The Pre-Filibuster

If you check into CSPAN this afternoon and see Rand Paul on the Senate floor talking about the National Security Agency surveillance programs, you might naturally think he’s engaging in the filibuster he’s been threatening on the subject. But to be clear, the bill on the floor is TPA. Tom Cotton objected to Senate consideration of one bill that Paul threatened to filibuster, the House-passed USA Freedom Act–which Cotton dislikes for the exact opposite reason. But Cotton hasn’t yet brought up the bill that Paul objects to even more, a straight short-term extension of the Patriot Act, which the USA Freedom Act would replace.

So Paul isn’t filibustering; he’s sort of engaging in a pre-filibuster. I’m sure his fans will enjoy in nonetheless.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.