Tag Archives: filibuster

Rand Paul Announces Plan to Filibuster Debt Ceiling Hike

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) promised Tuesday to filibuster a budget compromise bill that enjoys the support of the White House and Republican congressional leadership.

The bill would raise the nation’s $18.1 trillion debt limit, increase domestic spending by $80 billion over 2 years, and add $32 billion to an emergency war fund, according to The New York Times.

The Washington Post notes that Senator Paul, who called the bill a “steaming pile of legislation,” said at a Tuesday appearance at the University of Colorado Denver, “I will filibuster the new debt ceiling bill. It is horrible, it’s hard for me not to use profanity in describing it.

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told CNN, “It’s a $1.5 trillion spending increase and in exchange for that they get $80 billion in more spending. So anybody who is a serious fiscal conservative cannot support this bill in my opinion.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) called the debt ceiling hike “a slap in the face to conservatives” but has not yet indicated whether he will join Sen. Paul in his filibuster.

[RELATED: Rand Paul Wins RLC Convention Straw Poll]

Paul’s plan is to prevent the Senate from passing the bill through unanimous consent, which would drag out the process and allow the House Freedom Caucus more time to rally against it.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) said that he feels there is not enough time left for conservatives to stop the bill before the nation’s spending levels hit the debt limit. “To make any kind of meaningful longer-term strategy … I think it is too late. So I don’t see that as something that happens this time, but I do see that potentially in all future debt ceiling negotiations,” Representative Meadows told Reuters.

[RELATED: House Freedom Caucus Opposes Paul Ryan’s Terms for House Speaker]

We should be using the leverage of the debt ceiling to actually enforce spending restraint,” said Senator Paul. “I will do everything I can to stop it, I will filibuster it, I will not let them condense the time. I will make sure that the country is aware that really both sides appear to have given up, right and left.

The right wants more money for the military and the left wants more money for welfare. Guns and butter, that’s what we’re going to have, guns and butter, but as a consequence they’re destroying the country by adding more debt,” he added, according to Chicago Sun-Times.

Critics say before each debt ceiling increase that failing to raise the debt limit would cause the U.S. to default on its financial obligations. Paul called that argument a “canard put forward by those who want to spend money.

U.S. government spending is set to reach its debt limit on November 3.

Exclusive: SC Congressman Mark Sanford Talks “28 Pages”, Rand’s Filibuster, and the Rise of Liberty Caucus

South Carolina Congressman Mark Sanford said that Kentucky Senator and Presidential candidate Rand Paul’s NSA filibuster will lend “a fighting chance” in the attempt to remove Section 215 of the Patriot Act.

“This is really a two thousand year old debate between security and liberty,” explained Sanford in an exclusive interview with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook. “What historically happened is that civilizations traded off liberty in the hope of gaining security.”

Sanford explained that there is a historic tension between security and freedom, which is what’s at play currently with the NSA.

“I think the problem with NSA is again we know what’s best for y’all,” he added. “I think the Constitution knows what’s best for us.”

[bctt tweet=”This is really a two thousand year old debate between security and liberty. @RepSanfordSC”]

He further explained what’s happening with the Patriot Act: “What I think is going to happen is that McConnell is going to come back with some kind of jam technique on the last hours of May 31. Tragically the House went ahead with its bill. I voted against it. It basically codifies language that the courts have said was illegal, which is kind of crazy. Hopefully we can get it stopped on the Senate side, and we’ll see what happens.”

Sanford also stressed the importance of liberty and liberty lovers. “It’s a credit to all of the folks out there that love liberty,” he said.

Sanford has seen a House not focused on liberty, but he’s quick to point out that times have changed. Now he said there’s “a great group of liberty-focused individuals that do form a caucus,” Sanford said of the Republican Liberty Caucus.

Cook asked Congressman Sanford about his experience reading the classified 28 pages in the 9/11 report.

Though Sanford couldn’t discuss the details of the classified report, he did share his personal thoughts with Cook and criticized the government’s lack of transparency.

Sanford told Cook, “It cements my belief in the importance of government being transparent about what they do and why they do it.”

“I think that for people to trust their government, they may agree or may disagree with the decision, but they want to know the why, and too often people are told just trust us, it’s not appropriate or you don’t have the capacity to know – that’s just not true,” said Sanford.

“Open and free governments are built upon transparency so that people can look under the hood, and say I agree or I disagree, and consequently hold people accountable, and when things are hidden people can’t do that…These kind of things for me reinforce my belief in the importance of freedom resting on openness and transparency in the way the government conducts its business.”

Listen to more of Cook’s interview with Mark Sanford where he discusses the 28-page classified 9/11 report and foreign policy:

Rand Paul Ends Filibuster Against Patriot Act Renewal After Over 10 Hours

On Wednesday, GOP Presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) took to the floor of the Senate for 10 hours and 30 minutes to filibuster the renewal of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. The controversial section, which is used by the National Security Agency to justify its bulk collection of Americans’ data, is set to expire at the end of the month.

Paul held the floor from 1:18 p.m. to 11:49 p.m. on Wednesday. Politico noted that by extending his filibuster to the brink of Thursday, Paul prevented Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) from filing cloture on a bill that would extend the Patriot Act.

According to the Washington Times, McConnell had said on Tuesday that he would schedule a vote this week on a rewrite of the Patriot Act, “setting up a final showdown on the NSA’s bulk-data programs and putting pressure on civil liberties advocates to muster the 60 votes needed to end the snooping,” in the hopes that the senators would end up having to accept an extension of the current Patriot Act.

The Hill reported that Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) followed Paul’s speech with a move to adjourn, “meaning the Senate won’t be able to take a procedural vote on either a surveillance reform bill or a ‘clean’ extension of the Patriot Act until at least Saturday.”

Paul began his filibuster by highlighting the un-patriotic nature of the “Patriot” Act:

[pull_quote_center]There comes to a time in the history of nations when fear and complacency allow power to accumulate and liberty and privacy to suffer. That time is now. And I will not let the Patriot Act, the most unpatriotic of acts, go unchallenged.[/pull_quote_center]

Emphasizing the fact that Congress has not scheduled enough time to debate the constitutionality of the NSA’s massive surveillance program, Paul insisted that further debate should be held on the subject:

[pull_quote_center]At the very least we should debate, we should debate whether or not we are going to relinquish our rights or whether or not we are going to have a full and able debate over whether or not we can live within the constitution or whether or not we have to go around the constitution.[/pull_quote_center]

Paul also highlighted the fact that the Patriot Act was  “rushed on the floor” in the aftermath of 9/11, and that even though it was several hundred pages long, “nobody read it,” they just voted on it because they were in fear of another attack.

[pull_quote_center]The president began this program by executive order. He should immediately end it by executive order. For over a year now, he has said the program is illegal, and yet he does nothing.[/pull_quote_center]

Paul, who has been a strong advocate for ending the NSA’s massive surveillance program throughout his presidential campaign, received support on the Senate floor from both Republicans and Democrats.

The Hill noted that seven Democratic Senators came to the Senate floor in support of Paul’s speech, including Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).

Two Republican Senators, Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), took to the Senate floor to provide Paul with relief, while other Republicans including Sens. Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), Rod Blum (R-Iowa) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) supported him from the sidelines.

Amash took to social media to share his bipartisan letter to the Senate, which included signatures from 59 representatives, opposing any reauthorization of the Patriot Act.

More than 10 hours into his speech, Paul received support from another presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). While Cruz said that he and Paul do not “agree entirely” on the issue of NSA surveillance, he also said that Paul is “a voice that this body needs to listen to.”

Paul’s speech received criticism from Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), who called Paul’s filibuster against NSA surveillance “irrational,” and “damaging to American security.”

As previously reported, the Department of Justice recently released a memo stating that Congress has until Friday to re-authorize section 215, or the Obama administration will “will begin winding down the program.”

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BREAKING: Senate votes to block TPP “ObamaTrade” bill

Senate Democrats on Tuesday filibustered a bill that would give President Obama fast-track authority on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, aka ObamaTrade. Senate Republicans, however, are scrambling to rescue the pact.

One of the biggest critics of the TPP is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who says President Barack Obama should reveal the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. It is apparent that her influence prevailed today in stopping debate on the TPP.

Truth In Media has reported previously about issues with TPP and how it could affect Americans.

(RELATED- Is the TPP the Greatest Trade Deal in History or a Corporate Coup? Read Derrick Broze’s article here.)

Unfortunately, Republicans are in the minority of those opposing the dangers of giving Obama “fast-track” authority (see here, and here).

“‘Obamatrade’ is the name we’ve given to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, which is one of the so-called free trade agreements the Obama folks have been negotiating on their own, in secret, without consulting Congress for the past six years,” explained Curtis Ellis, who spoke with Truth In Media’s Joshua Cook.

“We call it ‘Obamatrade,’ because like ‘Obamacare’, it’s a situation where Congress is going to have to pass it, to find out what’s in it. It’s so complicated. It’s so dense. And it’s so involved,” he explained.

Listen to an exclusive interview Joshua Cook and Curt Ellis from www.obamatrade.com.

Memo Regarding Targeted Killing of Americans To Be Released, Rand Paul Filibusters Obama Appointee

In an effort to save an appeals court nominee, the Obama administration announced Tuesday that it will release to a public a classified memo written by the nominee that approved the targeted killing an American accused of being a terrorist.

The secret memo won’t be released right away, reported the New York Times. Officials need time to redact it and to prepare an appeal, asking the court not to reveal the classified section of a federal appeals court ruling last month requiring most of the memo be made public.

The memo was written by David J. Barron, a Harvard Law professor and former acting chief of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, who is Obama’s choice to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston.

Barron wrote two memos arguing that it would lawful to kill Anwar al-Awlaki, an American living in Yemen, based on the conclusion that he was a senior operative plotting attacks against the United States.

Senator Rand Paul had promised to slow down Barron’s confirmation if the president didn’t allow senators to view these memos or release redacted documents.

“There is no legal precedent for killing American citizens not directly involved in combat and any nominee who rubber stamps and grants such power to a president is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court,” said Paul in a statement.

Libertarian-leaning senators in both parties had expressed reservations about the nomination, and some conservatives also argued that he was too liberal on other issues.

Sen. Paul filibustered Barron’s appointment today and though Paul’s filibuster doesn’t prevent Barron from advancing, it demonstrates Paul’s passion for the Bill of Rights and how the Constitution protects the least popular among us.

Watch Paul’s speech below:

BREAKING: Senate Democrats Vote To End Filibusters, Silence Minority Voice

Senate Leader Harry Reid Pushes Through Nuclear Option
Senate Leader Harry Reid Pushes Through Nuclear Option

In one unilateral swoop Senate democrats have forever shut out the voice of the minority. The 52:48 vote came only moments ago. The “Nuclear Option”, as it is referred to, will wipe out the minority voice within the US Senate by ending most all filibusters.

What Washington politicians fail to understand is that the US government was never intended to run in a smooth manner. Issues were meant to be debated, minority voices were meant to be heard and protected, and obstruction was necessary in order to keep federal government from growth. However, the Senate wasn’t having it. Tired of republican filibusters, as Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) have orchestrated, democrats unified to kill the voice of the minority party.

Filibusters are not intended to change the inevitable vote ahead. However, they are intended to give the minority a voice to perhaps change the world. This is evidenced by the entire world tuning in to Rand Paul’s historical Brennan nominee filibuster.

Public opinion shifted on targeting American citizens with drones because one man, Rand Paul, a minority within the minority party, stood to tell his story to the world. And so it was told. Across the board drone support tanked. Targeting American citizens suspected of being terrorists abroad dropped 13 points among Republicans, 17 points among Democrats, and an astounding 23 points among Independents.

Ted Cruz  played the same tune on Obamacare. Although not as direct as the Paul filibuster, the country tuned in and support for the law has tanked ever since.

By silencing the voice of a minority party, the majority can operate unnoticed.

Democrats who claim to be the champion of minorities will forever eat their words. Today they find themselves in a house of majority. Tomorrow, that same house will be one of minority. Where can they turn when they wish to speak to the world? Nowhere. For they have abandoned the principles of the Republic, which gives a minority such influence over his captors, so that they may pursue their values rather than this country’s principles.

Follow Michael Lotfi On Twitter: @MichaelLotfi

Senator Ted Cruz: “Audit The Fed”

Screenshot of Senator Cruz’s Facebook Page

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been leading the charge in the US Senate to garner support for a full audit of the Federal Reserve. In fact, Paul has threatened to filibuster the Senate confirmation of Federal Reserve Chairman nominee Janet Yellen unless he gets a vote on his bill to audit the Federal Reserve.

Yellen says no way to a Federal Reserve audit.

Paul and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) have latched arms on many occasion, and the two are now teaming up for a strong push to audit the Federal Reserve. Cruz took to his Senate Facebook page to make the announcement. Typical of the new blood in the US Senate, he used a hashtag. #AuditTheFed, Cruz wrote while announcing his teaming up with Paul.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Cruz is on board. “I agree with Rand Paul,” wrote Cruz in a statement Wednesday. “We need to bring transparency to the Fed, so the American people can understand the scope and consequences of its policies.”

The legislation would not only allow for a full audit of the Federal Reserve, but also fully eliminate the current restrictions on auditing the private bank. The Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2013 currently has 27 co-sponsors in the US Senate. These sponsors include Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) & Senator Marc Begich (D-Alaska).

Follow Michael Lotfi On Twitter: @MichaelLotfi

John McCain Defends Obamacare, Slams Cruz’s Filibuster: “Elections Have Consequences”

On the Senate floor, Senator Ted Cruz from Texas gave a 21-hour anti-Obamacare speech. Cruz started the marathon speech on Tuesday, and continued into Wednesday.

But not all Republicans appreciated Cruz’s words. Senator John McCain from Arizona took issue with Cruz’s “filibuster,” specifically his reference to Nazi Germany.

One talking point that bothered McCain was when Cruz said, “If you go to the 1940s, Nazi Germany, look, we saw in Britain, Neville Chamberlain, who told the British people, ‘Accept the Nazis. Yes, they’ll dominate the continent of Europe but that’s not our problem. Let’s appease them. Why? Because it can’t be done. We can’t possibly stand against them.’”

McCain vehemently said, “I do not agree with that comparison. I think it’s wrong.”

The senator then went on to argue that the public does indeed support Obamacare, since they reelected Obama. “The people spoke,” he said. “Elections have consequences.”

Although McCain opposed Cruz’s message, he did say that Republicans should not “give up our efforts to repair Obamacare.” It is unclear exactly what he means by “repair,” however.

McCain continued, “We fought as hard as we could in a fair and honest manner and we lost. One of the reasons was because we were in the minority, and in democracies, almost always the majority governs and passes legislation.”

John McCain has been long been losing popularity among Republicans for his big-government tendencies.

Do you think McCain is right about Obamacare, or do you side with Cruz? Let us know your thoughts below.

Is The “Old” Talking Filibuster The “New” Way To Reach The Public?


21 hours. That is how long Sen. Ted Cruz was able to last after beginning his talking filibuster over the defunding of Obamacare, Sen. Cruz has captured headlines across the nation as his filibuster was over a bill that would fund the government through the rest of the year but would defund the Affordable Care Act. That bill passed the House but has virtually no possibility of passing the Senate.

Which raises the real question… if the Cruz filibuster cannot actually change the course of the House bill or the institution of Obamacare, then what is the point? Is this not a lot of wasted time?

Sen. Cruz is taking a page out of the Sen. Rand Paul playbook. Sen. Paul of course held a nearly 13 hour talking filibuster over the CIA nomination of John Brennan. Sen. Paul said he was not trying to prevent the actual nomination of Brennan but was using the opportunity to educate the public on the issue of drone strikes.

Sen. Paul did so very successfully. One month after the Paul filibuster, the New York Times reported a 50 point swing in public opinion on the issue of drone strikes. This was only possible because the Senator was willing to use his filibuster not as a procedural roadblock but as a way of bringing the issue into the public discourse.

Which brings us back to Sen. Cruz’s filibuster. Right now, polls show a majority of the American public are not happy with Obamacare for a number of reasons. The Wall Street Journal is reporting huge jumps in premiums for young Americans. Forbes magazine is reporting that premiums for young males will increase by nearly 100%:

“Based on a Manhattan Institute analysis of the HHS numbers, Obamacare will increase underlying insurance rates for younger men by an average of 97 to 99 percent, and for younger women by an average of 55 to 62 percent. Worst off is North Carolina, which will see individual-market rates triple for women, and quadruple for men.”

So how does Ted Cruz, “talking until I can’t stand anymore” actually help the situation? Simply put, Cruz is rallying the American people and attempting to expose sides of the the ACA that have been lost in the media. Here are some excerpts from that filibuster:

“James Huff, the president of the Teamsters, has said ObamaCare is destroying the 40-hour workweek. It is destroying the backbone of the American middle class. That is not me saying that, that is not any politician from Washington saying that, that is the Teamsters.”

“A few weeks ago UPS sent a letter to 15,000 employees and it said: We are terminating spousal health insurance because of ObamaCare. Their husbands and wives were told: Sorry, your health insurance is gone. Remember, the promise was: If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. For those 15,000 UPS employees–for their husbands and wives–that promise has been disproved by reality.”

“Just last Friday we saw Home Depot–one of America’s great companies, one of America’s great success stories, one of America’s great employers–announce that 20,000 employees will be losing their health coverage. How many more stories like this will we have to hear before Congress does something to protect Americans from the harmful effects of this law.”

“Why 29 hours a week? Well, just like the 50-employee threshold, ObamaCare kicks in and counts an employee if he or she works 30 hours a week. One of the things that is forcing small businesses all over the country to do is to force their employees out of good full-time jobs into 29 hours a week because they don’t get hammered with the costs and burdens of ObamaCare.”

“Do you believe that Members of Congress should be exempted from ObamaCare, that we should have a special rule, that we should disregard the language of the statute and not be subject to ObamaCare the way the American people are, the answer would be overwhelmingly no. And it doesn’t matter where in the country you are or what your party is.”

So was the the filibuster a success? While that remains to be seen, one thing is assured, the talking filibuster to raise these important discussions won’t end here.