Rand Paul says he's considering filibuster of budget agreement

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he's considering a filibuster of the budget agreement to fund the government for the remainder of this fiscal year. 

Paul, who said yesterday that he would vote against the agreement reached last Friday to cut $39.9 billion between now and September, acknowledged that he's considering waging a filibuster, which would make it so that leaders need 60 votes to pass the deal and advance it to President Obama's desk.

"Yes, but we haven't really made a final decision on that yet," Paul said on conservative talker Sean Hannity's radio show. 

A filibuster would make it difficult for the Senate to pass the budget deal by midnight Friday, when the government's spending measure expires.

Paul acknowledged that even if he were to filibuster, it's unlikely that he'll attract 40 other senators' votes in order to sustain his procedural roadblock to the budget deal.

But such a move might crystallize conservative dissatisfaction with the deal brokered by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in last-minute negotiations with Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Conservatives are angry the deal falls short of the benchmark of $100 billion in cuts below Obama's original budget proposal for this fiscal year.

Paul said that he would be more inclined to block action in the upper chamber if it led to consideration of the Senate GOP's balanced budget amendment. 

But even if it came up in the Senate, Paul said that House GOP leaders would be reluctant to bring it up because even Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget does not balance out for at least two decades.

"My sense is that because it takes 28 years to balance the budget under Ryan's plan, the House does not want to pursue a balanced budget amendment," he said.

"The problem is that I don't think I have the leverage now."

A spokesman for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said passing Ryan's budget plan is the first priority.

“The balanced-budget amendment, which must be ratified in the states, represents a long-term option, but right now we’re focused on the Ryan budget we hope to pass this week, which will put out us on a path to pay down the debt," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said.

Updated at 4:55 p.m.

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