by Catalina Camia, USA TODAY
After nearly 13 hours of talking, Sen. Rand Paul's filibuster is one for the history books.
It appears the Kentucky Republican will be No. 9 on the list of longest Senate speeches, clocking in at 12 hours and 52 minutes, for delaying a final vote on the nomination of John Brennan as CIA director.
The Senate historian's office is double-checking the time before posting a final list.
Paul fell more than 11 hours short of the record set by Sen. Strom Thurmond, who protested the 1957 Civil Rights Act for 24 hours and 18 minutes. Paul joked he wanted to try and eclipse Thurmond, but he needed a bathroom break.
"I discovered that there are some limits to filibustering, and I'm going to have to go and take care of one of those in a few minutes," he said Wednesday night.
According to the Senate historian's draft list , Paul will come in behind Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. The Democrat protested the 1964 Civil Rights Act for 14 hours and 13 minutes.
Paul's filibuster ended up being a lengthy debate about the Obama administration's use of drones. It also attracted attention because it was only the second time in recent memory that a senator commanded the Senate floor to talk at length on a subject. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., spoke for eight hours and 37 minutes in 2010 to protest tax legislation.
Senate Historian Donald Ritchie said filibusters don't typically end up killing a piece of legislation. In the case of both civil rights bills, for example, the legislation eventually passed after Thurmond and Byrd stopped talking and ceded control of the Senate floor.
"The intention is to draw attention to an issue," Ritchie said. "What senators look for is press and public attention. All it does is delay action."
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