Justin Amash v. Marco Rubio on Patriot Act

Marco Rubio wants the Patriot Act to be extended forever. Justin Amash strongly disagrees.

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This issue is important both because Rubio is currently a Senator and also because he might be a presidential candidate. It is also important because Marco Rubio arguably won his office by identifying successfully (and now inexplicably) as a Tea Party candidate.

Marco Rubio has not only defended the Patriot Act but has advocated that its mass-surveillance directives be made permanent law rather than a renewable statute. He is quoted in NewsMax,

This year, a new Republican majority in both houses of Congress will have to extend current authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and I urge my colleagues to consider a permanent extension of the counterterrorism tools our intelligence community relies on to keep the American people safe.

No thank you. Would prefer we defund Homeland Security.

Marco Rubio also wants to make NSA surveillance permanent, according to the National Journal.

According to Rare.US, Justin Amash, a Republican Representative from Michigan was asked about Rubio’s proposals.

“I think it’s embarrassing to say things like that,” Amash said. He continued, “It reflects a lack of awareness of what the American people think and what the Constitution says.”

[…]

“If he thinks that that’s the future of the Republican Party he is very wrong.” “The party is liberty, protecting people’s rights, pushing back against corporate welfare and big government,” Amash added.

Amash concluded, “I think we have a great group of people who are pushing the Republican Party in the right direction, and you’ve got some people like Senator Rubio who want to take us backward and move the party in the wrong direction and make it into a very small party.”

Just to be clear, even though I think conservatives need to make this issue a priority, and I believe that Marco Rubio is on the wrong side of it, I don’t want to ever detract from Rubio’s real virtues. I thank him for defying the climate change campaign and for calling out GOP budget malfeasance. I greatly appreciate his willingness to join with Rand Paul and Ted Cruz in calling for an audit of the Federal Reserve.

But I can’t be a conservative and not criticize his defense of the Patriot Act. Justin Amash is right.