Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Trump-Graham relationship tested by week of public sparring Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe MORE (R-Ky.) is slow-walking President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE's counterterrorism nominee, whose nomination has languished in the Senate for months. 

Paul has placed a hold on Joseph Maguire's nomination to be director of the National Counterterrorism Center, two Senate sources told The Hill on Wednesday. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Paul's hold, which has not been publicly announced, prevents the Senate from voting on Maguire's nomination unless Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTurkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate Fox's Wallace says 'well-connected' Republican told him there's a 20 percent chance GOP will vote for impeachment White House staggers after tumultuous 48 hours MORE (R-Ky.) decides to dedicate days of Senate floor time to getting him around procedural hurdles. 

But if the administration wants to get him confirmed by the end of the current session of Congress, after which they will likely be forced to renominate him to the position, they'll need to work quickly. 

The Senate is scheduled to be in town for less than a month before leaving for the year. They will be out of town next week before returning on Nov. 26 and are expected to recess until January beginning on Dec. 14. 

It's unclear when Paul placed his hold. A Senate source told The Hill that leadership was trying to get Maguire confirmed before lawmakers left town for an abbreviated August recess but couldn't get Paul to sign off. 

Dozens of nominations are typically cleared by unanimous consent or voice vote before a major break, but any one individual senator can block the request under Senate rules. 

Republicans have repeatedly lashed out at Democrats, accusing them of slow-walking Trump's nominees. When McConnell announced he was canceling most of the August recess, he pointed the blame at Democrats' "historic obstruction" on nominations. 

"We've got this backlog of nominations, certainly we anticipate and hope to have less obstruction on those, but I've been hoping for that for quite some time and it hasn't occurred yet," he said at the time. 

Maguire cleared the Senate Intelligence Committee in July. He has the backing of committee chairman Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrEx-CIA agent: Whistleblower's complaint 'should be considered on its merits' Senate Intel chair: Whistleblower hasn't agreed to testify before panel Juan Williams: Trump, the conspiracy theory president MORE (R-N.C.), who tweeted after a committee hearing on the nomination that he's "highly qualified" and will "benefit the Intel Community and the defense of our country."

Trump announced in June that he would nominate Maguire for the post. He was previously deputy director for strategic operations at the counterterrorism center. He retired from the Navy in 2010. 

A spokesman for Paul didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the hold.

Paul has opposed other intelligence community officials, including during a high-profile fight over CIA Director Gina Haspel, and his views on privacy and surveillance put him at odds with a bulk of the Senate GOP caucus. 

He isn't the only Republican senator blocking an intelligence community nominee. 

Sen. Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyState cites 38 people for violations in Clinton email review Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle mourn Cummings GOP cautions Graham against hauling Biden before Senate MORE (R-Iowa) announced in June that he would hold up William Evanina, Trump’s pick to be the director of the national counterintelligence and security center, because the intelligence community has not responded to congressional inquiries in a timely matter.

Grassley, according to the Senate's executive calendar, still has a hold on Evanina.