Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Haley isolated after Trump fallout MORE (R-Ky.) is slow-walking President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend 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. 

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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 McConnellJudiciary Committee greenlights Garland's AG nomination This week: Senate takes up coronavirus relief after minimum wage setback Juan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP 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 BurrChamber of Commerce labels Biden removal of NLRB general counsel 'extreme' Sasse rebuked by Nebraska Republican Party over impeachment vote Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence 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 GrassleyChuck GrassleyJudiciary Committee greenlights Garland's AG nomination Grassley to vote against Tanden nomination Grassley says he'll decide this fall whether to run in 2022 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.