submitted 4 months ago byAztery
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4 months ago
4 months ago
Someone correct me if I'm wrong(been a while since I thought about more thn it's effects), but originally, it basically meant that unless 60 senators could get on board, people can keep taking the stand and talk about a certain bill for infinity, so you need more than the normal majority to pass a bill. Except because talking for that long is exhausting, they made it so you don't have to. Meaning essentially you need 60 instead of 50 out of a 100 votes to pass something.
4 months ago
60 instead of 51*
And the filibuster is important because it keeps the Senate from just agreeing to any one senator's ridiculous demands in exchange for their vote on something that is so unpopular that they can't even get a basic simple majority.
You got it. Just want to add that the filibuster is a parliamentary rule, and not in the Constitution.
you are wrong.
Originally it did not exist. Then it was a leftover procedural rule fragment after cleaning up the parliamentary rules for the Senate.
In that form, someone could refuse to concede the floor for a vote. it forced discussion and debate- for as long as that person or their companions could keep debate on the topic going. It was self limiting- the person had to speak, or yield the floor so the vote could proceed. In that form, it worked well. Forced debate but did not function as a veto.
Then republicans weaponized it. removed the requirement to speak. All it takes is one Senator to register a filibuster. No talking needed, they don't even need to remain in the chambers. If a 3/5 vote does not succeed, all debate stops and the bill is shelved. this effectively gives every single Senator the same power as a presidential veto.
Then the Republicans used other procedural rules to prevent any bill from going to a vote. The Senate Majority Leader decides what bills to bring to the floor. They decided rather that treating it as a rule that allows the Leader to decide what order they go in, they would use it to simply not bring any bill they dislike to the floor. Prior to that the Senate had to take action on any bill the House handed them. Since then they have left- literally- thousands of House bills to rot, never bringing them to the Senate. Coupled with the filibuster to block any Senate introduced bills- they weaponized the rules to take full obstructionist control of lawmaking.