S.Res.416 - A resolution amending the Standing Rules of the Senate to provide for cloture to be invoked with less than a three-fifths majority after additional debate.

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  • Official: A resolution amending the Standing Rules of the Senate to provide for cloture to be invoked with less than a three-fifths majority after additional debate. as introduced.

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Introduced
 
Senate
Passes
 

 
02/11/10
 
 
 

OpenCongress Summary

In light of the dramatic increase in the use of filibusters in recent years, this bill would change Senate rules so that filibusters can be broken by a simple majority after a period of time. It would amend the Senate rule governing "cloture votes," the procedure used to overcome objections to a bill or motion. Currently, the rules require a supermajority of 60 votes to approve a cloture motion. This bill would require 60 votes the first time cloture is attempted, but, if it isn't successful the first time, the threshold for success would be lowered over a period of weeks so that, eventually, cloture could be approved by a simple majority of 51 votes.

For more information, see Sen. Harkin's press release on introducing the bill. Full legislative text of this bill will be posted on OpenCongress imminently.
OpenCongress bill summaries are written by OpenCongress editors and are entirely independent of Congress and the federal government. For the summary provided by Congress itself, via the Congressional Research Service, see the "Official Summary" below.

Official Summary

Amends rule XXII (Precedence of Motions) of the Standing Rules of the Senate with respect to cloture votes to close debate (end a filibuster) on any measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate. Declares that, if the Senate fails to invoke cloture with respect to a measure, mo

Official Summary

Amends rule XXII (Precedence of Motions) of the Standing Rules of the Senate with respect to cloture votes to close debate (end a filibuster) on any measure, motion, or other matter pending before the Senate. Declares that, if the Senate fails to invoke cloture with respect to a measure, motion, or other pending matter, or the unfinished business, subsequent motions to end debate on the same measure, motion, matter, or unfinished business, may be filed, but only by unanimous consent, until the previous motion has been disposed of. States that the affirmative vote on a subsequent motion to close debate on any measure, motion, or other matter, or unfinished business (other than a measure or motion to amend Senate rules) shall be reduced by three votes on the second such motion, and by three additional votes on each succeeding motion, until the affirmative vote is reduced to a number equal to or less than an affirmative vote of a majority of the Senators duly chosen and sworn. Declares that the required vote shall then be an affirmative vote of a majority of such Senators. Prohibits any further reduction in the requirement of an affirmative vote of a majority of Senators upon any vote taken on any later motion to close debate on the same measure, motion, matter, or unfinished business.

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