Speaking on the Senate floor Monday, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Az., warned that Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delaying a vote on the defense bill could be used as an example of the need for filibuster reform.
Paul has been pushing to force an amendment vote on the controversial National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens who are judged to be involved in terrorism. He says it’s important to protect those individuals constitutional rights and has jousted with fellow Republican over the rights of “crazy bastards” on the floor.
But McCain—who was using support for the measure as a sign of bipartisan cooperation in the Senate—has had enough with Paul’s tactics.
From Roll Call:
On the floor, McCain said that the “Senator from Kentucky” gave notice that he would object to any unanimous consent requests or votes, a stance that would prevent the Senate from adopting the manager’s package and any other miscellaneous amendments. McCain later confirmed to CQ Roll Call that he was referring to Paul when he spoke.
The denial from Paul’s spokeswoman came after reaching Paul, who was apparently on a plane when McCain made his remarks on the floor. During his floor statement, McCain made plain his disdain for the maneuver that he attributed to Paul.
In the aftermath of the 2012 election, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Leader Harry Reid have been battling over changing Senate rules regarding the filibuster.
McCain suggested that Paul’s actions give credibility to Democratic-led efforts.