After five hours of a Republican-led filibuster on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director on Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) came to the floor to wrap things up.
“I think the rest of the body needs to know if we’re gonna finish tonight, or tomorrow or the next day,” Reid said.
Reid called for a unanimous consent agreement to move to a direct vote and effectively end the filibuster on the nomination. Paul objected, demanding to hear from the administration directly whether President Obama carried authority to target Americans within the United States with drone strikes. Responding that he did not speak for the administration, Reid relented.
“Everyone should plan on coming tomorrow. We’re through for the night,” he said.
Paul was aided on the floor at various times by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) Ted Cruz (R-TX), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Pat Toomey (R-PA) and even one Democrat, Ron Wyden of Oregon.
“I will speak until I can no longer speak,” Paul said in beginning his remarks. “I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.”
As of this article’s posting, Paul is still speaking from the floor. Watch it live here.
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.