Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulWhat the 'Bernie Sanders wing of the GOP' can teach Congress GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election How low is the bar for presidential candidates, anyway? 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 LeeDonald Trump's Mormon PR problem Trump's big worry isn't rigged elections, it's GOP establishment GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election 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 ThuneWhat will be in Obama’s Presidential Library GOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election Republicans question FCC watchdog's 'independence' MORE (S.D.), Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellFive takeaways from Florida Senate debate Liberal groups call for delaying cures bill to next year Conservative groups urge against extending energy tax breaks MORE (Ky.), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonGOP plan: Link Dems to an email scandal GOP senator: Dems making ‘concerted effort to produce fraudulent votes’ Club for Growth: Anti-Trump spending proved to be 'good call' MORE (Wis.), Tim ScottTim ScottGOP senators avoid Trump questions on rigged election More Senate Republicans pressure Treasury over debt-equity rules Trump's implosion might be blessing in disguise for GOP MORE (S.C.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeReport: Investor visa program mainly funds wealthy areas High anxiety for GOP Five takeaways from final debate 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 WydenCanada expresses willingness to finish softwood lumber deal Dem pushes Treasury for info on Syria sanctions The holy grail of tax policy MORE (Ore.), who said he “appreciated” Paul’s effort to draw attention to the issue.
Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Wikileaks: Durbin pushed unknown Warren for Obama bank regulator The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-Ill.) filed the cloture motion on Brennan’s nomination before the Senate adjourned.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidCruz: Precedent exists for keeping Supreme Court short-staffed Warren’s power on the rise Republicans make M investment in Senate races 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.