tv U.S. Senate Debate on NSA Surveillance CSPAN June 1, 2015 4:15am-6:16am EDT
ate should wait to address section 215 under the new republican leadership. so the republican leader led a successful filibuster against a bill which still lad a majority of members in this body voting for it. but what's happened this congress? not a single public hearing on this issue. no committee process. then last weekend the senate was prevented from debating and the opponents was unable to produce alternatives to the bipartisan act, the bill which clears up problems of the patriot act. they have come up with no legislative alternative to that other than to create an extension which of course makes no difference because at
midnight the law is being sought. the time for inaction has passed. the american people, the community of intelligence officials deserve better. we have a few hours remaining to work things out and pass the u.s.a. freedom act but there is no room for error. there's very little time. again, i say a manufactured crisis. the deadline to act is midnight tonight. the house will not return to the capitol until tomorrow after the deadline has passed. we can talk about passing a 100-year extension if we want. it makes no difference because the time will pass. so if the senate does not pass the house-passed u.s.a. freedom act or if we amend it in any way, the authorities are going to expire. i've said repeatedly my
cosponsor of the u.s.a. freedom act agree with me, we -- senator lee of utah -- agrees with me that we'd like to have a debate on our bill and consider amendments because oants -- opponents of reform have jammed the clock we're not left with very much time. let's get this done today. we pass the u.s.a. freedom act the president can sign it tonight, the intelligence community can move forward with the certainty it needs to protect the american people. some may argue if you had a short-term extension which of course we don't have, they said maybe we could work out a some kind of a bill. let there be no misunderstanding the u.s.a. freedom act is a solid carefully negotiated compromise.
for all those senators on either side of the aisle having spent the hours and hours and hours that senator lee and i and our staff have spent maybe they don't know the work that went into this. again, how you get groups from the left to the right supporting it. it would be irresponsible to kick the can down the road once again, relying on the false hope the house will agree to pass a short-term extension something they said they won't do. and that we'll somehow be able to agree to a half-baked alternative that's yet to be introduced in either body and most assuredly won't pass the house. don't be fooled by the problems of a short-term extension. that would guarantee nothing. wait a minute, i take that back. passing a short-term extension does guarantee something. it guarantees expiration of the
bill at midnight tonight. it guarantees more uncertainty more litigation more risk for the intelligence community, and a repeat of the chaotic brinkmanship later on down the road with another manufactured crisis. now i know there are some who worry the bill does not go far enough when it comes to reform. well where were they with coming up with better ideas? if they passes the u.s.a. freedom act would be the most significant set of reforms of government surveillance, something needed since the patriot act was enacted. and the reason we're here to even debate it is that then-majority leader dick armey in the house and i put in sunset provisions so we will have to show responsibility and
vote as the house did the house did by a four-to-one margin. our bill, senator lee's bill and mine would not just end the n.s.a.'s bulk collection of section 215, it would add new transparency to oversight reforms to other surveillance authorities. and it would be a solid foundation upon which we can build our future reform efforts. i've been in the united states senate for more than 40 years. i've learned that when there's a chance to make real progress, we ought to seize it. but i also know we cannot let this be the end of our fight for greater privacy protections transparency and account act. i remember committed to fighting that fight on behalf of vermonters and all americans. so the choices before us this evening are clear -- either let these authorities expire completely or pass the u.s.a. freedom act.
there's no more time for political maneuvering or fearmongering or scare tactics. it's time for us to do our jobs debate and then to vote. don't duck the vote. don't duck the vote. vote up or down on the bill the house gave us. stand up and be counted either for or against it. as senators, let's have the courage to do that. the u.s.a. freedom act is a reasonable responsible way forward. we should pass it tonight. but don't duck behind not doing anything and then pretend that's a solution. i don't think there's a single american republican or democrat ic who would believe that was a responsible solution. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from indiana is recognized.
mr. coats: mr. president i regret also that we are where we are and would also like to defer for just a moment before i make my remarks i came down to make in adding my condolences to vice president biden his wife, his family. i just learned the tragic news this morning. some may have known that beau was dealing with a form of cancer. i did not know that. it came as a shock to hear that information. having served with the current vice president in the united states senate having gotten to know him and his family establishing a relationship and -- professional relationship but also a friendship i still cannot begin to comprehend the
grief that comes from the loss of a child. i know there are members in this body who have experienced that. i'm fortunate that marcia and i have not experienced that. but any parent's perhaps deepest fear is that they will outlive their children. now, that's not the natural order of things. it's now how we think. and the grief that comes from the death of a child the death of a son or a daughter is truly deep and has significant impact. it was impossible not to feel the emotion and shed the tears. this morning in indianapolis in our home early this morning when we heard the news. and our condolences and deep sharing of something that we
can't even begin to fully comprehend because we haven't had to deal with it. all of that comes across. and i think every member of this body reaches out to them with our thoughts and our prayers as they go through this very tragic situation. mr. president, i'm a little surprised just to hear the senator from vermont talking about how the united states senate ought to just completely concede to whatever the house passes over here. the fact of the matter is, we had a very significant discussion and debate on this issue all of the week before the memorial day break and it had gone on months, if not years before within the intelligence committee, on which i serve and among members. this is one of the most
important pieces of legislation that we'll have to deal with. it was drafted and spawned as a result of 9/11 when the american people said, are we doing everything we possibly can to prevent something like this from happening again? and congress debated extensively the patriot act and the tools that the intelligence community had suggested that we give them the authority to use to try to prevent that catastrophe from ever happening again and doing everything we could to prevent terrorist attacks. along the way there have been modifications, there have been changes. recently there is significant national debate over whether one of these many essential tools that helps us gather the intelligence to try to prevent and to understand the nature of the threat are used.
and there clearly is a different of opinion. so when the senator -- among members here in the senate and even in the house of representatives. and, yes, the senate did pass a reform measure that i think is flawed personally. i think it diminishes -- it doesn't eliminate but it diminishes and some even believe it eliminates the usefulness of this particular program. and so we went back and forth on that for the entire significant part of the week before we adjourned. and the senator from vermont comes down and basically says, look, the house passed this so, therefore, we ought to just go ahead and pass it. he said there was no other alternative presented. but that was not the case. we had a vote on the house bill and we had a procedural vote on the house bill and we had a vote on -- on the bill to extend this so we could come -- spend a
little more time trying to figure out how best to deal with this issue. neither of those passed. indicating that the senate did not have the same consensus that the house reached, which was partial consensus and therefore -- that's what the senate is all about. we're not just a rubber stamp for the house. what's really ironic is that for four years under democrat leadership of this senate, the house under republican leadership, they sent us hundreds of pieces of legislation and if we followed the senator from vermont's admonition to us, we would have just rubber-stamped those. i mean, the house passed it so why wouldn't we go forward? so i don't think that argument makes -- makes a lot of sense. senators are here to address issues in the united states senate. are there many things the house passes that i agree with? yes. my party controls the house.
are there things here that i don't agree with that they've passed? yes, but we as senators act our prerogative in terms to weigh in on terms of where we stand and ultimately we take a vote and we either win or lose. sometimes it coordinates with the house of representatives and other times it doesn't but then we go to conference if we pass an alternative. but to say that there hasn't been debate relative to this program and the program that the house passed is just simply not -- not true. there has been such a significant unfortunate misrepresentation of what this program is and what this program isn't and that has caused a lot of angst in which we're trying to deal with this. much of the public -- at least some portion of the public is convinced that the government is listening to every phone call that they make. it's been said on this floor
that they're listening to all your calls that they're collecting all kinds of -- they know everything about you. that is the furthest from the point of the program and the operation of this program that you can conceive of and yet a portion of the public has been led to believe that big government is in their bedroom is in their house it's in their car, it's in their phone it tracks them wherever they go, they're collecting everything about yourself, what you buy at costco the movies that you rent through netflix. now, there are private industry that does collect that kind of stuff but it's not the government and it's not under this program. and this program as a member of the intelligence committee, i can tell you we have spent hundreds of hours hundreds of hours dealing with this program to ensure that it doesn't violate anyone's privacy. it has more oversight through all three branches of government
government -- the executive branch the judicial branch and the legislative branch -- oversee this. there are six layers within n.s.a. itself that it has to go through, that attorneys have to look at, that legal experts have to look at before they can even proceed to suspect and take something to a court to have a judge say yeah, you might have something here. now, it's been said and it is true that unless you are -- your phone number is in communication with a foreign phone number, no one -- or at least strongly suspected -- and ultimately the court has to make that decision -- belonging to a terrorist organization, a member of al qaeda, isis or some group overseas that is attempting to do harm to the united states.
why is this particular phone number -- not the name who owns this phone number -- but why is this particular phone number being called by someone in yemen or being called by what we suspect strongly is a foreign operative through isis, al qaeda yemen other points where we know terrorist activity is rampant. there's a signal that comes up that matches phone numbers and they say we better look into this. but before they can look into it, it has to be vetted by a court it has to be taken to a fisa court foreign intelligence court and judged by that court as something viable to pursue. at that point it's similar to what a court would order as a warrant to go and find more information to see whether or not this suspicion actually is reality. now, we read about every day and we watch on television, "law and order" and all the shows and so
forth how the -- the law enforcement suspects that this particular activity is a criminal organization or this is a drug house or we have reason to believe that the perpetrator of the crime is this individual. they can't go raiding their house. they can't go downloading their information about them until they go to a court and receive approval from a judge that, yes here you are here's your warrant, you can go check this out. well this intelligence program is based on the same principle and that is, nobody can go and collect any information on anybody unless that court approves that operation. and then it's turned over to the f.b.i. and they look to see if it's the real thing. it is a tool that has been of importance and been a contribution to our ability to
address the potential of terrorist threats and to thwart them before it happens. it's also been used as a way of proving the negative and that is that no, this is okay, we don't need to follow up on this. and the best case of that is the boston bombing. when the brothers' phone was accessed and it was run against the numbers there was some suspicion that they were -- there were -- that additional terrorist activity would take place in new york and it proved that was not the case because there weren't the connections came. and it was a valuable tool in that regard. instead of shutting down new york and putting new york on a high terrorist alert -- perhaps the nation's largest economy in operation there -- they were able to quickly determine that that wasn't the case. relative to -- you know, to those that basically say this has never stopped a terrorist attack. two things. number one this is one of the
very many methods that we use to collect the threads of intelligence that come from different sources in trying to put together the mosaic or the puzzle as to whether or not this is something that we need to deal with and take it seriously. it's a major piece of that puzzle that we obtain from the 215 program which is the collection of phone numbers -- not the names of who owns those numbers the collection of -- of what's called metadata and it's been described as simply the same things that's on your telephone bill that the supreme court has said is not a breach of the fourth amendment and is not privileged for privacy purposes. it is the date the call was made it was the duration of the call. it was the number that was
called. and that is it. that's the collection. and those numbers are put into a system whereby we can check against that a number that suspiciously is talking to a foreign operative in a foreign country. and that then triggers -- automatically triggers, you better look at this. it's kind of a ping. you better look at this one. nobody has access at this point to any content related to that or even the name of the individual until it reaches the level of suspicion that is vetted through six layers of oversight and then sent to a court which looks at it to say we agree or we don't agree with you. and if we agree with you then it is -- the f.b.i. is alerted and they say you better look into this. now, there has never been a time
since 9/11 when we have dealt with a higher threat threshold than we currently are dealing with. you hear about it every day you read about it every day. isis has recruited more than 20,000, it is estimated significantly more than that of those from foreign -- 90 different foreign countries. it has made a direct threat toward the united states and its citizens. it is sponsoring and encouraging individuals to not only come over and train and join isis and then come back here and wreak havoc on the american people, it also is inspiring those saying if you don't want to travel over here just go out and kill somebody. join the jihad from afar. you can be part of what we're trying to accomplish simply by doing your own thing. we saw that happen down in texas. we're going to see that happen in other places as people are
inspired through isis to, for whatever sick reason, to take up arms to cause destruction and to randomly kill and wreak havoc on the american public. it's been offered that the house fix the reform which did have bipartisan support and did pass the house with not a lot of -- without a lot of debate. it is the solution to this problem. some agree that it goes too far. some agree that it doesn't go far enough. but there are problems with that particular freedom act which the senator from vermont says is the golden grail here and will solve all the problems, it is clear and as the system that we have received from numerous officials in the counterterrorism business and in the intelligence business, it is
clear that there are issues with this so-called freedom act fix that could render -- well, number one do render the program less effective and could render it totally inoperative. the fact that the n.s.a. has not yet been able to come up with a program which would ensure that we could have the kind of collection we need on the time frame that we need it some of this is urgent and some of this is pending and some of this is imminent and it already goes through layers that delay coming to a conclusion and this adds more but it also may have indicated that this system is untested and exists only in name only.
we don't know how the new program would be implemented and we don't know how it would be operated and that's why many of us said look, for whatever reason we're at this point and yet it expires at midnight, but what we were trying to do before we left was get a short-term extension. we were negotiating -- we think it should have been for a significant amount of time until n.s.a. could test out its program, but we're willing to go much less than that so we would have the opportunity to come back and debate this further and get to some of the bottom of some of the misrepresented information that has been sent out to the american people and have an opportunity to counter that and also work together to find ways through working with the house of representatives to come up with a more effective bill that wouldn't put the country at more jeopardy or as some experts have said undermine the entire program.
we will obviously be less agile with the house bill. it requires an expansive regulatory system to mask the level of oversight under the current program. i think the real problem here is it requires no retention -- data retention mandate. the u.s.a. freedom act does not require companies to hold the data sought by the government, and therefore the u.s. freedom act could be operationally useless as companies update their business model in response to changes in technology or market demand. the telephone companies all 1,400 of them, many don't want to go through the expensive process through the oversight that they need to have process. they want to sell phones. they are hearing a lot from customers that basically say i don't want to buy your phone if
it's going to be subject to them listening to whatever i do and say is collected. well, first of all, that is factually wrong but it's a narrative that has been said over and over on this floor by some members that is absolutely wrong. it's just false. we need to have -- if we're going to go forward here, we need some intellectual honesty about what the program is and what it isn't and it shouldn't be labeled as something that it isn't. i can -- i will address that at a later point in time. but the freedom act by not allowing retention for a fixed period of time also lessens our ability to make this program effective. so mr. president, this is -- i have much more to say on this. i know we're going into a caucus as a part to see how we might go forward here.
given where we are. it was not necessary that we be here on a sunday with the clock ticking toward midnight. we could have continued or we could have gone forward without getting to this particular point in time, but now we'll have the opportunity and unfortunately what it looks like is we'll have the opportunity to debate this while the program expires. that is a bet i didn't want to take the bet being nothing will happen if we don't have this tool in the amount of time that's going to be taken to now address this. that's running a risk, and i'm not sure -- that i'm not sure members want to take. i don't want to be part of somebody who says well, this isn't important enough, and therefore we'll just let it expire and we won't extend it for a day an hour, a month a
sufficient amount of time to come to a reasonable conclusion as to how we would retain this very important intelligence-gathering tool. just keep us safe from terrorists. but to go dark on this is a risk of americans' lives. it's a risk that we are taking, that we're going to be responsible for our vote, whatever that vote is. i personally don't want the responsibility of saying oh, don't worry nothing's going to happen out there. the hundreds of hours that i spend in the intelligence committee tells me there's a lot that could happen out there. and members have every right if they are not on that committee every right to access what we access. we've invited people down to come and see it for themselves so that they at least understand what it is and what it isn't. to my knowledge only two have taken us up on that. there may be more that i have missed. but some of those who have
stated this program in a totally false way have the siren song to people out there that think big government is in their bedroom big government is taking every piece of information that they have about themselves big government is storing this and -- quote -- listening to all your phone calls, is a bunch of hokum and it's wrong and for those who refuse to stand up and acknowledge that because they have had access to the program but refuse to take that access have to bear the responsibility of sowing this wild theory and idea about big government in your bedroom big government in your car big government on your phone, big government collecting your emails and big government doing everything and storing it until the time when big government takes away everything from you. i didn't come here to do that and this senate didn't come here to do that and we will not do that and that's why this program has more oversight than
any other program in the entire united states government, and we will put more oversight on there if that's necessary. i'll stay up all night and stand over the n.s.a. and make sure they're not listening to your phone call. but it's irresponsible, it is misrepresentation, irresponsible misrepresentation to factually state a falsity and not tell the truth, and it's time we -- it's time we told the truth and it's time we stood up to this thing and made sure that we're doing everything we can to protect americans from threats of a lot of people and a lot of organizations that want to kill us all that would like to see us -- see our heads on the chopping block. and this is real in our country as members not only flock -- people not only flock back from syria trained by isis but they inspire people here to pick up weapons and do and harm the american people. i know the senator has a
question. mr. paul: mr. president. mr. president. mr. coats: mr. president, i have not yielded the floor. mr. paul: mr. president i want -- mr. mccain: i want regular order. the senator from kentucky needs to learn the rules of the senate. mr. coats: i would be happy to yield to the senator from arizona for a mr. mccain: maybe the senator from kentucky should know the rules of the senate that a gentleman has the floor and is open to a responsive question. my question is to the senator from indiana and i want to say that his words are powerful and accurate. mr. paul: mr. president, how much time remains on the clock on the republican side? mr. mccain: i ask the senator from indiana if he has seen -- mr. paul: mr. president, how much time is remaining? mr. mccain: i ask for the regular order mr. president. the presiding officer: i think the chair has made very clear that the senator from indiana has the floor. mr. coats: mr. president i thank you. i know the senator from kentucky understands that when a senator has the floor, they are entitled
to speak. mr. mccain: twice the senator from kentucky has not observed the rules of the senate. i would ask you the senator from indiana, you have seen the events lately that are transpiring. isis has taken palmyra. they are in the streets burning bodies killing people, going to destroy 2,000-year-old an antiquities. at the same time, ramadi has fallen with thousands of innocent men women and children being massacred. and at this time isn't this program as critical as it's ever been since its inception given the fact that the middle east is literally on fire and we are losing everywhere? mr. coats: it is more essential than ever, in response to the question of the senator from arizona. it is more necessary than ever as we have seen a higher threat level since 9/11. of course, we didn't know what the threat was in 9/11, so i
don't know how far we have to go back but our intelligence today whether it's any aspect of any of our intelligence agencies, are sounding the alarm that we need to be as vigilant as possible. we need to within the law and we are operating within the law use every tool possible to try to stop an attack on the american people. 9/11 was a catastrophe that none of us could have comprehended. 9/11 in the possession of nuclear radioactive biological or chemical weapons would make new york look like just a small incident. there would be three million people instead of 3,000 people. i think we have an obligation here to do what we can without invading anyone's privacy. what we're trying to find here is this balance between protecting privacy and protecting ourselves from terrorist attacks and protecting
americans from terrorist attacks, and we have done that with this program. now, if what has been said about this program was true, that the falsehoods that had been said were true, i would be the first to line up and say no, we can't breach the privacy of the american people by doing what they're doing but the fact is none of it's true. there has not been one one act of abuse of this program over the years it's been in place. it has more oversight and layers of oversight. as the former attorney general mukasi said well, for the government to bypass this, it would make watergate look like kindergarten activity. it would be a conspiracy that would include hundreds of people and they would all have to swear that they would not breach their conspiratorial process here. and so a program that is overseen by the judiciary
committee, by the senate intelligence committee the house intelligence committee the body of the senate access to this, the body of the house that's 535 people, by the executive branch, a program that was endorsed by barack obama until he changed his mind, apparently because the public was going the other way based on false information. why people are out here basically making the accusation that is they are making and trying to take this down, and all we're trying to do is work with the house to try to find a reasonable way of keeping this tool alive keeping americans safe. so that's my response to the senator. mr. mccain: would the senator yield for a further question? the presiding officer: would the senator suspend? under previous order all time for debate has expired. mr. paul: mr. president, my understanding is there is still five minutes remaining on the opposition side, and i request that time. mr. coats: mr. president. the presiding officer: is there objection?
mr. mccain: i object. mr. paul: how can we have an objection when we already have a consent agreement that says we have 30 minutes of equally divided time and you still have five minutes remaining on the opposite side, mr. president? the presiding officer: the time was divided in the usual form and the time for debate has expired. mr. paul: the time couldn't have been divided equally because somebody must have given one side more time than the other. the presiding officer: the five minutes of time that was allotted to the democrat side was unused and it was divided at 23 minutes apiece. mr. paul: mr. president i was here for 30 minutes of the republican side speaking. i sat in my seat for 30 minutes. it was not 23 minutes of equally
divided time. mr. mccain: regular order. obviously people don't know the rules of the senate. maybe they should rule -- mr. paul: i would request the remaining five minutes of time on the opposite side. the presiding officer: is there objection to the request of the senator from kentucky? a senator: i object. mr. paul: i challenge the ruling of the chair and request the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there is not a sufficient second. mr. paul: mr. president i request a live quorum call. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll.
mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: i ask unanimous consent to call off the live quorum call and to speak for five minutes remaining as was requested previously and as was under the consent. the presiding officer: the consent is not in order in a quorum call. mr. paul: mr. president i ask consent to call off the quorum
call. the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. you may proceed. mr. paul: mr. president i ask consent to speak for five minutes, the five minutes that was remaining on the opposition side. the presiding officer: is there objection? none heard. the senator from kentucky can proceed. mr. paul: let us be very clear why we're here this evening. we are here this evening was this is an important debate. this is a debate over the bill of rights. this is a debate over the fourth amendment. this is a debate over your right to be left alone. justice brandeis said that the right to be left alone is the most cherished of rights. the right to be left alone is the most prized to civilized men. let us be clear, we are here
tonight because the president continues to conduct an illegal program. the president has been rebuked by the court, the president has been told in no -- in explicit terms, the president has been told that the program he is conducting is illegal. now, the president owe pines on -- opines on television, he says anybody but me. but you know what? the president started this program without congressional permission. even the authors of the patriot act say the patriot act in no way gives authority to the president to collect all of your phone records all of the time. if there ever was a general warrant, if there ever was a generalized collection of information from people to which
there is no suspicion this is it. we are not collecting the information of spies. we are not collecting the information of terrorists. we are collecting all americans citizens' records all of the time. this is what we fought the revolution over. are we going to so blithely give up our freedom are we going to so blithely go along and just say take it? well i'm not going to take it anymore. i don't think the american people are going to take it anymore. 80% of those under 40 say we've gone too far. that this whole collection of all of our records all the time is too much. the court has said how can records are relevant to an investigation that hasn't started? the court has said that even under these lower standards even under these standards of saying it would be relevant, that all of the stuff they're
collecting is precisely irrelevant. now, people say, well, they're not looking at it. they're not listening to it. it's the tip of the iceberg what we're talking about here. and realize that they were dishonest about the program until we caught them. they kept saying over and over again we're not doing this, we're not collecting your records, and they were. the head of the intelligence agency lied to the american people and he still works here. we should be upset, we should be marching in the streets and saying he's got to go. we can't allow this. we can't allow the rule of law to be so trod upon that we live in an arbitrary governmental world where they collect anything they want, any time they want. this is the tip of the iceberg. they're collecting records through executive order. they're collecting records through section 702.
people say how will we protect ourselves without these programs? what about using the constitution? what about using judicial warrants? the boston bomber, they say how will we look at his phone records? get a warrant. put his name on it. you can get a warrant. there's no reason in the world the guy had already bombed us. do you think anybody was going to turn down a warrant? we should have gotten a warrant before. get warrants on people we have suspicion on. the simpson guy who was shot in garland, he had already been arrested. we had suspicion. let's hire a thousand more f.b.i. agents. let's hire people to do the investigation and quit wasting time on innocent american people. let's be very clear why we're here. president obama set this program up the president obama who once was against the patriot
act, the president obama who said you know what, we should have judges write warrants. the president who once believed in the fourth amendment is the president now scooping up all your records illegally and then he feigns concern and says we need to pass this new bill. he could stop it now. why won't someone ask the president why do you continue? why won't you stop this program now? the president has every ability to do it. we have every ability to make our nation safe and i intend on protecting the constitution. the presiding officer: time has expired. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess
mr. mcconnell: mr. president could we have order in the senate? the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. mr. mcconnell: mr. president before the recess, i tried to get a short-term extension of three provisions that will expire at midnight tonight. section 215 business records section 206 roving wiretap authority and the lone wolf provision. unfortunately, those efforts were unsuccessful. the lone wolf and roving wiretap provisions however are not i repeat not the subject of controversy with the house bill.
so i would propose that we extend at least the lone wolf and the roving wiretap authorities while we continue to litigate the differing views on section 215. more specifically, i would propose that we extend those two provisions lone wolf and roving wiretaps for up to two weeks. soap mr. president having said that, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of a bill which is at the desk to extend the expiring provisions he related to lone wolf and roving wiretaps for two weeks, and that the bill be ready a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening ng action or debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: reserving the right to object, one of the promises that was given when the patriot act was originally passed was
that in exchange for allowing a less than constitutional standard, we would only use the actions against --. the presiding officer: is there objection? mr. paul: against foreigners. we found 99% of the time section 213 is used for domestic crime. i believe that no section of the patriot act should be passed unless our targets are terrorists not americans. i object. the presiding officer: objection is heard. mr. mcconnell: last week i proposed giving the intelligence committee the time it would need to work toward the bipartisan legislative compromise americans deserve. a compromise that would preserve important counterterrorism tools that are necessary to protect american lives. that effort was blocked. just now i proposed an even narrower extension that would have only extended some of the
least controversial least controversial, but still critical tools to ensure they do not lapse as senators work towards a more comprehensive legislative outcome. but even that very narrow offer was blocked. i think it should be worrying for our country because the nature of the threat we face is very serious. it's a aggressive, it's sophisticated it's geographically disperse, and it's not -- not -- going away. as the "l.a. times" reported -- quote -- "the obama administration has dramatically stepped up warnings of potential terrorist attacks on american soil after several years of relative calm." and the paper reported that this is occurring in the wake of
f.b.i. arrests of at least 30 americans on terrorism-related charges this year in an array an array of lone wolf plots. so these aren't theoretical threats, mr. president. it's not a threat threat. they're with us every day. we have to face up to them. we shouldn't be disarming unilaterally as our enemies grow more sophisticated and aggressive. and we certainly should not be doing so based on a campaign of demagoguery and disinformation launched in the wake of the unlawful actions of edward snowden. who was last seen in russia. the opponents of this program not have been able to provide any, any examples of the n.s.a. abusing the authorities provided under section 215.
and the record will show there has, in fact, not been one documented instance of abuse of it. i think it's also important to remember that the content of calls are not captures -- captured. that's the general view, but it's an incorrect one. i'll say it again. the content of calls are not captured. i say to the american people if you've been told that, that is not correct. that's what i am about -- i mean about a campaign of disinformation. the only things in question are the number dialed, the number from which the call was made, the length of the call, and the date. that's it. that's it. detailed oversight procedures have been put in place too, in order to protect the privacy of
americans. now, i believe this is a program that strikes a critical balance between privacy on the one hand and national security on the other. that doesn't mean the senate still shouldn't have the opportunity to make some changes to it. that's precisely the outcome i'd been hoping to facilitate by seeking several short-term extensions. and considering all that's come to light about the house-passed bill in recent weeks, i believe this was more than reasonable. the administration's inability to answer even the most basic questions about the alternative bulk data system it would have to build under that legislation is to say at the very least pretty troubling. pretty troubling. that's not just my view. that's the view of many in this body including colleagues who have been favorably predisposed
to the house bill. in particular, i know senators from both parties have been disturbed by the administration's continuing inability to guarantee whether the new system would work as well as the current one or whether there would even be any data available to analyze. because while the administration has let it be known this nonexistent system could only be built in time if telephone providers cooperate in building it providers have made it abundantly clear that they're not going to commit to retaining the data. they're not going to commit to retaining the data for any period of time unless legally required to do so. and there's no such requirement in the house-passed bill. none at all. here's how one provider put it. we're not prepared to commit to
voluntarily retain documents for any particular period of time pursuant to the proposed u.s.a. freedom act if not required by law. if not required by law. quote-unquote. these are just a few of the reasons i thought it was prudent to try and give the senate more space to advance better legislation through committee consideration and regular order with input from both sides. but my colleagues, it is now clear that that will not be possible in the face of determined opposition from those who simply wish to end the counterterrorism program altogether. no time to try to improve the house-passed bill will be allowed because some would like to end the program altogether.
so this is where we find ourselves. this is the reality. and so it essentially leaves us with two options. option one -- allow the program to expire altogether without attempting to replace it. that would mean disarming completely and ash tarell based on a campaign of disinformation in the face of growing aggressive and sophisticated threats. growing, aggressive, and sophisticated threats. that's a totally unacceptable outcome. completely and totally unacceptable outcome. so we won't be doing that. and so we're left with option two.
the house-passed bill. it's certainly not ideal. but along with votes on some modest amendments that attempt to ensure the program can actually work as promised, it's now the only realistic way forward. so i remain determined to continue working toward the best outcome for the american people possible under the circumstances. this is where we are colleagues. a house-passed bill with some serious flaws an inability to get a short-term extension to try to improve the house-passed bill and the way would would normally do this through some kind of consultative process. so bearing that in mind, i move to proceed to the motion to reconsider vote number 194 the
vote by which cloture was not invoked on the motion to proceed to h.r. 2048. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. those, no. the motion is agreed to. mr. mcconnell: mr. president i move to reconsider the motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to h.r. 2048. the presiding officer: the question is on the motion. all those in favor say aye. those opposed say no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to h.r. 2048 signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is: is it the
sense of the senate that debate on the motion to proceed to h.r. 2048 an act to reform the authorities the federal government to require the production of certain business records, conduct electronic surveillance use pen registers and trap and trace devices and use other forms of information gathering for foreign intelligence counterterrorism and criminal purposes and for other purposes shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not on this vote, the yeas are 76, the nays are 17. three-fifths -- the next procedural vote to occur could happen as early as tuesday. of course, if the measure were to be amended the house would have to vote on the legislation again. otherwise, the number of patriot act provisions remain expired without action by both the house and senate. you can watch the senate live on c-span 2.
the house also meets today at noon eastern for general speeches. live coverage here on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption contents and accuracy. visit ncicap.org
>> we'd love to have more competition. very few consumers have more than one wire into the home. some have slite for video but hardly anybody has two broadband providers. wireless are available but can't provide the video streaming that you get if you have a telephoned delivered service. so the question is where do you get more competition. the competition is coming over that very same wire. so it's the same company, the cable company providing two parts of the service. one is your tv package, the other is your broadband service. a lot want to provide both and they want to provide new services new packages of services. the cable company has an incentive to favor its product. so i think law enforcement is going to have to make sure there's no unfair benefits to
cable through this consolidation. >> lots of americans particularly young americans under the age of 30 have cut the wire. they don't have either a cable subscription and they don't have a telephone wire subscription. you're purely wireless and they get the broadband they want. these are not broadband illiterate people. and you have new companies coming on line to compete wireless broadband offerings. the idea that there's any sort of market power or monopoly power in this indski right now is very difficult to understand. >> tonight at 8 eastern on the communicators on c-span 2. >> this summer book tv will cover book festivals from around the country.
this weekend we're live for the chicago tribune. including our three-hour live in-depth program. your phone calls. near the end of june watch for the annual reading festival from the roosevelt presidential library. in the middle of july we're live at the harlem book fair. and at the beginning of september live from the nation's capitol for the national book festival celebrating its 15th year. >> coming up next, q&a with author david mccullough discussing his book on the wright brothers. followed at 7:00 a.m. by "washington journal."
♪ brian: this week on "q&a," our guest is pulitzer prize winner david mccullough. out with his new book, "the wright brothers." he talks about the personal stories of wilbur and orville wright, the roles their family played as the brothers experienced failures and successes, and the time in which they lived as the race to achieve flight was at its peak. brian: i recently picked up the washington post and saw a review of your book, and she says the magical account of their early adventures, the wright brothers -- enhanced by correspondences written records, and his deep understanding of the country shows us two boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly. did you expect that from her?
david: it is as if the pope blessed the book. to have her write that review meant more than i can say. brian: have you met her? david: i have met her but i don't know her. i did an interview with her mother. she was wonderful. delightful to talk to. very winsome as a person. her mother is the one i interviewed. what i liked about what you just read is she set a remarkable family. -- she said "a remarkable
family. " the book is as much about the family. it is a family story, a family saga. brian: what was going on in the early 1900s when the wright brothers started? david: it was a fairly placid time. there were no major wars. we were prospering. the economy was good, very good. we had a sense of progress. and prosperity, and confidence i think. it was a very exciting time for innovations of all kind, inventions. the lightbulb, the elevator, the telephone, the mousetrap. the cash register. on and on. the wright brothers were involved in all of that, felt that. it was a renaissance time, if you look upon innovation and invention as an art form.
dayton had the most number of patents issued to citizens of the city on a per capita basis of any city in the country. dayton was hot. it was a silicon valley of the time. they were in the midst of something exciting. i think people felt americans could do anything. we were about to build the panama canal. the most momentous undertaking our country has ever taken upon itself. and that was good, the future looked good. nobody realized that world war i was over the horizon. brian: in order to do your research for this book, where did you have to go?
david: as you know, i always feel i have to go where things happen. i had to go to kitty hawk, dayton, the ford museum at dearborn, michigan where their bicycle shop is located. i had to go to paris, but a place an important part of the story. i said to myself, you have got to go to paris. i had to go to le mans, where wilbur demonstrated what the plane could do. as the world wssas -- was astonished to see. and then down to pau, near the spanish border with the pyrenees in the distance. i benefited from each and every one of those places in my sense of what they did and where they were and so forth. but i would say, the most important place of all was the house, inside that house, which is exactly as it was, because when they turned it over to a museum, orville supervised it.
it was all done under his agreement and his sense of what it should look like. you walk in the door and it is exactly as it was. the idea that out of this little house -- had no running water, no indoor plumbing, no electricity, no telephone, came this phenomenal idea, these two phenomenal people, who changed the world. but what you do see in the house, in spite of the absence of those other things, are lots of books. and that is a big part of their story. their father insisted they read everything, read fiction, read history, natural history philosophy. and he insisted that they learn to use the english language properly. brian: how much education to the wright brothers have?
david: formal education ended with high school -- they didn't even graduate. that was largely because their father always encouraged them if they had an interesting project to work on. he said, stay home and do that. you don't have to go to school.\ wilbur, without any question was a genius. orville was very bright and inventive, clever mechanically but he didn't have the reach of mind that wilbur had. wilbur was a natural leader, and he was the older brother, the boss. their sister was also very bright. one of the pleasures of this book has been able to bring her out of the shadows because she belongs front and center. not downstage. i'm not sure it would have turned out the way it did had it
not been for her. i love to give credit where credit is long overdue, and she deserves a lot of credit. when i started, i didn't know anything -- much more than all of us learned in high school. they were from ohio, they had a bicycle shop, and invented the airplane. but it is much, much more than that. brian: your research assistant on many of these books, mike hill, was here a couple years ago to talk about his book, and when he was here, i asked him about what your book was about. let's watch this and see if you lived up to your promise. [laughter] [video clip] brian: he is working on another book? >> he is. i know you worked him over pretty good when he came on here before and he didn't crack.
the way it is looking now is that the narrative arc of the book would start in the early age of infancy with the wright brothers doing some of their early tests outside paris in 1908-1909. as aviation exploded, not only as a technological instrument but also as a cultural icon, take that through world war i and the aviators who fought overseas and how aviation converted into this instrument of war, and then take it forward out of the war into the 1920's, and the ark would taper off with charles lindbergh landing in paris in may of 1927. brian: did you do that? david: no. [laughter] david: there is a huge collection of letters in the library of congress, professional letters, which
number well over 1000. and diaries, and large books and technical books, in their own handwriting. in addition, there are well over 1000 private family correspondences, letters written strictly for each other in the family. since they wrote superbly, the use of the english language is humbling. the father insisted they know how to write a good letter, give a good talk. these letters are long and never boring. and you hear all about what is on their minds, what they think is funny, what they are having trouble with.
catherine could get pretty feisty -- the sister. wrathy, she said, i can be wrathy. they were all very funny. once we got into these letters i said, this is the book. my book begins in 1910 -- my book ends in 1910. that is wonderfully, graphically illustrated by the fact that until then, they had refused ever to ride together in a plane because there was always the chance they could get killed. every time they went up, they do this. their courage was phenomenal. they would not ride together because of one of them got killed, they want to the other to be around to carry on with the mission. to complete their objective. in 1910, they decided they would put on an exhibition for the people of dayton at the cow pasture where they did a lot of their experimental work. and so they invited the town to come out and watch, and the two of them got an a plane together, which was symbolically saying, we have done will be set out to do.
a lot of people there understood exactly the symbolism of that moment. brian: here's some video from the first flight, 1903. at kitty hawk, about 55 seconds. [video clip] >> in 1903, 2 bicycle mechanics felt they had a heavier than air machine that could carry a man aloft in controlled flight. wilbur and orville wright, after four years of experimentation, gave the glider and 12 horsepower engine which they designed themselves. the engine powered to push her-type propellers. december 17, 1903 was a windy day at kitty hawk, north carolina.
by the toss of the coin, orville won a chance to become the first man in history to fly under power. the first flight covering a distance of 120 feet, lasted only 12 seconds. four flights were made that day, and the last flight covered 852 feet and 59 seconds. -- in 59 seconds. brian: did you say that that plane was never used again? david: the end of that film, that was not the plane that flew at kitty hawk, that is the one that was developed -- the plaintiff with a kitty hawk was not a practical plan, all the really did was take off and land. they didn't know how to bank and turn. it wasn't until 1905 that they perfected that kind of plane which is one that was shown in the latter part of that film. that is flying at huffman prairies. the plane was never used again. brian: where is it now? david: it was reconstructed and is now in the smithsonian.
brian: what kind of competition was there back then to be the first people flying an airplane? david: there was a lot of experimentation going on but no real competition, they were ahead of everybody. most of all of that was in france, not here. there is a claim that a man named whitehead up in connecticut flew first, but there is no evidence or proof. if he did fly, he never flew again. when he went to fly a plane he built, it wouldn't fly. even his own family said he never flew. in france, it was taken rather seriously. when finally the time came when wilbur went to france to demonstrate what he had achieved, all the french aviator said, we are but children, they are way ahead of us. that first demonstration took
place on the eighth day of the eighth month of 1908, august 8 1908, at le mans, france. the astonishment was beyond anything anyone can remember. tens of thousands of people were coming to watch them fly. the whole world knew that the airplane was a real event. that man could fly. the wright brothers instantly became two of the most famous people on earth. brian: this is from the u.s. air force, and this is at le mans, france. [video clip] >> his flights on the continent attracted the president of france, as well as the kings of england, spain, and italy. to wilbur, it was endless work. in addition to acting as a
pilot and ground crew, he was a mechanic and salesman. a team pulled the plane across the runway on a grassy field. the flying machine was swung into position facing the wind. to provide thrust for the takeoff, they developed a catapult. after the props were spun, the propeller took over. wilbur and his passenger, a french journalist, took seats on the lower wing and braced themselves for and exciting ride. he convinced europe, but no sales. brian: convinced but no sale. who was trying to sell to whom? david: theoretically, the french army was going to buy the planes.