Vote button trans.png
April's Project of the Month
It's spring time. It's primary election season!
Click here to find all the information you'll need to cast your ballot.




Difference between revisions of "Filibuster"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
(Silent Filibuster)
("Nuclear option")
(8 intermediate revisions by 5 users not shown)
Line 2: Line 2:
  
 
It takes 60 votes in the [[U.S. Senate|Senate]] to block or end a filibuster.<ref name="about">[http://uspolitics.about.com/od/glossary/a/whatisfilibuster.htm ''About.com'' "What is a Filibuster" Accessed March 7, 2013]</ref> [[U.S. Senate|Senate]] rules allow any member or group of senators to speak as long as necessary on an issue. The only way to end the debate is to evoke "cloture," or with a vote of 60 members. Without the 60 votes needed, the filibuster can go on indefinitely.<ref name="sen">[http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Filibuster_Cloture.htm ''United States Senate'' "Filibuster Cloture" Accessed March 7, 2013]</ref>
 
It takes 60 votes in the [[U.S. Senate|Senate]] to block or end a filibuster.<ref name="about">[http://uspolitics.about.com/od/glossary/a/whatisfilibuster.htm ''About.com'' "What is a Filibuster" Accessed March 7, 2013]</ref> [[U.S. Senate|Senate]] rules allow any member or group of senators to speak as long as necessary on an issue. The only way to end the debate is to evoke "cloture," or with a vote of 60 members. Without the 60 votes needed, the filibuster can go on indefinitely.<ref name="sen">[http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Filibuster_Cloture.htm ''United States Senate'' "Filibuster Cloture" Accessed March 7, 2013]</ref>
 +
 +
=="Nuclear option"==
 +
On November 21, 2013, Senate Majority Leader [[Harry Reid]] invoked the "nuclear option" in the [[United States Senate|Senate]].  The "nuclear option" is using an interpretation of Senate procedure to be able to change chamber rules with a simple majority vote.  In this case, the option was used to change the vote requirement for executive nominee [[Appointment confirmation process|confirmations]] to be considered on the floor.<ref name="Politico">[http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/harry-reid-nuclear-option-100199.html ''Politico'', "Senate goes for 'nuclear option'," November 21, 2013]</ref>  Prior to the rule change, Senators could filibuster until a cloture motion requiring 60 votes was passed in the chamber. The "nuclear option" changed the requirement to a simple majority. The threat of the "nuclear option" occurred in many Congresses, but none had put the option into use.<ref name="wapo"/>
 +
 +
The "nuclear option" was invoked in response to Senate Republicans blocking the nomination of three D.C. Circuit Court judges. The rule change passed by a vote of 52-48, with [[Carl Levin]], [[Joe Manchin]] and [[Mark Pryor]] being the only Democrats to vote in opposition. According to the Congressional Research Service, of the 67 times between 1967 and 2012 the filibuster was used on a judicial nominee, 31 have been during during the Obama administration.<ref name="wapo">[http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/senate-poised-to-limit-filibusters-in-party-line-vote-that-would-alter-centuries-of-precedent/2013/11/21/d065cfe8-52b6-11e3-9fe0-fd2ca728e67c_story.html ''Washington Post'', "Reid, Democrats trigger 'nuclear' option; eliminate most filibusters on nominees," November 21, 2013]</ref>
 +
 +
The change in rules does not apply to legislation or Supreme Court nominees.<ref name="Politico"/>
  
 
==Silent Filibuster==
 
==Silent Filibuster==
  
However, unlike filibusters throughout history, most filibusters today are not considered "talking filibusters." <ref name="blog"/> The scene with Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a famous example of a talking filibuster, where Smith’s character collapses after a 24-hour filibuster in the 1939 film.<ref name="blog"/><ref name="sen"/>
+
Unlike filibusters throughout history, most filibusters today are not considered "talking filibusters." <ref name="blog"/> The scene with Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a famous example of a talking filibuster, where Smith’s character collapses after a 24-hour filibuster in the 1939 film.<ref name="blog"/><ref name="sen"/>
  
In the current [[U.S. Senate|Senate]], a member doesn’t need to speak on the floor, in a filibuster, to block a vote from happening. The filibuster can even be done by email.<ref name="blog">[http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/01/fascinating-facts-about-senate-filibusters/ ''Constitution Center'' "Fascinating Facts about Senate Filibusters" Accessed March 7,2013]</ref><ref name="washingtonpost">[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/02/14/the-silent-filibuster-explained/ ''Washington Post'' "The Silent Filibuster Explained" Accessed March 7, 2013]</ref> According to the current Senate rules, the minority or opposing party can indicate that is has 41 out of 100 voters that will support a filibuster by defeating a vote to block it. The majority party then needs to get 60 votes together to approve a time limit for a debate about the bill.<ref name="blog"/>
+
In the current [[U.S. Senate|Senate]], a member doesn’t need to speak on the floor, in a filibuster, to block a vote from happening. The filibuster can even be done by email.<ref name="blog">[http://blog.constitutioncenter.org/2013/01/fascinating-facts-about-senate-filibusters/ ''Constitution Center'' "Fascinating Facts about Senate Filibusters" Accessed March 7,2013]</ref><ref name="washingtonpost">[http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2013/02/14/the-silent-filibuster-explained/ ''Washington Post'' "The Silent Filibuster Explained" Accessed March 7, 2013]</ref> According to the current Senate rules, the minority or opposing party can indicate that it has 41 out of 100 voters that will support a filibuster by defeating a vote to block it. The majority party then needs to get 60 votes together to approve a time limit for a debate about the bill.<ref name="blog"/>
  
 
So a [[U.S. Senate|senator]] is not required to physically speak in public for hours to prevent a bill from passing. That [[U.S. Senate|senator]] just needs to issue a warning that there are enough votes to support a filibuster.<ref name="blog"/>
 
So a [[U.S. Senate|senator]] is not required to physically speak in public for hours to prevent a bill from passing. That [[U.S. Senate|senator]] just needs to issue a warning that there are enough votes to support a filibuster.<ref name="blog"/>
  
 
==Drones filibuster==
 
==Drones filibuster==
 +
::''See also: [[Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013]]''
 
On March 6, 2013, Senator [[Rand Paul]] (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of [[Barack Obama|President Obama's]] CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists have been critical that President Obama did not offer a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.<ref>[http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/07/rand-paul-says-hes-heard-from-white-house-after-filibuster/ ''CNN'' "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/03/07/rand-paul-filibuster-longest-senate-thurmond/1970291/ ''USA Today'' "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/03/rand-paul-wins-applause-from-gop-and-liberals/ ''ABC News'' "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013]</ref>
 
On March 6, 2013, Senator [[Rand Paul]] (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of [[Barack Obama|President Obama's]] CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists have been critical that President Obama did not offer a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.<ref>[http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/03/07/rand-paul-says-hes-heard-from-white-house-after-filibuster/ ''CNN'' "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/03/07/rand-paul-filibuster-longest-senate-thurmond/1970291/ ''USA Today'' "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013]</ref><ref>[http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2013/03/rand-paul-wins-applause-from-gop-and-liberals/ ''ABC News'' "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013]</ref>
  
Line 31: Line 39:
 
*[http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Filibuster_Cloture.htm U.S. Senate:Filibuster and Cloture]
 
*[http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Filibuster_Cloture.htm U.S. Senate:Filibuster and Cloture]
 
*[http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/top-senate-filibusters/story?id=18674990# Top 5 Senate Filibusters] from ABC News
 
*[http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/top-senate-filibusters/story?id=18674990# Top 5 Senate Filibusters] from ABC News
 +
*[http://newsbound.com/stacks/filibuster The Silent Filibuster Explained]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
Line 36: Line 45:
 
{{congress}}
 
{{congress}}
 
[[Category: Congress project]]
 
[[Category: Congress project]]
 +
[[Category:Unique congress pages]]
 +
[[Category:Terms and definitions]]

Revision as of 12:10, 22 November 2013

Portal:Congress
Features of Congress

Background
Federal Election CommissionDemocratic Congressional Campaign CommitteeNational Republican Congressional CommitteeFiling requirements for congressional candidatesClasses of United States SenatorsFilling vacancies in the U.S. SenatePresident Pro Tempore of the SenateUnited States Speaker of the HouseFilibuster

Sessions
113th Congress112th Congress111th Congress110th Congress

Analysis
Lifetime voting recordsNet Worth of United States Senators and RepresentativesStaff salaries of United States Senators and RepresentativesNational Journal vote ratings
Filibuster is a term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions.[1] In short, a filibuster occurs where debate is extended, allowing one or more Senators to delay or entirely prevent a vote on a given proposal.

It takes 60 votes in the Senate to block or end a filibuster.[2] Senate rules allow any member or group of senators to speak as long as necessary on an issue. The only way to end the debate is to evoke "cloture," or with a vote of 60 members. Without the 60 votes needed, the filibuster can go on indefinitely.[3]

"Nuclear option"

On November 21, 2013, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid invoked the "nuclear option" in the Senate. The "nuclear option" is using an interpretation of Senate procedure to be able to change chamber rules with a simple majority vote. In this case, the option was used to change the vote requirement for executive nominee confirmations to be considered on the floor.[4] Prior to the rule change, Senators could filibuster until a cloture motion requiring 60 votes was passed in the chamber. The "nuclear option" changed the requirement to a simple majority. The threat of the "nuclear option" occurred in many Congresses, but none had put the option into use.[5]

The "nuclear option" was invoked in response to Senate Republicans blocking the nomination of three D.C. Circuit Court judges. The rule change passed by a vote of 52-48, with Carl Levin, Joe Manchin and Mark Pryor being the only Democrats to vote in opposition. According to the Congressional Research Service, of the 67 times between 1967 and 2012 the filibuster was used on a judicial nominee, 31 have been during during the Obama administration.[5]

The change in rules does not apply to legislation or Supreme Court nominees.[4]

Silent Filibuster

Unlike filibusters throughout history, most filibusters today are not considered "talking filibusters." [6] The scene with Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is a famous example of a talking filibuster, where Smith’s character collapses after a 24-hour filibuster in the 1939 film.[6][3]

In the current Senate, a member doesn’t need to speak on the floor, in a filibuster, to block a vote from happening. The filibuster can even be done by email.[6][7] According to the current Senate rules, the minority or opposing party can indicate that it has 41 out of 100 voters that will support a filibuster by defeating a vote to block it. The majority party then needs to get 60 votes together to approve a time limit for a debate about the bill.[6]

So a senator is not required to physically speak in public for hours to prevent a bill from passing. That senator just needs to issue a warning that there are enough votes to support a filibuster.[6]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border, without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists have been critical that President Obama did not offer a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[8][9][10]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[11]

McConnell filibusters his own bill

On December 6, 2012, another milestone in filibuster history was reached when Senator Mitch McConnell (R), became the first senator to filibuster his own proposal.[12] McConnell did not give a lengthy speech, instead merely invoking the rules of filibuster on his bill to raise the passage threshold to 60 votes.[13]

Longest filibuster

The record for the longest individual speech goes to South Carolina's J. Strom Thurmond who filibustered for 24 hours and 18 minutes against the Civil Rights Act of 1957.[3]

See also

External links

References