#2. Spying on Citizens
Mitch McConnell and other Republicans vowed to not let the Patriot Act expire, however, with the diligence of a handful of civil rights advocates and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), it failed to be renewed.
In its wake, “The Freedom Act” or H.R. 2048 U.S.A Freedom Act of 2015 is to replace the now failed Patriot Act, but will not not include the ability to collect bulk data on citizens without due process.
In a poll conducted in December 2013 by the Washington Post, 66% of Americans were concerned “about the collection and use of [their] personal information by the National Security Agency.” Additionally, a Pew poll, again, found that a majority of Americans oppose the government’s collection of phone and Internet data as a part of anti-terrorism efforts.
Yet, H.R. 2048 U.S.A Freedom Act of 2015 is still on the table after the Patriot Act renewal failed and many Republicans, who once defended the rights of individuals and limited government, feel it necessary to support yet another bill that would infringe on the privacy of Americans. It should be noted, however, that Sen. Rand Paul’s stand with opposing party members on this issue will not go unnoticed by Independent and Democratic voters, as 8 Republicans 45 Democrats and One Independent, Angus King stood in alliance with Paul.