The Breakdown: How to Bust the Filibuster

The Breakdown: How to Bust the Filibuster

The Breakdown: How to Bust the Filibuster

Could the Senate start getting things done, if only legislators didn’t have to face filibuster threats? This week on The Breakdown: the history of the filibuster, and how to get rid of it.


The United States Senate is being held hostage by the filibuster. This week’s Breakdown with Christopher Hayes explores the legislative history of this procedural mechanism and the options for its amendment or abolition.

The Breakdown Plenty of criticisms have been leveled against the United States Senate, but perhaps the most accurate and deserved is that it seems incapable of achieving anything substantive. Many blame the filibuster, once an infrequently used procedural technique that has become a de facto legislative obstacle. This week’s Breakdown with DC Editor Christopher Hayes takes a quick tour through the filibuster’s history and the options for its removal or amendment.


Congressional Research Service Report on ‘Changing Senate Rules.’

Graphs demonstrating increased use of cloture and filibuster.

Christopher Hayes on the Rachel Maddow Show discussing the filibuster.

Note: This episode of The Breakdown originally aired February 19. New episodes will return next week.

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