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"First Day" Proceedings and Procedural Change in the Senate

Description: In the early weeks of the 112th Congress, the Senate considered proposals to change its Standing Rules, as well as proposals to alter other practices and procedures. Three resolutions that proposed to amend the Senate rules (S.Res. 8, S.Res. 10, as amended, and S.Res. 21, as amended) received votes, but none were agreed to. These three resolutions proposed a variety of changes, chiefly focused on the operation of the Senate's cloture rule (Rule XXII). The proceedings on these measures occurred in the context of a debate over whether or not the start of a new Congress presents a unique opportunity for the Senate to change its Standing Rules without certain constraints presented by its existing rules. This report is intended to provide context for understanding the issues raised by these proceedings, as well as an accounting of actions taken by the Senate at the start of the 112th Congress.
Date: January 18, 2013
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Proposals to Change the Operation of Cloture in the Senate

Description: This report provides a brief history of the Senate cloture rule, explains its main features and the arguments made by supporters and opponents of these features, outlines a range of proposals to change its operation, and briefly explains the methods by which the Senate might change its rules or practices.
Date: July 27, 2010
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.; Heitshusen, Valerie & Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction

Description: This report provides a brief introduction to the legislative process on the Senate floor, including filibusters and cloture, restraint and delay, scheduling legislative business, unanimous consent agreements, the daily order of business, the amending process, and quorum calls and rollcall votes.
Date: August 13, 2014
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Minority Rights and Senate Procedures

Description: This report discusses the nature of Senate procedures and various opportunities that the minority has to influence the process. The rules of the Senate emphasize the rights and prerogatives of individual Senators and, therefore, minority groups of Senators. The Senate's rules also are a source of other minority rights, including the right to propose non-germane amendments to most bills and to prevent bills from being referred to committees that might not consider and report them.
Date: August 22, 2005
Creator: Schneider, Judy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Invoking Cloture in the Senate

Description: This report discuses cloture, which is is the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to set an end to a debate without also rejecting the bill, amendment, conference report, motion, or other matter it has been debating. A Senator can make a nondebatable motion to table an amendment, and if a majority of the Senate votes for that motion, the effect is to reject the amendment. Thus, the motion to table cannot be used to conclude a debate when Senators still wish to speak and to enable the Senate to vote for the proposal it is considering. Only the cloture provisions of Rule XXII achieve this purpose.
Date: May 9, 2003
Creator: Davis, Christopher M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Invoking Cloture in the Senate

Description: This report discuses cloture, which is is the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to set an end to a debate without also rejecting the bill, amendment, conference report, motion, or other matter it has been debating. A Senator can make a nondebatable motion to table an amendment, and if a majority of the Senate votes for that motion, the effect is to reject the amendment. Thus, the motion to table cannot be used to conclude a debate when Senators still wish to speak and to enable the Senate to vote for the proposal it is considering. Only the cloture provisions of Rule XXII achieve this purpose.
Date: February 9, 2005
Creator: Davis, Christopher M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cloture Attempts on Nominations

Description: Cloture is the only means by which the Senate can vote to limit debate on a matter, and thereby overcome a possible filibuster. Until 1949, cloture could not be invoked on nominations, and before 1980 this action was attempted only twice. From 1949 through 2002, cloture was sought on 35 nominations, and invoked on 21. Only three of the 35 nominees were not confirmed; all three were among those on whom the Senate rejected cloture. Except in the 103rd Congress (1993-1994), most of the nominations involved have been judicial. The 103rd and 107th Congress are the only ones in which cloture was sought on more than three nominations.
Date: December 11, 2002
Creator: Beth, Richard S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cloture: Its Effect on Senate Proceedings

Description: Cloture is the only means by which the Senate can vote to limit debate on a matter, and thereby overcome a possible filibuster. Until 1949, cloture could not be invoked on nominations, and before 1980 this action was attempted only twice. From 1949 through 2002, cloture was sought on 35 nominations, and invoked on 21.
Date: March 7, 2005
Creator: Oleszek, Walter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cloture Attempts on Nominations

Description: Cloture is the only means by which the Senate can vote to limit debate on a matter, and thereby overcome a possible filibuster. It would be erroneous, however, to assume that cases in which cloture is sought are the same as those in which a filibuster occurs. Cloture may be sought when no filibuster is taking place, and filibusters may occur without cloture being sought.
Date: April 22, 2005
Creator: Beth, Richard S. & Palmer, Betsy
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cloture: Its Effect on Senate Proceedings

Description: Cloture is the only means by which the Senate can vote to limit debate on a matter, and thereby overcome a possible filibuster. Until 1949, cloture could not be invoked on nominations, and before 1980 this action was attempted only twice. From 1949 through 2002, cloture was sought on 35 nominations, and invoked on 21.
Date: June 10, 2003
Creator: Davis, Christopher M. & Oleszek, Walter J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Invoking Cloture in the Senate

Description: This report discusses cloture, the only procedure by which the Senate can vote to set an end to a debate without also rejecting the bill, amendment, conference report, motion, or other matter it has been debating.
Date: November 25, 2013
Creator: Davis, Christopher M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor: An Introduction

Description: This report provides a brief introduction to the legislative process on the Senate floor, including filibusters and cloture, restraint and delay, scheduling legislative business, unanimous consent agreements, the daily order of business, the amending process, and quorum calls and rollcall votes.
Date: December 1, 2010
Creator: Heitshusen, Valerie
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate

Description: This report discusses major aspects of Senate procedure related to filibusters and cloture. The two, however, are not always as closely linked in practice as they are in popular conception. Even when opponents of a measure resort to extended debate or other tactics of delay, supporters may not decide to seek cloture (although this situation seems to have been more common in earlier decades than today). In recent times, conversely, the Senate leadership has increasingly utilized cloture as a routine tool to manage the flow of business, even in the absence of any apparent filibuster.
Date: March 28, 2003
Creator: Beth, Richard S & Bach, Stanley
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department