Paul gets White House answer on drones after filibuster while some Senators viewed it as Randstanding

03/07/2013 04:38 PM

The Obama administration said Thursday it would not order drones to kill American citizens on U.S. soil in response to Kentucky U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s 13-hour-long request for clarification.

Kentucky’s junior U.S. Senator filibustered the nomination of John Brennan to be head of the CIA until Paul got more information on the administration’s drone policy. The filibuster, which started late Wednesday morning, spilled into Thursday and garnered widespread attention to the issue and to Paul.

Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney told the press corps that the President “would not use drone strikes on American citizens on U.S. soil,” as seen in this video from Politico below.

Paul’s office also confirmed that he received more information from Attorney General Eric Holder responding to many of the questions Paul raised during the filibuster. Soon after, the Senate confirmed Brennan as head of the CIA by a vote of 63-34.

Paul ultimately voted against the confirmation. One of the two Democrats who voted no was Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Merkley said that the issues Paul raised in the filibuster prompted him to vote against the nominations according to Buzzfeed .

Just last week, Paul voted to confirm Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel after Paul had filibustered that nomination twice, although not in the dramatic fashion of Wednesday. After the Hagel vote, Paul told reporters in Washington that he fillibustered in order get more information about Hagel but in the end “the president gets to choose political appointees.”

During the 12-hour-and-52 minutes that Paul held the floor Wednesday, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators asked questions of Paul and most applauded him on his point to shine light on the issue.

However, two of Paul’s fellow Republican senators — John McCain, R-Arizona, and Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina — said on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday that Paul’s approach was immature even as they acknowledged that the broad points Paul raised deserve to be debated.

McCain and Graham were among the majority who voted to confirm Brennan.


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