Coalition Seeks to Change the Filibuster Rules

Coalition Seeks to Change the Filibuster Rules
Coalition Seeks to Change the Filibuster Rules

A major push is underway to change the rules of the U.S. Senate, particularly as it relates to the use of the filibuster. Amid claims that the Republican minority is using filibusters to stall or stop any meaningful legislation from getting a vote, 51 national groups have formed a coalition, called Fix the Senate Now, to stop what they call its abuse.

The filibuster was made famous in the classic film, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," and it has been part of parliamentary procedure since the times of Ancient Rome.

Shane Larson with the Communications Workers of America says the GOP is abusing it. He says compared to past legislators, the number of filibusters has reached unprecedented levels.

To stop what it calls abuse of the filibuster, the coalition wants to reinstate the “talking filibuster.” Larson explains why.

Those who argue against changing the Senate's rules have said the filibuster is a vital tool that ensures all voices are heard. Proponents of keeping the filibuster a part of government - as it is - say there has to be a broad consensus before legislation moves towards consideration.

For more information on the history of the filibuster, visit

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