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Did Democrats make record use of the filibuster in the last Congress?

Sunday, June 27, 2021
By Stevie Rosignol-Cortez
YES

The filibuster, which allows the Senate minority party to block legislation by refusing to end debate, has been used by both Democrats and Republicans, almost always while occupying the Senate minority.

While filibusters are used frequently, they are only recorded when a cloture vote is called by the majority party, which can end debate with 60 votes.

During the 2019-2020 Congressional term, a record-breaking 328 filibusters were recorded with Democrats in the minority.

Since 2009, 657 filibusters were recorded under Democratic minorities while 609 filibusters were recorded under Republican minorities.

Research by Slate on filibusters between 1991 and 2008 found that Democrats successfully filibustered 63 times while Republicans successfully filibustered 89 times.

President Biden recently proposed requiring a Senator to be on the floor speaking to preserve a filibuster. Filibuster rules may be changed by a simple majority vote, as they are not mentioned in the Constitution or legislation.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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