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Filibuster

NATIONAL
September 22, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON - With one week left before a possible government shutdown, congressional debate has exposed deep divisions within the Republican Party, pitting tea-party-backed conservatives against their colleagues. Budget moves orchestrated by tea party leader Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas have encountered outright hostility from fellow Republican senators who say his strategy does not appear to have an endgame. "I didn't go to Harvard or Princeton, but I can count," Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
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NEWS
August 5, 2013 | By Alexei Koseff
WASHINGTON -- Wendy Davis, who garnered national headlines in June for filibustering a controversial bill restricting abortion access, confirmed Monday that she was considering a bid for governor of Texas next year. Speaking at a packed lunch at the National Press Club here, the Texas state senator announced she would either run for reelection in the Senate or for the governorship of the nation's second-largest state. Though she has settled on those two options, Davis said she was still considering what her family and Texas voters want.
NEWS
July 31, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON -- It wasn't long after Lisa Murkowski voted to continue a filibuster of President Obama's nominee to lead the ATF that the Alaska Republican found herself surrounded in the well of the Senate, as colleagues from both parties made a determined case for her to change or maintain that vote. The stakes were high, and the lobbying effort reflected it. No Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives director has been confirmed since a 2006 law required a Senate approval for such nominees, but the Democratic majority thought circumstances had changed sufficiently to pave the way for B. Todd Jones, the agency's acting director for two years.
NATIONAL
July 17, 2013 | Michael A. Memoli
The bipartisan accord that ended a sometimes bitter Senate debate over filibusters Tuesday handed the Obama administration a significant victory, ensuring the confirmation of several major nominees and the functioning of federal agencies endangered by determined Republican opposition. Democrats had been poised to force through a major change in Senate rules, ending the power of a minority to block executive branch nominations by threat of filibuster. Republicans had said they would respond by bringing the Senate to a halt.
OPINION
July 17, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
The Senate averted a partisan meltdown Tuesday when Republicans agreed not to block votes on several White House nominees and Democrats dropped their plan to ban filibusters on key executive branch positions. That's a good thing, at least on first glance. But the peace in the Senate is an uneasy one, given the air of mutual distrust between the two parties' leaders. And it's not clear yet whether the filibuster abuse that has become the norm in the Senate has been stopped or merely suspended until the next logjam.
NEWS
July 16, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli, This post has been updated. See the note below for details
WASHINGTON -- Senators have reached a tentative agreement that will avoid a Democratic move to change Senate rules and eliminate the power of a minority to block action on executive branch nominations, Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Tuesday. “It is a compromise. I think we get what we want and they get what they want. Not a bad deal,” Reid said in a brief speech on the Senate floor, shortly before the first of seven votes he had scheduled on long-delayed presidential nominations that were designed to force the issue.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2013 | By Lisa Mascaro and Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York was riding a bicycle, leading a tour on Martha's Vineyard during a Democratic Party event Saturday, when his phone rang. It was Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican, calling from his suburban Washington home. For days, the influential senators had been not-so-secretly trying to negotiate an end to the filibuster standoff in the Senate. They had spoken dozens of times. Now, 72 hours remained to cut a deal. Pragmatists both, and believers in the importance of preserving the Senate's traditions, they inched closer to an agreement, something the Senate's two party leaders, Sens.
NEWS
July 16, 2013 | By Jon Healey
In a now-familiar routine in Washington, lawmakers walked right up to the brink of disaster Monday, only to pull back Tuesday. This time, though, the source of the drama was the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) threatened to end the minority's ability to filibuster presidential nominees for executive branch posts. Reid relented Tuesday morning after Republicans agreed not to block votes on President Obama's nominees for secretary of Labor, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
NEWS
July 15, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid asserted his determination to end the use of the filibuster to block presidential appointments Monday, saying the change was needed to “save the Senate from becoming obsolete.” “This is really a moment in history when circumstances dictate the need for change,” the Nevada Democrat said in a morning speech at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank. “All we want to do is what the Constitution says we should do. Filibusters are not part of the Constitution.” Reid's remarks represented a further escalation in his rhetoric in the dispute with the Senate's Republican minority over procedural maneuvers that have left a number of President Obama's choices to executive branch postings unconfirmed nearly a half year into his second term.
NATIONAL
July 15, 2013 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats appear poised to attempt the most significant change to the chamber's rules in nearly four decades: ending the ability of the minority party to block executive branch nominations. The showdown could come Tuesday after a last-minute effort to negotiate a deal appeared to come up short. But several senators said talks were continuing. Emerging from a closed-door, 31/2 -hour meeting of nearly all senators Monday evening in the Old Senate Chamber, Sen. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Democrat, said there "was a good feeling" in the room, "but at the end of the day we didn't come up with a solution.
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