Argumentative Essay On Filibusters

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In recent years, the U.S. Senate has been embroiled in a countless number of filibusters which have a long history in the U.S. Congress. To supporters of the filibuster, such political procedures play an important role in a democratic society. They believe that the filibuster embodies the spirits of democracy to protect the minority from oppression in the United States. Reformers or skeptics of the filibuster, on the other hand, believe that filibusters sometimes severely hinder the operations of the government. Although people have witnessed many filibusters in history, the number of filibusters in the past few years surprised and infuriated many in America. In 2014, President Obama reprimanded Republicans for having “filibustered…show more content…
The minority starts a filibuster by extending a debate or by making long speeches, which usually takes hours. Senators treat filibusters as bargaining chips to negotiate with the majority, which dominates the Senate with more senators elected. Because “the Senate has no Rules Committee and instead determines the length and structure of its debates by unanimous consent agreement” (English 109), the definition of filibuster varies. It usually depends on the context of debates between parties on specific bills. Senators can regard any speeches delivered by the opposition as filibusters, if they believe that those speeches are intended to delay the voting of a bill. Filibustering in the Senate has its origin back to “the 1850s” (“Filibuster and Cloture”), yet many landmark filibusters happened in the 20th century. For instance, in 1957 “South Carolina Senator Strom Thurmond spoke continuously for twenty- four hours and eighteen minutes to prevent the passage of civil rights legislation. Thurmond still holds the record for the longest filibuster” (English 110). However, because of the time- consuming characteristic of filibusters, debates over changing the regulations to curtail

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