Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulLawmaker seeks to investigate Obama's foreign tax compliance law Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears GOP senators hit FBI on early probe of NY bombing suspect MORE (R-Ky.) ended his filibuster against the nomination of John Brennan to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to cheers and applause in the Senate chamber.
Paul used the rare talking filibuster for nearly 13 hours on Wednesday, spilling over into early Thursday morning, when he finally yielded the floor at 12:39 a.m.
The Kentucky senator said he believed the White House would give him a response on the drone program in the morning. Paul wants President Obama to say he will not kill U.S. citizens on American soil with drone attacks if they are non-enemy combatants. He says U.S. citizens deserve due process under the Fifth Amendment.
“I’m hopeful that we have drawn attention to this issue, that this issue will not fade away, and that the president will come up with a response,” Paul said in his closing remarks.
Paul’s filibuster was initially greeted with skepticism when he began, as he spoke for three hours alone about the administration’s refusal to rule out drone strikes on American soil.
But as the day continued, one GOP senator after another pledged support to Paul’s cause and supported him on the floor.
Paul was first joined by Sen. Mike LeeMike LeeSenators express 'grave concerns' about ObamaCare 'bailout' Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears Shutdown risk grows over Flint MORE (R-Utah.) who said “Americans have every reason to be concerned any time the government wants to intrude on life, liberty or prosperity.”
But as Wednesday night turned into Thursday morning, several more GOP senators came to join Paul in support of his filibuster.
Late-coming GOP Sens. John ThuneJohn ThuneFour states sue to stop internet transition GOP senators press Treasury to withdraw estate tax proposal Yahoo failed to prioritize security: report MORE (S.D.), Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellGOP leaders express reservations a day after 9/11 veto override White House: Congress has 'buyer's remorse' on 9/11 bill Anti-trade sens. say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP MORE (Ky.), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Grassley accuses Reid of 'pure unfiltered partisanship' California to allow experimental drug treatments for the terminally ill MORE (Wis.), Tim ScottTim ScottGOP senator: Kaepernick protest 'a drastic mistake' GOP senators ask watchdog to examine Gitmo site surveys spending Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (S.C.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeObama defeat is Schumer victory Top GOP chairmen investigating foreign visa program Pence rallies GOP before final stretch MORE (Ariz.) also questioned why the Obama administration wouldn’t simply say it would not kill U.S. citizens on American soil in drone attacks.
The filibuster also attracted a Democrat, Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenElection-year politics: Senate Dems shun GOP vulnerables Overnight Tech: TV box plan faces crucial vote | Trump transition team to meet tech groups | Growing scrutiny of Yahoo security Overnight Regulation: Supporters push for TV box reforms ahead of vote MORE (Ore.), who said he “appreciated” Paul’s effort to draw attention to the issue.
Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems gain upper hand on budget McConnell: Senate could drop flood money from spending bill Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (D-Ill.) filed the cloture motion on Brennan’s nomination before the Senate adjourned.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidAnti-trade sens. say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP McConnell blames dysfunction on Dems Reid sums up 114th Congress as 'a flop' MORE (D-Nev.) has said that he still hopes to have a vote on the confirmation of Brennan on Thursday if he can reach an agreement to do so with GOP members.