“What our national security professionals will tell you is that they will, if faced with a scenario in which they have some of these tools taken out of their toolbox, they will try to use all of the tools that they currently have to do what's necessary to keep us safe,” he said. “And the point that I would make is that taking those tools away seems like an unnecessary risk.”
“Why would we take the chance, and more importantly, why are we taking the chance?” he said.
In scolding the Senate for the standoff, Earnest said there is no “rational explanation” for the current situation.
“I haven't heard a rational explanation for what exactly is going on in the United States Senate right now,” the press secretary quipped. “There is no good explanation for it.”
While some Senate Republicans contend that the Freedom Act does not go far enough in providing national security officials access to data that can be helpful in counter-terrorism operations, others argue that it would infringe to greatly on civil liberties.
"The bulk collection of all Americans' phone records all of the time is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment,” Paul, who opposes both the Patriot Act and the USA Freedom Act, said last week.