Why Democrats want to change the Senate's filibuster rules

Why Democrats want to change the Senate’s filibuster rules

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Key Facts

  • In the absence of any sign Republicans will work with Democrats to pass voting rights legislation, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has promised a vote on changes to filibuster rules by Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 17.
  • Now, overcoming a filibuster to pass legislation in the Senate takes 60 votes — votes that Democrats don’t have without Republicans’ help.
  • If every senator is not on the same page, then the bill can only advance by breaking a filibuster on a motion to proceed — and that time-consuming process can take at least two days just to begin debate.
  • Those are the two exceptions; a supermajority is required to vote on and approve any other kind of Senate business.

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