Senate filibuster rules mostly unchanged

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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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