Rand Paul lays out demands ahead of potential Syria filibuster
September 8th, 2013
11:15 AM ET
12 months ago

Rand Paul lays out demands ahead of potential Syria filibuster

(CNN) – Sen. Rand Paul, who's already said he opposes the limited U.S. military strikes in Syria being pushed by President Barack Obama, said Sunday he was still weighing his options for stalling a vote in the full Senate on the use of force resolution.

The Kentucky Republican said a filibuster - which he used earlier this year to demand more information from the Obama administration on the use of drones - could only delay a vote, but wouldn't "put off a vote forever."

Instead, he said, he'd demand that any vote taken by Congress be binding, meaning that the president would be barred from striking Syria without congressional approval.

"The president cannot, if we vote him down, decide to go to war anyway. That's the way I interpret the Constitution," Paul said on "Fox News Sunday."

Asked Friday whether he would approve military strikes without congressional backing, Obama refused to answer, saying he didn't want to "jump the gun" before lawmakers cast votes.

Presented with the same question Sunday, his chief of staff said Obama's aggressive outreach to lawmakers wasn't without purpose.

"Our consultation with Congress and the president's request for authorization is not an empty exercise," Denis McDonough told CNN's chief political correspondent Candy Crowley on "State of the Union."

Paul, who was elected with strong backing from the tea party movement, wouldn't speculate whether it would be an impeachable offense for Obama to take action in Syria without support from the Congress, but did say Obama "has already proven to go above the law in many instances."

"Whether you impeach someone is another question, and it's obviously a big one. I wouldn't make a judgment on that," he said.


Filed under: Rand Paul • Syria
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. ProfessorS

    I never thought I would agree with Rand Paul in anything. I am a life-long liberal democrat who enthusiastically voted for Obama the first time around (but voted third party the second time as I could no longer stomach Obama or a tea-party VP). A filibuster would be appropriate as there would be no reason to vote if Obama decides to act as a dictator and ignore the will of the people.

    September 8, 2013 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. wendel

    pure politics on the repo side. Watched all the morning shows and all the repos could not contain themselves to the issues but used air time to slam president. I don't think any republicans give a rats ass who gets gassed or what happens in Syria. Unlike a few months back when they all complained we where not helping the Syrian people and should have had air strikes and stuff. If we turn our backs on the gas attack we loose face in the world and it will come back to bite us in the butt.

    September 8, 2013 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. DarqueSide

    More do-nothing from the do-nothing Congress. VOTE you lazy buffoons! It's your job.

    September 8, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Len

    No comparison with Iraq. We have proof that Chemical Weapons were used. Iraq based on lies.

    We should still wait for the UN results.

    Tired of the Repubs who wanted us to intervene in Syria a year ago, now with proof, they will not support the President.

    We should impeach congress for not creating jobs, which they said they would do after the 2010 election. Instead they cut everything possible that hurts middle America. Wake up folks!

    September 8, 2013 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  5. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    So bland Paul supports asseds RIGHT to gas his own children ,and you think anybody would want you to be president and protect us, go back to the hick state of ky and stay their,just another GOP teaparty idiot!!!!

    September 8, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  6. yerkiddinright

    Oh please stop posturing, Rand. You will never be President.

    September 8, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    The teaparty goofballs bland Paul and his fellow idiot Cruz prefers backing the rights of assed to gas his own people. Idiots like the two of you give the GOP the lack of respect that they deserve. Forget the White House and you will lose the house in 2014, GOP teaparty morons!!!!!

    September 8, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Peace

    Rand Paul is always playing politics. He is aware his NO vote is going to haunt him incase he will be one of the candidates come 2016. His NO vote doesn't signal a commander-in-chief having it in mind to protect his people.

    September 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Once again, the Rant and the Repubs prove all they care about is political gain and tearing down President Obama. Time to vote out the GOP in 2014.

    September 8, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Tom

    I'm surprised Paul didn't demand a repeal of Obamacare as well. Obama has the authority to attack Syria. The only logical reason Obama would seek Congressional approval is to either force Congress to share the blame if an attack on Syria goes badly, or let Congress block military action, thus letting Obama off the hook should there be further chemical weapons attacks by Syria. Paul appears to be playing into the latter scenario – make such ridiculous demands that the bill has no hope of passing then Congress (particularly Congressional Republicans) will bear the blame if the situation in Syria gets worse.

    September 8, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  11. Mark

    I honestly don't think this gets through the House, so the Senate doesn't matter.. There are already about 200 no votes, which means they need 17 more. I think this loses by bipartisan votes in the House.

    September 8, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  12. Michael Benjamin

    Many in Congress have claimed the commander-in-chief has exceeded his military authority. They need to take a position. Don't let Congress off the hook.

    September 8, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Randy Paul is the poster boy of what went wrong with America .

    Feb 3, 2013 – Rand Paul says a preemptive strike on Iran should be on the table. Rand Paul Votes in Favor of Bill that Moves US Closer to War with Iran. Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz all voted in favor of the bill.

    September 8, 2013 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. don in albuquerque

    Congress is just upset that the POTUS forced them into a position of having to do something, anything.

    September 8, 2013 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. zelskid

    Obama will not strike Syria. Congress is his cover

    September 8, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. ak_steve

    And this guy wants to be president. Obstructionist and Chief.

    September 8, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |