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But Who’s Counting?



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Expect to see a lot of this factoid:

The political scientist Barbara Sinclair has done the math. In the 1960s, she finds, “extended-debate-related problems” — threatened or actual filibusters — affected only 8 percent of major legislation. By the 1980s, that had risen to 27 percent. But after Democrats retook control of Congress in 2006 and Republicans found themselves in the minority, it soared to 70 percent.

That’s from a Krugman column. Given the way his presentation skips from the 1980s to 2006, I’d like to see the underlying data to see if the latter date really does represent a sudden spike. In any case, Republicans counter that Reid has cut off debate a lot more often than his predecessors. Here we really do see a spike. Cloture motions were filed 72 times in 2001-3, 62 times in 2003-5, 68 times in 2005-7, and 139 times in 2007-9.



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