Senate filibuster: How we got it, and whether it’s possible or even desirable to eliminate it

Congress doesn’t pass many bills largely because of the Senate filibuster, the rule requiring 60 votes to end debate on a bill before it can come to a vote. Image by 1778011 from Pixabay

President Joe Biden plans to pass a COVID relief bill, build on Obamacare, and address climate change. But there is a massive hurdle in the way: the Senate filibuster. That’s the rule requiring 60 votes to end debate on a bill before it can come to a vote. Both parties have used the filibuster when they’re in the minority to kill legislation. It’s the main reason why Congress doesn’t pass many bills.

Credits

Guest:

  • Molly Reynolds - senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings; author of “Exceptions to the Rule: The Politics of Filibuster Limitations in the U.S. Senate” - @mollyereynolds