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Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) — who previously was one of the few Democratic senators who said he was not open to filibuster reform — opened the door to making filibusters less potent.
“If you want to make [filibustering] a little bit more painful — make them stand there and talk — I’m willing to look at any way we can,” Manchin told Meet the Press’s Chuck Todd. He later told Fox News’s Chris Wallace that the filibuster “should be painful if you want to use it.”
As a brief dive into the filibuster’s history reveals, reforms to this obstructionist tactic are not uncommon.
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson successfully urged the Senate to create a process, known as “cloture,” that would allow a two-thirds majority of the Senate to break a filibuster and bring a matter to the Senate for a final vote. The number of votes necessary to end a filibuster, whether on a piece of legislation or on a confirmation vote, was reduced to three-fifths of the Senate (ordinarily 60 votes ) in 1975.
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