The vote was held up Wednesday by a 13-hour filibuster by Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky asking questions that some critics complained should have been asked by Democrats. Brennan wasn't Paul's specific target:
Throughout the filibuster, Paul said he simply wanted the White House to clarify that it would not use unmanned aerial drones to kill American citizens on U.S. soil — a point he felt the White House hadn’t been clear enough on.Paul's filibuster was the ninth longest on record, a far cry from the 24-hour, 18-minute effort by Sen. Strom Thurmond against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.
In a letter to Paul sent earlier Thursday afternoon, Attorney General Eric H. Holder gave him his wish.
“It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: ‘Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?’” Holder wrote. “The answer to that question is no.”
The roll call is here.