New Rules: Majority Rules

 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) hold a news conference on Capitol Hill, November 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

The Senate has voted on the "nuclear option" and changed the rules for how executive-level appointees and most judges get approved. Bob Cusak, managing editor for The Hill, discusses the change and what precedent it sets for future Senate work.


Famous Filibusters in History: Would They Still Be Allowed? (Spoiler: Mostly Yes)

  • Ted Cruz anti-Obamacare marathon wasn't even a real filibuster to begin with.
  • In 1983 Jesse Helms filibustered to block Martin Luther King day from being a holiday. Still counts.
  • Strom Thurmond famously filibustered the Civil Rights Act for 24 hours and 18 minutes in 1957. Would have counted.
  • Jimmy Stewart was filibustering an appropriations bill, of all things, in "Mr Smith Goes to Washington."
  • In West Wing Season 2, there's an epic filibuster of a health care bill. Still allowed.
  • The only famous filibuster (we can think of) that would not be allowed was Rand Paul's 2012 marathon. He was trying to block the nomination of John Brennan as CIA Director -- exactly the kind of executive-level appointment these new rules target.