Our Senate is probably the only legislative body in the world that allows filibustering as an obstructionist tactic to be employed by a minority for the purpose of preventing a vote, and thus defeating legislation favored by a majority. This is one reason why only 9 percent polled approved of the 112th Congress.
Senate Cloture Rule 22 requires 60 votes to end unlimited debate. When the healthcare bill was debated on Dec. 24, 2009, 40 Republicans, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ken.), attempted to lure one Democrat to make 41 to kill the bill by filibuster. But the GOP attempt failed, allowing the bill, by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to pass 60-39.
Twenty-first century America needs to end old parliamentary rules which cause the wheels of government to turn at a horse and buggy pace. As the Senate begins its 113th session this month, Reid and the Rules Committee will attempt to amend Rule 22. Good luck, Harry!