Backstory: The Filibuster

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The U.S. Senate is set to tally up a record-breaking number of filibusters this term, slowing down the operation of what was already known as the “world’s most deliberative legislative body.” Brookings Institution Senior fellow and George Washington University political science professor Sarah Binder talks about the increasing use of the filibuster and it’s long-winded history. Though it's commonplace in the modern Senate, the filibuster came about because of a minor parliamentary rule change in 1806.


Sarah Binder

Comments [4]

oh sure, they have to cram a lot into their 3 day work week

Aug. 12 2010 01:51 PM

you says the filibuster is over used, but in truth, we have not seen a real filibuster in some time, have we.

Aug. 12 2010 01:45 PM
jamespdelia from NJ

Article Source:
What the data clearly shows is that he GOP is filibustering at twice the rate of what the Democrats did before, including what they did under Bush. So Republicans can't claim that Democrats did it too - they didn't. Not like this.

Another interesting data point: IN the last ninety years, there have been 1,195 cloture motions filed, and a874 cloture votes, per the Senate site. The Republicans in the last three years that they've been in the minority, have caused 215 of the motions to be filed, and 157 of those cloture votes. That means in just the past three years, the Republicans have been responsible for 18% of all filibusters recorded in the past 90 years.

This was as of March 2, 2010!

Aug. 12 2010 01:28 PM
John P. MacKenzie from Long Island City

The Senate majority has wimped out for years, yielding not to real filibusters but threatened ones. We need a real stand-up all-nighter (and many days and nights) to show the true face of the filibuster. Why won't the Democrats stand up? i don't really know, but i suspect it's that like all of Congress they're too busy raising money to stay in the chamber and maintain a quorum. It's a disgrace, these delays (including the holds), but the blame, though different for the 2 parties, needs to be understood as shared.

Aug. 12 2010 08:37 AM

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