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November 22nd, 2013
05:44 AM ET

Democrats Vote to Eliminate Filibuster for Most Nominees

Senate Democrats dropped the filibuster bomb Thursday, and now the question is what kind of fallout will result from the so-called nuclear option.

By a 52-48 vote, the Senate ended the ability of minority Republicans to continue using filibusters to block some of President Barack Obama's judicial and executive nominations, despite the vehement objections of Republicans.

Majority Democrats then quickly acted on the change by ending a filibuster against one of Obama's nominees for a federal appeals court.

“The historic rules change strips Republicans of their power to block the president's executive and judicial nominees, except the Supreme Court.

“Instead of 60 votes to break a filibuster, it’s now  51 votes – a simple majority,” CNN’s Dana Bash reports.

Obama later cited what he called "an unprecedented patter of obstruction in Congress" during his presidency for the move led by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

"A deliberate and determined effort to obstruct everything, no matter what the merits, just to refight the results of an election is not normal," Obama said of the change. "And for the sake of future generations, it cannot become normal."

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Filed under: Congress • Filibuster
March 7th, 2013
07:21 AM ET

Sen. Rand Paul ends filibuster against CIA director nominee John Brennan – Shannon Travis reports


Sen. Rand Paul ended his day-long filibuster at 12:38 a.m. Thursday, almost 13 hours after he began speaking. The Kentucky Republican tried to stall a confirmation vote on CIA Director nominee John Brennan.

And as a snow storm swirled outside Wednesday in the nation's capital, Paul started his own Twitter hash tag that encapsulated his hours-long stand-off on Capitol Hill: #filiblizzard.

The Kentucky senator, known for his libertarian leanings, has sharply questioned the Obama administration's use of drones against American citizens overseas and vowed to speak Wednesday until he received more answers from the government about its policies. Brennan is considered one of the main architects of the drone program.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Shannon Travis recaps Sen. Paul's filibuster.

READ MORE: Rand Paul's #filiblizzard filibuster

February 14th, 2013
01:19 PM ET

VIDEO: Republicans threaten to filibuster Hagel nomination for defense secretary – Athena Jones reports

Athena Jones reports on Republican lawmakers threatening to filibuster Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

Filed under: Filibuster