“There comes a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) as he began speaking on the Senate floor at 1:18pm Eastern time yesterday. “That time is now, and I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged.”
Paul held the floor for more than 10 hours, preventing any votes from being held. Paul was ultimately joined by a group of 10 other Senators, seven of them Democrats, including Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). While the speeches caused a delay of any other business, it technically wasn’t a “filibuster” of the Patriot Act reauthorization, since that bill wasn’t on the Senate floor. The Associated Press called the series of speeches a “lengthy Senate talk,” with no clear outcome. A vote on a trade bill scheduled for this morning was not delayed, since the speeches ended just before midnight last night.
The question of what the “filibuster” did is fundamentally unknown because it would require reading the mind of Rand’s fellow Kentuckian, Republican Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. If McConnell was going to push for a quick vote on his bill for a “clean” reauthorization of the Patriot Act, then Paul gummed up the works. But that probably wouldn’t have happened anyway, since the House is departing for the holiday weekend at 3:00pm today.
Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Leave a Reply