WASHINGTON, D.C. (WSAU) - Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky began a filibuster just after 11:00 a.m. central time Wednesday, and it lasted for nearly thirteen hours. The issue was the potential use of military drone aircraft to kill U.S. citizens on American soil without an imminent threat and without due process.
Paul used the filibuster to call out his Senate colleagues to support the Constitution. As the day went on, a handful of other Senators joined him. One was Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.
Johnson mentioned how in his two short years, he has discovered how dysfunctional the Senate is.The Wisconsin Senator was frustrated with the need to filibuster confirmation of John Brennan, who is President Obama's pick for director of the CIA. Johnson says this issue should be a simple vote. "I cannot believe that this issue has not been resolved within a half hour or an hour. Just take a vote."
Johnson is on the Senate Budget Committee, and he used the occasion to show how the Senate isn’t doing it’s job while the House of Representatives is trying to get good policy through. "The House is operating, I believe, as our founders intended. They are passing budgets. They are debating issues. They're passing real pieces of legislation that unfortunately aree being dropped over here in the United States Senate, where those good pieces of legislation (are) dying, and that's a real shame."
The Wisconsin Senator highlighted how the Senate can’t seem to simply do it’s job. "I serve on the Budget Committee of the United States Senate. I've been on that Budget Committee for two years. We have not yet voted on a budget in the Budget Committee. This is by the way when this nation is facing a crisis unlike anything we've ever faced in our history.”
Senator Rand Paul closed his filibuster remarks by saying there are areas where lawmakers can compromise, but this issue involving drones and the Constitution is not one of them. "The issue we've had today is one that we don't split the difference on. I think you don't get half of the Fifth Amendment. I don't think you acknowledge the President can obey the Fifth Amendment when he chooses. I don't think you acknowledge the Fifth Amendment due process can somehow occur behind closed doors."
Democrat Ron Wyden of Oregon joined at least seven Republicans in support of Rand Paul’s filibuster.