List of Filibusters in the 110th Congress

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According to an email that came out from Wes Clark on October 23rd, 2008, there were 94 filibusters so far in the 110th Congress. This is a partial list.

Following the 2006 congressional elections, Democrats held a 51-49 Senate majority in the 110th Congress. The Republican minority used the filibuster frequently in the first month of the session.

Contents

Legislative Transparency and Accountability Act

On January 17, an attempt to change ethics laws and rules failed after forty-five Republicans blocked it from coming to the floor for a vote. Several days later, the measure passed 96-2 after Senate leaders were able to compromise on their differences.<ref>Jonathan Weisman, "Republicans Halt Ethics Legislation," Washington Post, January 17, 2007.</ref>

Raising the minimum wage

On January 23, forty-three Republicans blocked an attempt to raise the federal minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25 over two-years.<ref>Thomas Ferraro, "Senate Republicans block minimum wage hike," Reuters, January 24, 2007.</ref>

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Several days later, the increase was passed 94-3 after several amendments allowing for small business tax breaks were added to the bill.

Opposing the "surge"

On February 5, 2007, forty-six Republicans blocked an attempt by Democrats to consider a resolution opposing President Bush's plan to send an additional 21,500 troops into Iraq.<ref>Carl Hulse and Brian Knowlton, "Senate expected to approve — eventually — resolution on Iraq," International Herald Tribune, February 6, 2007.</ref>

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Reid forces traditional filibuster

During the summer of 2007, Senate Republicans were successfully filibustering the Levin-Reed amendment to the FY 2008 Defense Department authorization bill that would set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) issued a statement saying:

It would be one thing for Republicans to vote against this bill. If they honestly believe that “stay the course” is the right strategy — they have the right to vote “no.” But now, Republicans are using a filibuster to block us from even voting on an amendment that could bring the war to a responsible end. They are protecting the President rather than protecting our troops. They are denying us an up or down — yes or no — vote on the most important issue our country faces. I would like to inform the Republican leadership and all my colleagues that we have no intention of backing down. If Republicans do not allow a vote on Levin/Reed today or tomorrow, we will work straight through the night on Tuesday. The American people deserve an open and honest debate on this war, and they deserve an up or down vote on this amendment to end it.<ref>Greg Sargent, "Breaking: Reid Will Force An All-Night Filibuster On Iraq," TPM Cafe, July 16, 2007.</ref>

What ensued was an all-night debate on the Iraq war. In the morning, the Democrats still fell short of the votes required for cloture, though they won over four Republican defectors.<ref>Shailagh Murray, Paul Kane, and Debbi Wilgoren, "Senators Debate Iraq War in Overnight Session," Washington Post, July 18, 2007.</ref>

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