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What is the filibuster–and why do I keep hearing about it?

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(Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA)(Sipa via AP Images)
President Joe Biden speaks to media after leaving a lunch meeting with Senate Democrats where they discussed voting rights and filibuster reform, in Washington, D.C

The filibuster—it’s either a “Jim Crow relic,” according to former president Barack Obama, or a longstanding “unique feature” of the Senate, counters Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. What is this 10-letter word that has generated untold amounts of national press stories lately and has Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill bickering so much?

The U.S. Senate has had a tradition of allowing unlimited debate—or filibustering—which can delay or even prevent action on legislation, according to Costas Panagopoulos, head of Northeastern’s political science department and editor of American Politics Research. “It has been used effectively to prevent action on numerous pieces of legislation over the years,” he says.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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