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How to Kill the Filibuster

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If GOP leaders think they can retake the Senate in 2012 they should back filibuster reform now, while Democrats want it.

To get anything passed, Democrats -- who barely control the Senate -- need to limit the practice, which essentially requires a super-majority of 60 votes to succeed. But they might regret doing so if they wind up in the minority before long, when they would be the ones resorting to filibusters for power.

Perhaps this thinking was behind a Republican's call for reform. Indiana Senator-elect Dan Coats, who has served there in the past, said, "I think, at the very least, we need to remove the 60-vote rule for bringing a bill to the floor and actually debating it and voting on it. I'm going to work to try to streamline the situation and move things forward."

With Democrats desperate to bypass the minority party's blocking play and Republicans so close to a point when they could be in the same situation, this seems a perfect time to restore Senate rule by a simple majority.

CQ Roll Call: History of the Filibuster

Craig blogs daily for CQ Roll Call