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Senate Filibuster Rules Changes at a Glance

Permanent Changes

Any Debatable Item

Creates a “bipartisan” motion to bring bills to the floor more quickly.

If the majority leader, minority leader and seven members from each side sign a motion to limit debate or invoke cloture, the vote on concluding debate will be expedited.

Instead of having to wait two days for a cloture motion to ripen, the vote will occur the day after the motion is filed.

If cloture is invoked, an immediate vote can be held on whether to proceed to the bill or nomination.

The right to filibuster any item is not affected.

Conference Reports

Sending a bill to conference with the House would be accomplished in one step instead of three.

The single motion to go to conference could still be filibustered.

Temporary Changes

(These rules expire at the end of the 113th Congress)


Eliminates the right to filibuster a motion to proceed if the majority leader permits up to four amendment votes.

If the majority leader wants to bring up a bill, he can get a vote to do so four hours after he files a motion to proceed.

At least two amendments from the majority and two from the minority must be allowed.

If one of the first four amendments isn’t germane to the bill, it will be subject to a 60-vote threshold for passage.


Most nomination votes would be expedited once they have cleared any filibuster hurdles, i.e. received 60 votes

All nominations, except Cabinet officers and judges, would have no more than eight hours of debate after they clear a filibuster.

District Court nominees would get no more than two hours of debate after clearing a filibuster.

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