The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 7, 2013

Senator's filibuster on CIA nominee divides GOP

(Continued)

After Paul yielded the floor, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., filed a motion to cut off debate on Brennan's nomination, setting up a vote for later this week.

Paul, a critic of Obama's drone policy, started just before noon Wednesday by demanding the president or Attorney General Eric Holder issue a statement assuring that the aircraft would not be used in the United States to kill terrorism suspects who are U.S. citizens. But by the time he left the Senate floor, Paul said he'd received no response.

Paul wasn't picky about the format, saying at one point he'd be happy with a telegram or a Tweet. Paul said he recognized he can't stop Brennan from being confirmed. But the nomination was the right vehicle for a debate over what the Obama White House believes are the limits of the federal government's ability to conduct lethal operations against suspected terrorists, he said.

"No president has the right to say he is judge, jury and executioner," Paul said.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee used Paul's stand to raise money for GOP candidates and said Thursday that they received donations "in the high five figures as of last tally."

About a dozen of Paul's colleagues who share his conservative views came to the floor to take turns speaking for him and trading questions. McConnell congratulated Paul for his "tenacity and for his conviction," and he called Brennan a "controversial nominee."

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, read Twitter messages from people eager to "Stand With Rand." The Twitterverse, said Cruz, is "blowing up." And as the night went on, Cruz spoke for longer periods as Paul leaned against a desk across the floor. Cruz, an insurgent Republican with strong tea party backing, read passages from Shakespeare's "Henry V" and lines from the 1970 movie "Patton," starring George C. Scott.

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