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As Patriot Act Expires, Coats Blasts Rand Paul For Grandstanding

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  Senator Dan Coats (R-IN) is publicly lambasting fellow Senator and Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) for forcing a temporary halt to provisions of the Patriot Act.

Paul used the Senate’s unanimous consent rule to block a temporary extension on provisions that expired at midnight Sunday. The provisions allowed for the wiretapping of a suspect over multiple phones and for wiretaps of suspects not connected to any terror group.

The Kentucky Senator says the Patriot Act allows the government to listen in on phone conversations and sift through personal online contact information. Coats says Paul is exaggerating the powers of the Patriot Act for the sake of his presidential run.

"NSA’s been part of a tool that has thwarted attacks to this point and right now we’re running a huge risk that something we could have detected won’t be detected because the program is temporarily shut down on the basis of one person," Coats says.

Coats insists even a temporary gap in surveillance could cost lives.