Rand Paul to slow Yellen vote without action on his Fed bill

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tweeted a list of his grievances to celebrate the fake holiday of "Festivus." Alex Wong/Getty Images

A recent Senate rules change will prevent Rand Paul from using a filibuster to block the confirmation vote on Janet Yellen, President Obama’s pick to lead the Federal Reserve, but he’ll still try to slow down the process as much as possible.

Paul is seeking a vote on his bill to audit the Federal Reserve and has been threatening since October to hold up Yellen’s confirmation until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., granted put it on the Senate schedule. He won’t be able to stop the vote with a filibuster anymore, thanks to a recent rules change instigated by Democrats that only requires a simple 50-vote majority on judicial and executive branch nominees.

What he can do is force Reid to run out the 30-hour clock between a procedural vote and the final vote on Yellen’s nomination, which would push the vote to later in the week and perhaps threaten lawmakers’ ability to leave town for the upcoming end-of-the-year recess this Friday.

“We’ll try and slow it down or stop it as much as we can,” Paul told reporters Tuesday. “We’ve told them that we will allow it to move forward and expedite it if they will give us a vote on Audit the Fed,” Paul said, noting that he has been unable to secure a Senate vote despite past support in the House.

Yellen is just one of 10 nominees Reid is trying to get approved by the Senate before lawmakers leave town.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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