June 13, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Mulvaney joined Senator Rand Paul at a press conference Thursday where they discussed the recent news regarding the National Security Agency leak. The full text of Rep. Mulvaney’s speech is below.
“I applaud what Senator Paul is doing and I am proud to join him today. But we can and should continue along other paths at the same time.
As lawmakers, our duty is to pass good laws and oppose bad ones. And when we find existing laws that need to be improved, we amend them. And if these existing laws are beyond amending – as many of them are – we should seek to rescind them.
When we passed the Patriot Act extensions, many of us were concerned about the potential for abuse in Section 215, among others. We were told at the time not to worry – that our government would not push the envelope on the language of this section. Apparently, our government never got that message.
Many of us used to think that when it came to gray areas on something so central to the fabric of this country, that the government would err on the side of our privacy, our fundamental rights, and our most basic constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. Apparently, that is not the case.
And that is why we are here today to try and reclaim the ground that’s been lost.
Six years ago President Barack Obama told us there were “no shortcuts” when it came to keeping America secure.
He was right.
I’m confused, then, as to why the president has chosen to take the mother of all shortcuts – right through our most private and personal information.
So, no more gray areas. When we are dealing with our phone calls and our emails, our GPS tracking devices and the chips in our cars, our internet searches and our social media posts, there must be strict, specific language in place that explicitly prevents the government from overreaching.
No one here is talking about tying the government’s hands when it has specific and credible information regarding crime or terror. The Constitution itself contemplates searches and seizures under certain conditions. And in the interest of securing life and liberty, we respect those conditions.
But we cannot permit our government to abuse its authority – because when that happens, our government loses its moral authority.
The old saying goes, if you “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice …” Well, we’re here today to say unequivocally that we will not be fooled again – not by the well-intentioned among us, and certainly not by those who disingenuously offer up the false choice between liberty and security, as if this was some sort of zero sum game.
It isn’t. And we are all here today to make sure the balance of liberty is restored to the people.”
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