March 6, 2013

ROLL CALL: Rand Paul Filibuster Spectacle Rivets Senate.

As the hours went by, other senators joined him, asking Paul to yield for the ostensible purpose of asking a question. In reality, that gave Paul a brief respite from an otherwise lonely crusade. The first member to intervene was Utah Sen. Mike Lee, a tea-party-backed Republican like Paul, at the three hour and 10 minute mark. Others followed, including GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.

“Just let me give you some free advice: keep some water nearby,” Rubio quipped in a jab at himself over his own conspicuous consumption of spring water during this year’s Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union address. Rubio, who voted to advance Brennan’s nomination from the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, said he thought Paul was asking a straightforward question of the administration and deserved a clear answer.

When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., tried to get consent to bring the debate to a close and allow votes on Brennan’s nomination before the end of the evening, Paul rebuffed him. . . .

Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon lent bipartisanship to the filibuster effort. Wyden has expressed concerns about numerous Obama administration policies on civil liberties grounds. Wyden said he would support Brennan’s confirmation but backs Paul’s underlying inquiry.

The best part was when Rand Paul sought unanimous consent for a sense of the Senate resolution that the President shouldn’t kill American citizens in America — and Democrats, led by Dick Durbin, objected.

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