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Past Event

Filibuster 101: An explainer of the Senate rule and reform

Past Event

In a closely divided Senate awaiting two new big Democratic priorities, namely voting rights legislation and an infrastructure package, the filibuster debate has taken center stage. With many Senate Democrats seeing the filibuster as the main obstacle to passing their agenda, calls for reform have intensified.

As the filibuster debate continues, many are wondering how this quirky rule came to be so central to our nation’s governance. Where did the filibuster originate, and how has it become the 60-vote Senate cloture threshold used today? What would reforming or eliminating the filibuster really mean? How likely are we to see reform in 2021?

On April 6, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted a primer on everything you want to know about the filibuster but are afraid to ask. In this webinar, Brookings Senior Fellows Sarah Binder and Molly Reynolds discussed the filibuster broadly, paths for filibuster reform, and the immediate and long-term effects proposed changes may have on policymaking in Congress.

Viewers submitted questions for speakers by emailing or via Twitter at @BrookingsGov by using #Filibuster101.


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