Shows & Panels
- The 2014 Big Picture on Cyber Security
- AFCEA Answers
- Ask the CIO
- Building the Hybrid Cloud
- Connected Government: How to Build and Procure Network Services for the Future
- Continuing Diagnostics and Mitigation: Discussion of Progress and Next Steps
- Federal Executive Forum
- Federal Tech Talk
- The Future of Government Data Centers
- The Future of IT: How CIOs Can Enable the Service-Oriented Enterprise
- The Intersection: Where Technology Meets Transformation
- Maximizing ROI Through Data Center Consolidation
- Mitigating Insider Threats in Virtual & Cloud Environments
- Modern Mission Critical Series
- Moving to the Cloud. What's the best approach for me
- Navigating Tough Choices in Government Cloud Computing
- The New Generation of Database
- Satellite Communications: Acquiring SATCOM in Tight Times
- Targeting Advanced Threats: Proven Methods from Detection through Remediation
- Transformative Technology: Desktop Virtualization in Government
- The Truth About IT Opex and Software Defined Networking
- Value of Health IT
- Air Traffic Management Transformation Report
- Cloud First Report
- General Dynamics IT Enterprise Center
- Gov Cloud Minute
- Government in Technology Series
- Homeland Security Cybersecurity Market Report
- National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
- Technology Insights
- The Cyber Security Report
- The Next Generation Cyber Security Experts
Shows & Panels
Senate filibusters rarely follow Hollywood script
Tuesday - 7/16/2013, 1:42pm EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Filibusters let minority parties tie the Senate in knots and send majority parties through the roof with frustration. But they seldom involve exhausted senators speaking endlessly on the chamber's floor.
Instead, filibusters, taken from a Dutch word that means "pirate," involve any delaying tactic that blocks the Senate from voting on legislation or a nomination.
There is no universal agreement on what a filibuster is. It can involve speaking, forcing repeated votes, or even a threat or perceived threat to block a measure.
Filibusters are not in the Constitution. They flow from the Senate's loose rules, which impose few restrictions on debate.
The most important thing about filibusters is they take support from three-fifths of all senators to halt.
In the 100-member chamber, that means the votes of 60 senators are needed. Unless there is some bipartisan consensus, that can be a tough margin for today's majority Democrats because they control just 54 votes, including two usually supportive independents.
Without a filibuster, approving legislation or nominations requires a mere majority.
The longest filibuster was when Sen. Strom Thurmond, then a Democrat from South Carolina, spoke for 24 hours 18 minutes against a 1957 civil rights bill that eventually passed. In March, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., spoke for 12 hours 52 minutes opposing President Barack Obama's nominee to head the CIA, who was later approved.
More famous than both: Actor Jimmy Stewart's filibuster in the 1939 movie, "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington."
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.