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Morning Examiner: Will Republicans continue to #standwithrand today?

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., may have ended his nearly 13 hour filibuster of John Brennan’s CIA director nomination at 12:40 AM last night, but his fight against President Obama’s unlimited use of drone strikes is far from over.

Paul launched his filibuster at 11:47 AM Wednesday after U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder refused to rule out Obama administration use of drone strikes on American citizens on American soil. “It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the president to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States,” a letter from Holder to Paul read.

Paul did not like that answer. Early on in his filibuster Paul replied, “I will not sit quietly and let [Obama] shred the Constitution. No person will be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process,” he said.

At first, Paul did not appear to have an end game. But later in the evening he said he would end his filibuster in exchange for a vote on a non-binding resolution that “the use of drones to execute or to target American citizens on American soil who pose no imminent threat clearly violates the constitutional due process rights of citizens.” Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., declined Paul’s deal, instead offering to hold Judiciary Committee hearings on the subject. That was not good enough for Paul.

So Durbin filed for cloture (a motion to end debate) on Brennan’s nomination immediately after Paul ended speaking. If Senate Republicans give in to Democrats, a final vote on Brennan could be held today. But if they hold firm, they can still push Brennan’s final vote until at least Saturday, and since the Senate will probably be out of session then, probably into next week.

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The Washington Post, Administration debates stretching 9/11 law: A new generation of al-Qaeda offshoots is forcing the Obama administration to examine whether the legal basis for its targeted killing program can be extended to militant groups with little or no connection to the organization responsible for the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. officials said.
The Wall Street Journal, Fed Reports Modest Growth: The U.S. economy expanded and the labor market improved a little in January and February, amid higher payroll taxes and lingering uncertainty over Washington’s spending plans, the Federal Reserve reported Wednesday.
The New York Times, Arkansas Adopts a Ban on Abortions After 12 Weeks: Arkansas adopted what is by far the country’s most restrictive ban on abortion on Wednesday — at 12 weeks of pregnancy, when a fetal heartbeat can typically be detected by abdominal ultrasound.
The Hill, Obama takes GOP lawmakers out on a deficit dinner date in downtown DC: President Obama and congressional Republicans on Wednesday began a series of meetings aimed at chipping away years of accumulated mistrust and laying the groundwork for a major deficit-reduction deal.
Politico, Obama invites Paul Ryan to lunch: President Barack Obama –seeking to sell Republicans on a revival of “grand bargain” talks — has invited 2012 GOP veep candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the chairman of the House Budget Committee, over to the White House for lunch on Thursday.
Politico, Schumer ends talks with Coburn on guns: Sen. Chuck Schumer is ending the bipartisan gun control talks with Sen. Tom Coburn without a deal, a major setback to President Barack Obama’s effort to pass universal background checks.

Lefty Playbook
Jonathan Chait says Republicans Have Won a Budget Battle, But Not the War.
Noam Scheiber on why his charm offensive could yield a grand bargain.
Greg Sargent says Democrats have settled in for war of attrition against GOP.
Sarah Kliff reports on Hospitals that want to delay a key Obamacare program.
Think Progress warns Big One-Year Jump In Atmospheric CO2 Brings Climate Catastrophe Closer.

Righty Playbook
The Iowa Republican reports that Rand’s Stand Against Drones Reverberates in Iowa.
Nick Gillespie sketches 5 Scenes from a Sequestered America.
Grace-Marie Turner on House Republican plans to fix the depleted preexisting condition fund.

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