Rand Paul: Filibuster a possibility on Syria vote

September 3, 2013

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the most outspoken opponents of military action in Syria, wouldn't rule out the possibility Tuesday of launching a standing filibuster over the issue in the Senate.

"I can't imagine that we won't require 60 votes on this," Paul told reporters on an afternoon conference call. "Whether there's an actual standing filibuster -- I've got to check my shoes and check my ability to hold my water. And we will see. I haven't made a decision on that."

Paul attracted widespread attention in March when he launched a marathon filibuster over the Obama administration's use of unmanned aerial drones, winning support from some GOP colleagues and prompting criticism from others.

When it comes to Syria, Paul said he believes the best hope for defeating a resolution to authorize military action will come in the House. He reiterated his view that an attack on Syria would create more turbulence and danger in the region, and may not even disable the Syrian government's ability to launch chemical attacks.

"At this point, I think it's a bad idea," Paul said.

While Paul said he was pleased President Obama asked for congressional authority before acting, he added that he finds the possibility that the president may launch a strike even in the face of rejection from Congress "insulting."

The senator said the reception from his constituents back home in Kentucky has been overwhelmingly negative toward the prospect of military action.

"I'm told the phone calls are at least nine out of ten against," Paul said, before adding that his staff informed him it was even more lopsided.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.
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