WASHINGTON — A bid by Senate Democrats on Wednesday for fast confirmation of John Brennan’s nomination to be CIA director hit a snag after a small group of Republican senators and a lone Democrat engaged in a lengthy discussion over the legality of potential drone strikes on U.S. soil.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., announced earlier in the day when the weather in Washington threatened to complicate travel plans that he was pushing to get a Senate confirmation vote quickly so senators would make appropriate arrangements.
But Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., stalled the chamber just before noon to start what he called a filibuster of Brennan’s nomination. Paul’s remarks were centered on what he said was the Obama administration’s refusal to rule out the possibility of drone strikes inside the United States against American citizens.
Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., joined Paul several hours after he began speaking. Wyden has long pressed for greater oversight of the use of drones.
Attorney General Eric Holder told Paul in a March 4 letter that the federal government has not conducted such operations and has no intention of doing so.
Read more in Thursday’s Arizona Daily Star and at azstarnet.com