Rand Paul Staging Old-School Filibuster

Senator holds up vote on CIA nominee over drone strategy

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 6, 2013 3:26 PM CST | Updated Mar 6, 2013 6:27 PM CST

(Newser) – It's possible the Senate will get a chance to confirm John Brennan as the next CIA chief tomorrow—unless Rand Paul's voice holds out. The Kentucky Republican began a genuine filibuster about 11:45am today, reports USA Today. That is, he's not taking advantage of the modern rule that allows him to just say he wants to filibuster—he's talking and talking and talking. "I will speak for as long as it takes," he said. "I will speak today until the president says, ‘No,’ he will not kill you at a cafe.'" The quote refers to White House policy on drone strikes against Americans on US soil. (Watch it live at CSPAN.org.)

About three hours into the filibuster, Paul started getting support, reports the Hill. Republicans Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and others helped him keep the filibuster moving, as did Democrat Ron Wyden. Harry Reid is powerless to end it until Paul yields the floor because Reid failed to file the appropriate paperwork beforehand, reports Politico. Yesterday, Paul released a letter from the attorney general stating that while it would be unlikely, it's conceivable that the US might order the killing of an American citizen here to prevent a terror attack.

This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaking on the floor of the Senate Wednesday.
This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaking on the floor of the Senate Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Senate Television)
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