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Filibuster

OPINION
January 2, 2013 | By Joyce Appleby
On Jan. 3, there's a chance that the U.S. Senate will return to some semblance of a functioning legislative body. That day a majority of senators could vote to eliminate Rule XXII, which authorizes the notorious filibuster. Article 1, Section 6 of the Constitution, which gives to both houses of Congress the determination of "the rules of its proceedings," offers that opportunity on the first day of each new Congress. The filibuster, which requires a supermajority to cut off debate, entered the Senate's rules in 1807 as a courtesy to speakers.
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NEWS
January 24, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - Hopes dimmed Thursday for vast rules changes in the Senate to limit the filibuster as a weapon in the partisan obstruction that has ground action in the chamber to a near standstill. Senators, mostly liberal Democrats, had sought to bring reforms at the start of the new Congress, and a key component was the requirement that any senator wishing to conduct a filibuster must remain talking on the Senate floor in the style actor James Stewart made famous in the film “Mr.
NEWS
March 6, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- What began as Rand Paul's one-man crusade to press the Obama administration for clarity regarding its prosecution of U.S. citizens suspected of terrorist ties became a bipartisan spectacle in the Senate chamber Wednesday -- one that delayed a vote on the president's choice for a new CIA director. Senate leaders had said they could hold a vote on John Brennan's nomination as soon as Wednesday evening, barely 24 hours after a lopsided vote in his favor in the Intelligence Committee.
OPINION
January 25, 2013
Senate leaders reached a compromise this week on limiting the filibuster, an obstructive procedural tactic that has become almost as routine on Capitol Hill as photo opportunities and news conferences. The Times' editorial board has long argued that the right approach would be to end the rule, not mend it. The best that can be said for this week's deal is that incremental progress toward a more functional Senate is better than no progress at all. The compromise struck Thursday between Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)
NEWS
March 7, 2013 | By Morgan Little
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) delivered a nearly 13-hour filibuster Wednesday of John Brennan 's nomination to lead the CIA . Paul used his time on the floor to question the legality of the White House 's policies on drone use, beginning at 11:47 a.m. EST and ending at 12:39 a.m. EST Thursday. Below is the transcript of Paul's remarks, as his office released them, hour by hour. Hour 1: I rise today to begin to filibuster John Brennan's nomination for the CIA I will speak until I can no longer speak.
NATIONAL
January 24, 2013 | By David Horsey
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shocked and infuriated many of his fellow Democrats on Thursday when he backed away from his pledge to put an end to the curse of the filibuster. Minority Republicans have been flagrantly using the old filibuster ploy to block even the most mundane bills unless they can win votes from at least 60 of 100 senators. This has effectively stunted the Democrats' 53-seat majority and stifled initiatives from the Obama White House.  In times past, the filibuster was a rarely invoked parliamentary rule that allowed a single senator to halt legislative business if he was willing to stay on the Senate floor and talk for hour after hour, risking a raw throat, sleep deprivation and a distended bladder.
NATIONAL
March 6, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Sen. Rand Paul ended a marathon filibuster of John Brennan's nomination to lead the CIA early Thursday after holding the floor for nearly 13 hours, focusing on concerns over the constitutionality of the administration's use of drone strikes to target suspected terrorists. The Kentucky Republican began speaking at 11:47 a.m. Wednesday and yielded the floor at 12:39 a.m. Thursday. A self-described champion of constitutional liberties, Paul said he simply wanted the White House to assure him that it had no authority to target an American within the United States under the drone program.
NEWS
February 26, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Chuck Hagel moved a step closer to confirmation as Defense secretary after the Senate voted Tuesday afternoon 71-27 to end a GOP-led filibuster of his controversial nomination. A final vote is expected to take place at 1:30 p.m. PST. Hagel will likely win final confirmation with fewer votes, however, making him the first successful Pentagon chief to attain the post with more than two dissenting votes in decades. Leon Panetta, the outgoing secretary, was confirmed unanimously in 2011.
NEWS
November 21, 2013 | By Jon Healey
The sight of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) using procedural legerdemain to weaken the filibuster rule Thursday must have sent Robert C. Byrd spinning in his grave. The late Democratic senator from West Virginia was a stickler for Senate traditions and a staunch defender of the procedural kinks and quirks that make it so different from the House. The filibuster rule is Differentiator No. 1 because it prevents the majority party from running roughshod over the minority, which is how the House rolls (and not to its credit)
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