Sen. Rand Paul isn’t quite ready to get on the filibuster horse again.
In a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday, Paul was asked by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) for clarification on Tuesday’s comments that Paul might be considering a filibuster of the Syria vote.
Paul’s response, according to Luke Johnson of the Huffington Post:
“’That would be a misinterpretation from the media,’ he said…He added: ‘What’s not open to interpretation would be an event like now where we are discussing now for weeks at a time whether Congress should have to give the authorization,’ signaling that he wants Congress to vote on a potential strike quickly.”
Kaine brought it up after Paul’s made comments on Tuesday that kind of left the door open for a possible filibuster (before he clarified things on Wednesday morning, at least).
During a conference call with reporters, Paul said “I can’t imagine that we won’t require 60 votes on this…Whether there’s an actual standing filibuster — I’ve got to check my shoes and check my ability to hold my water. And we will see. I haven’t made a decision on that.”
Of course, the media jumped on that, especially in the wake of his momentous filibuster from back in March, when the junior Senator went nearly 13 hours on the Senate floor. That came during the CIA Director nomination hearing, and Paul used it to force the Obama administration into answering questions about the CIA drone program. So we know he’ll filibuster if he feels like it. It’s not an empty threat.
Turns out though, this most recent filibuster chatter wasn’t even a threat to begin with.
During the conference call, broken down by Sean Sullivan of the Washington Post, Paul also said it would be “insulting” if Obama launched a military strike against Syria despite not getting authorization from Congress; said his Kentucky constituents are “at least nine out of 10” against taking action in Syria; and reiterated his stance that an attack on Syria may not achieve anything besides adding more weight to an already destabilized region.
But as for a filibuster: As Paul clarified Wednesday, that’s not quite what he has planned.
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