With bipartisan aid, Paul filibusters CIA pick Brennan
J. Scott Applewhite / AP
Senate Foreign Relations member Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. questions Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, during Kerry’s confirmation hearing before the committee to replace Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Pledging to speak “until I can no longer speak,” Kentucky Republican Rand Paul on Wednesday launched a filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be the next CIA director, getting assists from a half dozen other lawmakers over the course of hours standing on the Senate floor.
The filibuster continued into its eighth hour after Democratic Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois objected to Paul’s request that the Senate take up a non-binding sense of the Senate resolution stating that the U.S. government cannot target “noncombatants” with drones on American soil.
Paul objects to what he calls the Obama administration’s lack of clarity over whether a suspected terrorist who is an American citizen can be targeted with a drone strike within U.S. borders.
Arguing that such a resolution would be premature, Durbin instead invited Paul to testify at an upcoming hearing on the issue of drones.
But that offer was not enough for Paul to halt his protest.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., engages in a discussion with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., over the use of lethal force on American citizens on U.S. soil and the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director on the Senate floor on Wednesday.
Hours into his filibuster, Paul acknowledged that Brennan will ultimately be confirmed, saying the lengthy delay is merely a “blip” in his nomination. But he and other participants emphasized that the debate is intended to shine a spotlight on the government’s balance of civil liberties with national security.
Paul spoke solo for over three hours before being joined on the floor by other lawmakers who stepped in to continue the filibuster.
Republican Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Marco Rubio of Florida – as well as Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon — participated.
Over six hours after beginning the filibuster, a visibly tired Paul could be seen eating what appeared to be several pieces of candy in between sentences. At one point, Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., set a thermos and an apple on his desk.
Rand Paul’s Filibuster Is Picking Up Major Steam With Both Parties
Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster of the nomination of John Brennan to be CIA Director has started to gain significant momentum this afternoon, as other prominent Republican Senators and conservative minds have praised Paul’s three-plus-hour long effort.
Around 3 p.m. this afternoon, Republican Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined Paul on the Senate floor to join in his filibuster. Shortly after, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) also began taking part.
Finally, to make the filibuster bipartisan, Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon came to the floor to speak.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), one of the GOP’s rising stars, tweeted support for Paul’s filibuster:
Erick Erickson, the editor-in-chief of the conservative website RedState, urged Rubio to join the filibuster, along with Lee and Cruz. Erickson said it would “cement” the legacy of recently retired Sen. Jim DeMint, who was historically one of the Senate’s most frequent employers of the filibuster technique.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden Joins Rand Paul For Historic Bipartisan Filibuster Over Drone Strikes
by Andrew Kirell | 4:29 pm, March 6th, 2013 video
Sen. Rand Paul‘s (R-KY) filibuster of John Brennan‘s CIA nomination just became a bipartisan affair: Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced he will join the effort to protest the Obama pick’s appointment by railing against executive overreach on targeted killings.
Several hours into his filibuster effort, Paul’s Republican colleagues in Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) joined him on the Senate floor. But it took nearly four hours for a Democrat to surprise everyone and make the filibuster a bipartisan one.
Shortly before 4:00 p.m. ET, Sen. Wyden announced, via Twitter, that he was heading to the floor to speak out against the president’s executive overreach on targeted killings and the lack of congressional oversight thereof:
Several minutes later, Wyden appeared on the floor and Paul handed off the mic to the liberal Oregon senator.
- Rand Paul Filibusters Brennan Nomination (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Rand Paul Breaks Three Hour Mark on Filibuster of Brennan Nomination (reason.com)
- USA TODAY: “Parts of official Washington are transfixed by Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster of John Brenn… (pjmedia.com)
- RAND PAUL Filibusters Nomination of Brennan on Senate Floor (Live Feed) (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Highlights of Rand Paul’s filibuster thus far (Video) (washingtonpost.com)
- Rand Paul: I won’t let Obama ‘shred Constitution’ (wnd.com)
- So it turns out a talking filibuster is actually pretty darn good idea after all (dailykos.com)
- Durbin Says Filibuster Reform Should Be Revived (politicalwire.com)
- Rand Paul’s Filibuster Is Picking Up Major Steam With Both Parties (businessinsider.com)
- Contact Your Representatives in Support of Rand Paul’s filibuster (dailypaul.com)