Senate filibuster rules mostly unchanged


The Senate has tightened its rules for using the filibuster, but didn't restore the requirement for senators to speak on the floor when seeking to stymie the legislative process.

Following a Jan. 24 vote, a resolution (S. Res. 15) from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will allow the Senate to avoid filibusters on motions to proceed in exchange for a guarantee that the minority party can propose amendments. Those amendments will need 51 votes to pass.Outright termination of a filibuster still requires 60 votes.

The reforms will "weaken the ability of those who seek to obstruct for obstruction's sake," said Reid in a Jan. 24 statement. He promised "if these reforms do not do enough to end the gridlock here in Washington, we will consider doing more in the future."

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the rules will allow "vigorous debate and a robust amendment process."

For more:
- go to the THOMAS page for the Senate rules
- read Reid's statement
- see McConnell's statement

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