By Craig Bosman
Through 1970, filibusters were used very rarely. In a given two-year session, there were never more than seven. There have been three big jumps in usage since then.
- The first big jump came between 1971 and 1974, when the number jumps from 7 to 24 to 44 per session.
- The next big jump came starting in 1987–1988, when there were 54, then goes to 1995–1996, when there were 82.
- The final big jump came in the 2007–2008 session, when there were 139 — more than all the filibusters before 1975 combined. Since then, this unprecedented spike has held, with 137 in 2009–2010 and 109 so far this session.
The common thread? There are two lessons. First, Republicans are responsible for each major increase in use of the filibuster. Second, once the filibuster’s use has been increased, it doesn’t decline — no matter which party is using it.
Tonight, Jennifer Granholm and Michael McAuliff, political reporter for The Huffington Post, will discuss filibuster reform and the potential use of the filibuster with the possible appointment of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rise to Secretary of State.