I’m hearing some talk about “filibuster reform.” Is there a need for reform? Does the filibuster do much good? What would a reform look like? What is the history and origins of filibusters in our history?
Originally, both houses of Congress allowed unlimited debate. The House eliminated this privilege early in the 19th century, but the Senate kept it until early in the 20th.
When the Senate got rid of unlimited debate, it did so by a rule allowing 2/3 of senators to impose a time limit. This rule remained in place until the current 60% rule was adopted in the wake of the 1960s Civil Rights Acts.