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.

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