Not Out of the Woods YetApril 13, 2011 - by Donny Shaw
Despite the grand government funding bargain that appears to be able to get a majority vote in the House and 60 votes in the Senate, it’s not a sure bet that the bill will be signed into law by midnight tomorrow in order to prevent a government shutdown. The House is not going to send the bill to the Senate until Thursday, which means that if a single senator chooses to filibuster, they can easily delay passage for days and push the debate on well past the Thursday night when the government’s spending authority runs out.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that he’s considering a filibuster of the budget agreement to fund the government for the remainder of this fiscal year.
Paul, who said yesterday that he would vote against the agreement reached last Friday to cut $39.9 billion between now and September, acknowledged that he’s considering waging a filibuster, which would make it so that leaders need 60 votes to pass the deal and advance it to President Obama’s desk.
“Yes, but we haven’t really made a final decision on that yet,” Paul said on conservative talker Sean Hannity’s radio show.
Under standard Senate procedure, Paul could single-handedly delay passage of the funding bill for more than a week, even if it has overwhelming support in the end. Paul knows that filibustering the bill wouldn’t stop it from passing eventually. According to the above article, “Paul acknowledged that even if he were to filibuster, it’s unlikely that he’ll attract 40 other senators’ votes in order to sustain his procedural roadblock to the budget deal.” So what’s the motivation here? Media attention? Confusing the public into believing he’s doing more than eating up time?
Sen. Rand Paul [R, KY] is pictured above …with duster.