Speaking in a mostly empty Senate chamber, Paul noted the desk he uses once belonged to Henry Clay, known to U.S. history students as "the great compromiser," The Wall Street Journal reported. Clay was the architect of the "Compromise of 1850" that allowed new territories to enter the union as slave or free states.
In trying to deal with the federal deficit, Paul said liberals must accept cuts in spending for social programs and conservatives in defense spending, he said. But he said tax increases are out of the question as far as he is concerned.
"As long as I sit at Henry Clay's desk, I will remember his lifelong desire ... for agreement," Paul concluded. "But I will also keep close to my heart his cousin Cassius Clay," referring to Cassius Marcellus Clay, a leading abolitionist.
Paul's audience consisted of two Republicans -- his fellow Kentuckian, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Jim DeMint of South Carolina -- and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who was presiding.
the speech lasted 8 minutes, The Hill reported. He said any compromise must "shrink the government sector."