Filibuster Rules Say Rand Paul Doesn't Have to Be in Chamber to Hold the Floor


Rand Paul has been engaged in a talking filibuster for 7 hours and 45 minutes in a Herculean effort to get more information regarding the Obama administration's targeted killings. That doesn't mean he's been talking the whole time. Senators are allowed to yield for questions from other senators without yielding the floor. This has been crucial to Paul's approach today. Senators may speak for as long as they can talk and stand, but in yielding for questions today, Paul has not had to remain in the chamber. Thus, when Paul yields for questions from other senators, he may leave the chamber for food and bathroom breaks. Among those senators "in on it" who asked Paul questions to give him some relief were Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.).

At 7:30 PM, Paul yielded for a question from Cruz, who read a series of tweets from people supporting Paul's efforts. Cruz noted that mobile devices are not allowed on the Senate floor, so he said he thought it appropriate to apprise Paul of the support he was receiving before asking his "question."