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History Briefing:  Filibuster and Cloture


The cloture rule–Rule 22–is the only formal procedure that Senate rules provide for breaking a filibuster. A filibuster is an attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter. Under cloture, the Senate may limit consideration of a pending matter to 30 additional hours of debate.

Learn about how the cloture process works on the Senate floor.


Senate Action on Cloture Motions 1919-present


Invoking Cloture in the Senate (pdf)

Cloture:  Its Effect on Senate Proceedings (pdf)

Cloture Attempts on Nominations (pdf)

Filibusters and Cloture in the Senate (pdf)


Learn more about cloture by reading these essays from the Senate Historian’s office.

Cloture Rule, March 8, 1917

“The American Senate” Published on June 1, 1926


Interested in related materials? Take a look at this Virtual Reference Desk subject for more information.

Filibuster