Sen. Rand PaulRand PaulRand Paul rejects label of 'Trump's most loyal stooge' GOP healthcare plans push health savings account expansion Congress must reform civil asset forfeiture laws 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 LeeLessons from the godfather of regulatory budgeting Congress must reform civil asset forfeiture laws A guide to the committees: Senate 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 ThuneLow-income consumer broadband credits mean competitiveness, choice and compassion ObamaCare fix hinges on Medicaid clash in Senate A guide to the committees: Senate MORE (S.D.), Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellMcConnell: Trump's speech should be 'tweet free' Protesters crash McConnell's speech The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (Ky.), Ron JohnsonRon JohnsonA guide to the committees: Senate Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs Dems ask for hearings on Russian attempts to attack election infrastructure MORE (Wis.), Tim ScottTim ScottGOP rep: No ‘artificial crowd’ at my town hall A guide to the committees: Senate Republicans at risk in 2018 steering clear of town halls MORE (S.C.) and Jeff FlakeJeff FlakeGreens launch ads against two GOP senators for Pruitt votes GOP groups ramp up pressure on lawmakers over ObamaCare A guide to the committees: Senate 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 WydenMnuchin aiming for tax reform by August Dems rip Trump administration for revoking Obama's transgender directive IPAB’s Medicare cuts will threaten seniors’ access to care MORE (Ore.), who said he “appreciated” Paul’s effort to draw attention to the issue.
Sen. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems rip Trump administration for revoking Obama's transgender directive A guide to the committees: Senate McConnell: I’m very sympathetic to 'Dreamers' MORE (D-Ill.) filed the cloture motion on Brennan’s nomination before the Senate adjourned.
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidThe Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs If Gorsuch pick leads to 'crisis,' Dems should look in mirror first 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.