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The Filibuster Is Dead

Long Live the Filibuster

Courtesy Reuters

After months spent arguing about the need for filibuster reform, on January 24, Congress agreed to a few slight changes in its rules of debate. Many observers were dismayed at just how modest the tweaks were: Under the new rules, most of which expire when the 113th Congress departs in January 2015, debate on motions to proceed to consider legislation is curtailed (but not eliminated). The minority party is also guaranteed the opportunity to offer two amendments to any pending measure (although the time for debate on such amendments is also strictly limited). And finally, post-cloture debate -- discussions after a motion to call for a vote has already passed -- on most nominations to the executive branch and United States district courts is limited to eight hours.

Along with these temporary reforms, Congress also agreed to a permanent, one-day cap on the amount of post-cloture debate on motions to proceed when

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