this country turns around.

  • Pete

    This is very very quiet in the “mainstream” press. President Obama is asking for a 3 year extension (post election, how convenient). Its time to make this a serious campaign issue that will not go away. Go get em, Dr. Paul.

  • nedmorlef

    the only true american in all of washington

  • 85Tourist

    Real Patriots question there governments…. Ron Paul seems to be the only one doing that!

  • What bloody next ? Will they exterminate those who beleive that 911 was an inside job ………. Remember the Holocaust .

  • DarkCelestial1

    I can’t believe Obama reauthorized the patriot act and tried to keep it under wraps… unbelievable

  • KYKIN44

    The only way we can get our country back is to violent revolution the only reason Gandhi and Martin Luther King preached nonviolence is because they did not have an Army if the ruling class such as Obama preaches nonviolence but why do they got two major wars going on in the CIA who know what’s going on so don’t preach nonviolence to me when the damn government will not do what they preach so to get our government back we are going to have a violent revolution

  • John Van Wagenen

    There is nothing patriotic about the “Patriot Act”. It is just an infringement of civil liberties.

  • oleedee

    lol . gentlemans time has expired.. hahahah
    what a fucking joke the american system is.

  • jeffdkillman

    This man seriously has a chance to save this country…if we the people could but unite behind him they could not keep him hidden as then did in 2008. We see in egypt the power of the people when the come together! I say it is time for Americans to come together for once and take the road of TRUE patriots like this man! GET RON PAUL IN OFFICE IN 2012!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jibbi4one

    Americans are luck indeed to have a leader like him. Other than Ron Paul there is no leader on the horizon. Mr. Paul is a final call to sane government .

  • Nick D

    Adhere to the Constitution. Read the 4th Amendment: The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is the part of the Bill of Rights which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures when the searched party has a “reasonable expectation of privacy”. AKA you need a REASON to Wiretap!!

  • czubspenx

    No wonder Homeland Security is saying the threat now is as high as it has ever been. Just trying to scare the American people as usual. Scare the people and take away their liberty.