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Frequently Asked Questions

Is filibuster good or bad?

Unfortunately for America, the filibuster still exists — and may still be used to strip people of their voting rights. In fact, the filibuster itself could be fairly described as the single worst feature of U.S. Senate procedure. It exists because of a thoughtless error and has only infrequently been used for positive ends.

How many senators to break filibuster?

Under current Senate rules, any modification or limitation of the filibuster would be a rule change that itself could be filibustered, with two-thirds of those senators present and voting (as opposed to the normal three-fifths of those sworn) needing to vote to break the filibuster.

Why would a Senator perform a filibuster?

The story of modern Washington is the story of the filibuster. That’s the tactic of dragging out debate in the US Senate to make it harder to get things done. Thanks to Senate rules, whichever party is out of power has the ability, through filibusters, to quash nearly everything the in-power party wants to do unless the minority party agrees.

What is the filibuster and why it's important?

From the beginning, the U.S. Senate has had a tradition of allowing unlimited debate-or filibustering-which can delay or even prevent action on legislation. In theory, filibusters can help to protect minority views from the tyranny of the majority. It has been used effectively to prevent action on numerous pieces of legislation over the years.

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