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The Senate Filibuster Talking Democracy to Death Use of the filibuster has been commonplace in the United States Senate since its beginning However this long-standing tradition has turned democracy on its head and caused the collapse of majority rule in the Senate Simply put a filibuster is an extremely long off-topic speech that is given normally by the minority in hopes of staling and blocking a Senate vote on a particular issue It delays debates and inhibits the passing of legislation Filibustering prevents the Senate from doing their job of representing the people of the United States Many organizations like the Action Not Gridlock Campaign which was launched by present and past members of the Senate have been set up to protest and eliminate filibustering in the Senate Members such as Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman scream that filibustering is a procedural straightjacket placed on the will of the American people Binder 108 Because filibustering gravely threatens our governments ability to act to meet the nations pressing challenges it should be banned in the Senate much like it is in the House of Representatives The Founding Fathers of the US Constitution created the simple format of Majority Rule and Minority Right While the minority has the right to express their beliefs in a dignified and stately manner it is the ultimate ruling of the majority that creates legislation and wins the votes in Senate However the minoritys use of filibustering turns this practice upside-down by giving the minority the ability to block legislation The Founding Fathers would be appalled to learn that the framework they labored so valiantly to construct had been perverted by the filibuster Richardson 2 In 1917 the Senate adopted a rule known as cloture that allowed the Senate to end a debate with a two-thirds majority vote This filibuster reform measure was a step in the right direction however it still is a long way from solving
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