filibuster

Politics
12:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Democrats Continue Campaign Against Mitch McConnell as 'Guardian of Gridlock'

Senator Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

National Democrats say Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's leadership is hurting Kentucky families and workers with his use of the filibuster.

Just this week senators were able to broker a deal on President Obama's nominations to avoid the "nuclear option" being pushed by Democratic Leader Harry Reid, who dubbed McConnell the "guardian of gridlock" recently.

A review of the 60-vote threshold used  by minority leaders since 1988 does show McConnell's tenure has seen a record-breaking use of the tactic, which senators hope to avoid since Reid's successful threat.

In light of those successful negotiations, however, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is continuing to blast McConnell's senatorial maneuvering, particular on economic measures.

Democrats argue the GOP leader has blocked key legislation providing incentives for businesses who don’t offshore, increasing the minimum wage and extending unemployment insurance.

"Time and again Mitch McConnell has turned his back on Kentucky workers and chosen to engage in partisan political gridlock," says DSCC spokesman Justin Barasky. "Kentucky workers deserve better than a Senator who is so thoroughly wedded to special interests that he forgets to fight for his state. Mitch McConnell even voted to block an extension on unemployment insurance during the economic crisis. It’s clear that after nearly 30 years in Washington he isn’t just part of the problem he’s the main source of it."

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Politics
8:59 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Filibuster Reveals Close But 'Shrewd' Relationship Between Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell

Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul at a Tea Party rally in Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Senator Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour talking filibuster reveals a telling wrinkle about the so-called symbiotic relationship with fellow Kentuckian and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.

According to the National Journal, a week and a half before the speech Paul approached McConnell's campaign manager Jesse Benton—who is also Paul's nephew—about blocking the nomination of CIA director John Brennan.

The Republican leader had considered such a move beforehand, according to sources. But McConnell was glad to help "win over" other GOP senators to the idea on Paul's behalf in another attempt to show their solidarity.

"There were multiple discussions at senior staff levels about Senator Paul's plans to hold the Brennan nomination, and Sen. McConnell had agreed to hold, at the least, Mr. Brennan's confirmation to a 60 vote threshold," says Benton.

It was a masterful coordination that put the Obama administration's drone policy in the national spotlight, and put Senate Democrats on their heels.

But what Team Mitch was apparently unaware of was Paul's intention to actually perform a "talking" filibuster rather a "cloture." The reaction amongst McConnell surrogates has been a mix of admiration ("he's savvy") and apprehension ("it was shrewd").

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Politics
1:19 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Opposing Obama's CIA Nomination, Mitch McConnell Says Rand Paul Deserves Answer on Drones

Sens. Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell at a Tea Party rally in Kentucky
Credit Kenny Colston / Kentucky Public Radio

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is praising his Kentucky colleague Rand Paul’s nearly 13-hour filibuster, and is now opposing President Obama's nominee to run the Central Intelligence Agency.

Paul held up the confirmation of John Brennan for CIA director using an old-school filibuster. He continually asked for the administration to promise they will not use armed unmanned aircrafts to kill American citizens on U.S. soil.

In a letter sent Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder told Paul the administration had "no intention" to use drones on suspected terrorists in the U.S., but could do so in "extraordinary circumstances."

As the filibuster gained national attention and bipartisan support, McConnell and a number of GOP senators joined Paul's effort last night.

Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell says the White House has a responsibility to answer Paul’s questions  before the nomination goes forward.

"The United States military no more has the right to kill a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil who is not a combatant with an armed unmanned aerial vehicle than it does with an M-16. The technology is beside the point. It simply doesn’t have that right and the administration should simply answer the question," he says.

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Politics
10:01 am
Thu March 7, 2013

Watch Rand Paul's Filibuster. All 13 Hours of It.

Rand Paul
Credit C-SPAN

Ending early Thursday morning, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul filibustered the nomination of  John Brennan for CIA director for nearly 13 hours.

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Politics
3:48 pm
Wed March 6, 2013

Rand Paul Old-School Filibusters Nomination of CIA Director for 13 Hours

Senator Rand Paul, R-Ky.
Credit U.S. Senate

Speaking on the Senate floor, Republican Rand Paul is actively filibustering the nomination of John Brennan as director of the CIA, citing concerns over President Obama's policy on drones and civil liberties.

Earlier this week, Kentucky's junior senator received a controversial response from Attorney General Eric Holder about the administration’s use of unmanned aircrafts.

Holder told Paul the president could theoretically authorize deadly force to be used against a citizen on U.S. soil without due process.

Since Wednesday morning, Paul has been delaying Brennan's nomination and pledged to talk until he couldn't anymore.

Paul says the White House is continuing the controversial policies of former President George W. Bush, which candidate Obama spoke out against in 2007.

"We had a president who ran for office saying your phone shouldn’t be tapped without a warrant. I happened to agree with candidate Obama. But what happened to candidate Obama who wanted to protect the right to privacy of your who doesn’t care much about your right not to be killed by a drone without any kind of judicial proceeding," he says.

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