Rand Paul: ‘Best Chance’ to Stop Syria Measure Is In House

“50-50 might be optimistic,” Paul says, suggests he may launch another talking filibuster.

This video frame grab provided by Senate Television shows Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. speaking on the floor of the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, March 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Senate Television)
National Journal
Shane Goldmacher
Sept. 3, 2013, 3:40 p.m.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said Tues­day that the best chance op­pon­ents of a U.S. strike in Syr­ia have to stop the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion from mil­it­ary ac­tion is in the Re­pub­lic­an-con­trolled House but that he hadn’t ruled out the pos­sib­il­ity of launch­ing a talk­ing fili­buster in the Sen­ate.

“I think our best chance for ul­ti­mate vic­tory is in the House,” Paul told re­port­ers on Tues­day after an hours-long Sen­ate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee hear­ing, in which he was one of the most ag­gress­ive ques­tion­ers of top ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials.

Paul was not bullish on his chances of suc­cess, however, say­ing “it would be his­tor­ic” to stop the au­thor­iz­a­tion, as it has the sup­port of Pres­id­ent Obama, Speak­er John Boehner, and House Minor­ity Lead­er Nancy Pelosi. “50-50 [odds] might be op­tim­ist­ic,” he said.

Still, Paul vowed to fight on in the Sen­ate. He said that op­pon­ents of in­ter­ven­tion in Syr­ia, fol­low­ing al­leg­a­tions of chem­ic­al-weapons use by the gov­ern­ment of Pres­id­ent Bashar al-As­sad, would al­most as­suredly push for a 60-vote ma­jor­ity in the Sen­ate.

And Paul, whose 13-hour fili­buster of a do­mest­ic drone policy hear­ing earli­er this year cap­tured na­tion­al at­ten­tion, said he might launch an­oth­er speak­ing fili­buster against a res­ol­u­tion to ap­prove a Syr­ia strike, say­ing such a strike would destabil­ize the Middle East.

“Wheth­er there’s an ac­tu­al stand­ing fili­buster,” he said, “I’ve got to check my shoes” and abil­ity to tame his blad­der, which is what ul­ti­mately caused the end of his drone fili­buster.

{{ BIZOBJ (video: 4417) }}

What We're Following See More »
Allison Janney Takes to the Real White House Podium
9 hours ago

Carolyn Kaster/AP

When It Comes to Mining Asteroids, Technology Is Only the First Problem
10 hours ago

Foreign Policy takes a look at the future of mining the estimated "100,000 near-Earth objects—including asteroids and comets—in the neighborhood of our planet. Some of these NEOs, as they’re called, are small. Others are substantial and potentially packed full of water and various important minerals, such as nickel, cobalt, and iron. One day, advocates believe, those objects will be tapped by variations on the equipment used in the coal mines of Kentucky or in the diamond mines of Africa. And for immense gain: According to industry experts, the contents of a single asteroid could be worth trillions of dollars." But the technology to get us there is only the first step. Experts say "a multinational body might emerge" to manage rights to NEOs, as well as a body of law, including an international court.

Obama Reflects on His Economic Record
11 hours ago

Not to be outdone by Jeffrey Goldberg's recent piece in The Atlantic about President Obama's foreign policy, the New York Times Magazine checks in with a longread on the president's economic legacy. In it, Obama is cognizant that the economic reality--73 straight months of growth--isn't matched by public perceptions. Some of that, he says, is due to a constant drumbeat from the right that "that denies any progress." But he also accepts some blame himself. “I mean, the truth of the matter is that if we had been able to more effectively communicate all the steps we had taken to the swing voter,” he said, “then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

Reagan Families, Allies Lash Out at Will Ferrell
12 hours ago

Ronald Reagan's children and political allies took to the media and Twitter this week to chide funnyman Will Ferrell for his plans to play a dementia-addled Reagan in his second term in a new comedy entitled Reagan. In an open letter, Reagan's daughter Patti Davis tells Ferrell, who's also a producer on the movie, “Perhaps for your comedy you would like to visit some dementia facilities. I have—I didn’t find anything comedic there, and my hope would be that if you’re a decent human being, you wouldn’t either.” Michael Reagan, the president's son, tweeted, "What an Outrag....Alzheimers is not joke...It kills..You should be ashamed all of you." And former Rep. Joe Walsh called it an example of "Hollywood taking a shot at conservatives again."

Clinton No Longer Running Primary Ads
14 hours ago

In a sign that she’s ready to put a longer-than-ex­pec­ted primary battle be­hind her, former Sec­ret­ary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton (D) is no longer go­ing on the air in up­com­ing primary states. “Team Clin­ton hasn’t spent a single cent in … Cali­for­nia, In­di­ana, Ken­tucky, Ore­gon and West Vir­gin­ia, while” Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) “cam­paign has spent a little more than $1 mil­lion in those same states.” Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sanders’ "lone back­er in the Sen­ate, said the can­did­ate should end his pres­id­en­tial cam­paign if he’s los­ing to Hil­lary Clin­ton after the primary sea­son con­cludes in June, break­ing sharply with the can­did­ate who is vow­ing to take his in­sur­gent bid to the party con­ven­tion in Phil­adelphia.”