The senior senator from Kentucky might need to have a little chat with the junior senator from Kentucky.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said late Thursday the Senate could finish its work on trade, Patriot Act surveillance authority and a highway patch by close of business Friday. That would let lawmakers make it to their home states well in advance of the Memorial Day parades.
But that would require "cooperation" that at this point is nowhere to be found, principally because of Sen. Rand Paul's threat of maximum obstruction of any extension of the NSA's surveillance powers.
Paul, at minimum, wants votes on a variety of amendments he proposed Thursday that would put limits on a broad swath of intelligence-gathering by the National Security Agency.
Without "cooperation," the first votes on the NSA bills would not take place until Saturday and final action would chew up more days.
Either way, McConnell said, the Senate would finish all three bills.
"There's a path forward if people want to take it that could complete all of this work at a reasonable time probably sometime tomorrow, or we can make it difficult," he said. "But the end won't change."
He has jet fumes on his side.
Paul has Senate rules that allow any one senator to force everyone else to wait around for days on end — Memorial Day recess or not.
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