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Filibuster

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Sometimes, senators try to defeat a bill by filibustering. This is when a senator or senators give long speeches in an effort to delay any measure, motion, or amendment before the Senate. (There is no limit to the amount of time the Senate can debate a bill.) The tactic is often used by the minority side, or the side that opposes the bill that would likely pass if it came to a vote. The thinking is that the majority side will withdraw the bill or give in on key points after enduring hours of dull speeches. In the Senate, a process called cloture ends a filibuster and forces a vote. To use cloture, a senator must file a cloture motion that has been signed by 16 senators, and at least 60 senators must vote in favor of cloture. Filibusters aren't allowed in the House of Representatives because there is a limited amount of time a bill can be debated in the House.

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