By ERICA WERNER, AP Congressional Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Paris attacks have renewed debate on the U.S. government's post-Sept. 11 domestic surveillance laws, leading to efforts to revive the issue on Capitol Hill and handing Marco Rubio an opening against Ted Cruz in the Republican presidential race.

The two senators were on opposite sides earlier this year when Congress eliminated the National Security Agency's bulk phone-records collection program and replaced it with a more restrictive measure to keep the records in phone companies' hands.

Rubio, R-Fla., sided with top Republican senators in trying unsuccessfully to extend the existing program, saying that national security required it. Cruz, R-Texas, allied himself with Democrats and the few other Republicans who said the program amounted to intrusive government overreach with no security benefit and voted to remake it.

Now, with polls showing the public is growing more concerned with security after the Paris attacks this month that killed 130 people, Rubio is backing long-shot legislation aimed at keeping the intended changes from taking effect at month's end, as scheduled. He also is needling Cruz, who is responding just as adamantly, as the two, rising in the presidential polls, escalate their direct confrontations.

"This is not a personal attack. It's a policy difference," Rubio said recently in an interview in Des Moines, Iowa. He said Cruz had joined with Senate liberals and the ACLU "to undermine the intelligence programs of this country."

"They do so under the guise of protecting our liberties," Rubio said. "But in fact you can protect our liberties without undermining those programs."

Cruz, in an interview, disputed Rubio's criticism.

"I disagree with some Washington Republicans who think we should disregard and discard the constitutional protections of American citizens," he said. "We can keep this nation safe without acquiescing to Big Brother having information about every aspect of our lives."

The back-and-forth comes at a moment when Rubio and Cruz are nearing the top of the Republican field nationally and in key early voting states, though Donald Trump remains the front-runner. At the same time, a Washington Post poll conducted after the Paris attacks showed a jump in the percentage of voters favoring investigating terrorist threats over protecting personal privacy: 72 percent said the government should investigate threats even at the cost of personal privacy, and 25 percent said the government shouldn't intrude on personal privacy, even if that limits its investigatory abilities.

Speculation about how the suspects in the Paris attacks communicated is also raising calls for Congress to take new steps on surveillance and ensure government access to encrypted networks. It adds up to an atmosphere in which some of those on the losing end of the congressional debate this year now feel they have the upper hand.

"It's just astonishing to me how those advocates of ridding us of any government involvement in our lives have now become strangely quiet," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. "Of course they've been proven wrong."

The Senate agreed to the USA Freedom Act this year only after GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who's also running for president but lags in polls, used Senate rules to force the most controversial aspect to expire briefly, in a showdown with the Senate leaders.

The Freedom Act remade that element of the Patriot Act — the bulk collection program, exposed by Edward Snowden, that allows the NSA to sweep up Americans' phone records and comb through them for ties to international terrorists. On Sunday, the NSA loses the power to collect and store those records. The government still could gain court orders to obtain data connected to specific numbers from the phone companies.

By STEVE PEOPLES, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is in the Middle East this weekend to meet with Syrian refugees.

The retired neurosurgeon has been facing questions about his command of foreign policy. Carson planned to tour one of Jordan's major refugee camps Friday and Saturday, campaign manager Barry Bennett said. Bennett declined to release more details about the two-day mission because of security concerns.

Like other Republicans, Carson has sometimes taken a harsh tone when discussing the issue. Last week, he likened blocking potential terrorists posing as Syrian refugees to handling a rabid dog.

"We have to have in place screening mechanisms that allow us to determine who the mad dogs are, quite frankly," he said. "Who are the people who want to come in here and hurt us and want to destroy us?"

Debate over Syrians fleeing their war-torn country has erupted following a series of terrorist attacks in Paris that raised security concerns across the West. Carson and his GOP rivals have criticized President Barack Obama's plan to welcome 10,000 Syrian refugees this budget year, expressing concern that terrorists may sneak into the country among them. Many Republicans have linked the Paris attackers to Syrian refugees, although European authorities have yet to confirm such connections.

Carson has repeatedly struggled to discuss international affairs as they become a greater focus in the 2016 presidential contest. Those close to him concede his foreign policy fluency isn't yet where it needs to be. They hope missions like this will help change that.

"I'd say he's 75 percent of the way there," Armstrong Williams, Carson's longtime business manager and closest confidant, said last week of the candidate's grasp of foreign policy. "The world is a complex place, and he wants to get it right."

Carson is scheduled to return to the United States late Saturday, Bennett said.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

MIAMI (AP) — Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig sustained a swollen eye and facial bruises during a fight with a bouncer.

Miami police spokesman Major Delrish Moss said the injuries happened Wednesday night as the Cuban slugger was leaving the Blue Martini bar at bouncers' request following an argument with his sister.

Major League Baseball plans to investigate, making Puig the second player subject to potential discipline under the sport's new domestic violence policy.

Moss said "at some point" Puig and a bouncer began to fight, leaving Puig with the swollen left eye and "minor bumps and bruises" to his face. Moss said the bouncer got a busted lip and minor facial bruises.

The spokesman said the bouncer claimed Puig sucker-punched him; Puig said the bouncer got too aggressive. Moss said neither wanted to press charges.

A Dodgers spokesman said Friday night the team had no comment.

Limited to 72 games this season because of hamstring injuries, Puig hit .255 with 11 homers and 30 RBIs.

The Cuban defector, who turns 25 next month, makes his offseason home in Miami.

It's the latest in a series of scrapes involving Puig. He was arrested twice for reckless driving in 2013, leading the Dodgers to say they were "very disappointed" with his behavior. In one of the cases, Puig's mother and cousin were in the car with him.

Puig signed a $42 million, seven-year contract in June 2012.

MLB officials and the players union agreed in August on a new comprehensive policy concerning domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. The agreement followed a series of high-profile domestic violence cases involving NFL players.

Commissioner Rob Manfred was given broad discretion for determining the length of punishment for players for "just cause." There are no maximum or minimum penalties prescribed in the deal. Manfred also is given the authority to suspend a player with pay while legal proceedings are ongoing.

Earlier this month, the commissioner's office said it had started looking into the Oct. 31 arrest of Colorado Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes after an argument with his wife that police said turned physical at a resort in Hawaii.

Reyes was released after posting $1,000 bail and issued a warning citation to have no contact with his wife for three days after the arrest. He pleaded not guilty to a charge of abuse of a family or household member.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.