Burr comments on Patriot Act's need ahead of June deadline

Published: May. 26, 2015 at 3:51 AM EDT|Updated: May. 30, 2015 at 3:51 AM EDT
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NORTH CAROLINA (WECT) - Lawmakers are going head to head over whether to re-authorize the Patriot Act in the U-S Senate.

The law allows the NSA to collect phone records, and North Carolina Senator Richard Burr wants to keep it as it now stands.

The law expired June 1st with many Americans saying it violates their privacy. The House wants to leave those records with phone companies and restrict how the government can search them, but Burr says it needs to remain as is to keep American's safe.

"The American people expect us to do everything we can to keep Americans safe, and the Patriot Act was one of those tools that we instituted post-9/11," Burr said. "We've refined it to where it works very successfully. I don't believe that it infringes on any American's privacy because we collect raw telephone numbers, not tied to a person's identity in any way, shape, or form and our only interest is did that telephone number talk to a known terrorist telephone number."

He also spoke on other issues facing our country right now including Isis.

"Two years ago ISIS didn't exist, and today they exist with one of the most phenomenal recruiting capacities that any army has ever seen," Burr said. It's all the function of social media and brutality I might say and the reality is that wars in WWII were conventional and the wars we see today are barbaric."

However, it's the issues facing veterans and service members here at home that Burr says need to be addressed as well.

"The average American should be embarrassed at how pitiful the veterans administration the hoops they make our veterans jump through, the difficulty our veterans have at getting the services they so richly deserve," Burr said.

He made those comments before speaking at Monday's 50th annual Memorial Day Observance aboard the USS North Carolina where hundreds turned out to honor the fallen.

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