Paul, a Kentucky Republican and tea party favorite, stopped his self-described filibuster early Thursday morning. Paul had been blocking confirmation of John Brennan to lead the CIA. GOP colleagues who were listening to Paul's closing statement applauded as he yielded the floor.
Paul, a critic of Obama's unmanned drone policy, started just before noon Wednesday by demanding the president or Attorney General Eric Holder issue a statement assuring the unmanned aircraft would not be used in the United States to kill terrorism suspects who are U.S. citizens.
The Obama administration has said the federal government has not conducted such operations inside U.S. borders and has no intention of doing so.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he planned to file a motion to bring debate over the Brennan nomination to an end. But he would need 60 votes in the 100-member Senate to do that.
Brennan's nomination won approval Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee by a 12-3 vote.