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

03/07/2013 05:38 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.

Jacqueline Pitts

Jacqueline Pitts joined the cn|2 political team in June 2012. A graduate of WKU, Jacqueline grew up in Nashville, TN and is looking forward to having a front row seat to Kentucky politics. Follow Jacqueline on Twitter @Jacqueline_cn2. She can be reached at 502-792-1114 or


  • viewer wrote on March 08, 2013 11:32 AM :

    I agree and applaud Sen Paul on his action. Eric Holder and the justice cabinet should have said something before it went this far. I think Holder needs to go. Not just because this but he has lost control and more important he has lost the public’s trust. The Government represents the people, but they have now decided that they dont need to inform us anymore on anything. Trust us they say, we know whats best for you. Attorney General Holder said last night on PBS’s Frontline that big banks are to big for the feds to prosecute. The reason he gave is it would send a shock wave through out the world. Oh my !!!! To big to fail , and too big to jail. That says it all friends. We need help and help fast.

  • Cat Balz wrote on March 08, 2013 11:39 AM :

    Has anyone ever told John McCain that he is just one of 100 Senators? Does he not know that millions of Americans on the left and right ( I thought bi-partisanship was a holy grail ) agree with Paul on this issue, as well as his claim that its time to re-configure our war on “terrorism”. It’s also time to re-visit our Constitution every once in a while, and prioritize it over Senate rules and “decorum”. John McCain is increasingly like some old geezer buttcramp in boxer shorts yelling at kids to get out of his yard. I think it’s time to tee pee one of the old fart’s houses.

  • sam pierce wrote on March 11, 2013 11:49 AM :

    I agree with viewer that Eric Holder should go. No one is too big to prosecute. Not one wall street crook has been prosecuted by Holder. Not one big banker. Obama just wanted their money in the last election.
    As for Cat Balz, he is correct as well. John McCain’s criticism of Rand Paul was loudly opposed by our Harrison County Lincoln Day crowd on Saturday. During our auction period after Ernie Fletcher’s speech and Andy Barr’s comments (we were happy that Ernie talked long enough to allow Andy to get here from the Franklin County Lincoln Day dinner where Andy had earlier spoken), a 2008 John McCain bumper sticker brought only two dollars and was purchased by someone who was going to use it as toilet paper.

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