Rand Paul Quickly Ends Filibuster Against Raising Debt Ceiling

rand paul
U.S. Republican presidential candidate and Senator Rand Paul speaks during the Heritage Action for America presidential candidate forum in Greenville, South Carolina, on September 18. Chris Keane/Reuters

Updated | In an effort to delay passage of a bipartisan budget deal, Senator Rand Paul began a filibuster around 3 p.m. on Thursday. The effort was expected to continue through 1 a.m. on Friday, but ended after speaking for only 18 minutes and 40 seconds, according to MSNBC.

It turns out the Republican senator from Kentucky spoke against the budget bill only until the time the Senate was to vote on the deal.

The Senate would have allowed Paul to continue speaking until midnight, but only if he didn't sit down or use the restroom, a physically exhausting feat if nothing else. At midnight, Paul would have had only one hour left to talk, per Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's interpretation of cloture.

Because of a complex and arcane set of parliamentary maneuvers, he would have to have stopped speaking at 1 a.m. Friday unless he could get 29 colleagues to join him. That was unlikely given that the bill he was protesting against passed the House of Representatives overwhelmingly and there was no surge of opposition in the Senate. Plus, the members wanted to get home for the weekend.

Paul's short filibuster came on the same day Representative Paul Ryan was elected speaker of the House, promising to fix what is broken. "The American people make this country work, and the House should work for them. What a relief it would be to the American people if we finally got our act together. What a weight off their shoulders," he said.

Correction: This article originally stated that the filibuster was likely to continue through 1 a.m. on Saturday. It was expected to continue through 1 a.m. on Friday. Also, this article has been updated to indicate that Paul spoke for only 18 minutes and 40 seconds.