For years, the filibuster was only used on rare occasions, but in recent years it's become a routine procedure that prevents the Senate from getting anything done. Senate leaders have been trying to find a way to end the gridlock, and on Thursday they're expected to announce a bipartisan deal that involves doing away with the tactic that forces the majority party to get 60 votes to bring a bill to the floor, which can kill a bill before it's debated. However, the New York Times notes that senators could still block a bill if they aren't present and "would still have the opportunity to filibuster a final vote on any legislation, thwarting its passage without 60 votes," so it doesn't sound like legislation will be flying through the chamber.
Photo: Alex Wong/2011 Getty Images
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