The Ticket

Rand Paul vows to continue pressing Obama on drone policy; filibuster only ‘the beginning’

Chris Moody, Yahoo News
The Ticket

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul stood for 13 hours on the Senate floor this week in protest of the Obama Administration's drone policy, but he never knew he would stay that long.

In an op-ed in the Washington Post published Friday, Paul outlines what went through his mind throughout the filibuster, and how fellow lawmakers cheered him on:

If I had planned to speak for 13 hours when I took the Senate floor Wednesday, I would’ve worn more comfortable shoes. I started my filibuster with the words, “I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan’s nomination for the CIA. I will speak until I can no longer speak” — and I meant it.

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I had a large binder of materials to help me get through my points, but although I sometimes read an op-ed or prepared remarks in between my thoughts, most of my filibuster was off the top of my head and straight from my heart. From 1 to 2 p.m., I barely looked at my notes. I wanted to make sure that I touched every point and fully explained why I was demanding more information from the White House.

Just before 3 p.m., Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) came to the Senate floor to help out. Under Senate rules, I could not yield the floor or my filibuster would end, and Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) could have shut me down. The only way for me to continue and allow Sens. Lee and Cruz to speak was to yield the floor for questions.

Their presence gave me strength and inspiration. Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) also arrived to help. Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the only Democrat who came to my defense, explained how we have worked together to demand more information from the White House about the rules for drone strikes. At about 4:30 p.m., Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) joined. I was flagging for a while, but these senators kept me going.

Paul concludes the op-ed by saying his speech was only "the beginning" of an effort to challenge the president's policy. But as Yahoo News' Olivier Knox reported Thursday, the White House has no current plans to change course.

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