Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Authorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient GOP feuds with outside group over analysis of tax framework 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.

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Paul said he would have liked to have gone another 12 hours to break the record of former Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), but Paul needed to “take care of something you can’t put off in a filibuster,” referring to using the restroom.

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 LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong How the effort to replace ObamaCare failed Overnight Regulation: Trump temporarily lifts Jones Act for Puerto Rico | Bill would exempt some banks from Dodd-Frank | Senators unveil driverless car bill 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 Randolph ThuneGun proposal picks up GOP support Overnight Regulation: Senate panel approves driverless car bill | House bill to change joint-employer rule advances | Treasury to withdraw proposed estate tax rule | Feds delaying Obama methane leak rule Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (S.D.), Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (Ky.), Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonGun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker to unveil bill banning gun bump stocks Senate Homeland Security chairman backs bump-stock ban after Las Vegas shootings MORE (Wis.), Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottOvernight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Senators grill ex-Equifax CEO over stock sales Wells Fargo chief defends bank's progress in tense Senate hearing MORE (S.C.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeAuthorizing military force is necessary, but insufficient Republicans jockey for position on immigration McCain, Flake warn against 'politically-motivated penalties' for Canadian defense firm 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 WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse bill set to reignite debate on warrantless surveillance Senate confirms No. 2 spot at HHS, days after Price resigns Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax CEO faces outraged lawmakers | Dem presses voting machine makers on cyber defense | Yahoo says 3 billion accounts affected by 2013 breach MORE (Ore.), who said he “appreciated” Paul’s effort to draw attention to the issue.

Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinGun proposal picks up GOP support Durbin: I had 'nothing to do' with Curbelo snub Republicans jockey for position on immigration MORE (D-Ill.) filed the cloture motion on Brennan’s nomination before the Senate adjourned.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Republicans are headed for a disappointing end to their year in power Obama's HHS secretary could testify in Menendez trial 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.