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Filibuster. Senator Murphy and the Senate Democrats make democracy lit!

June 16, 2015


An action such as a prolonged speech that obstructs progress in a legislative assembly while not technically contravening the required procedures.
synonyms: stonewalling, delaying tactics, procrastination, obstruction, temporizing

Act in an obstructive manner in a legislature, especially by speaking at inordinate length.

Hopefully by now you've caught up on yesterday's happenings in Capitol Hill or better yet ... you tuned on to CSPAN or fired up streaming and watched one of the most epic fillabusters in recent history.

A couple of days after the worst mass shooting in the US happened in Orlando, Florida last weekend, history was made in the Senate. Frustrated with congressional inaction on gun violence Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut began speaking at 11:21 AM and showed few signs of fatigue throughout the nearly 15-hour filibuster he led. With Staff, tourist, and even his two kiddos looking from the galleries, Senator Murphy held the floor of the mostly empty chamber. He was joined by most of his fellow Democratic senators who joined him and made their own speeches through the day as well. Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Cory Booker of New Jersey stayed with Murphy on the floor for most of the debate.

Senate rules require that Murphy had to stand at his desk to maintain control of the floor. When asked by another senator how he was feeling just before 7:30 PM, Murphy said rehabilitation from a back injury in his 20s had helped him build up endurance. The nonstop series of speeches stretched 14 hours and 50 minutes and included appearances by a large mayority of Democrats and a few courageous Republicans.

Below is a list of senators who joined joined the filibuster more or less in order of appearance:
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA)
Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Sen. Ben Sass (R-NE)
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Sen. Al Franken (D-MN)
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA)
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Bob Menendez (D- NJ)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Sen Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA),
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
Joe Donnelly (R-IN)
Angus King (I-ME).
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)

Senate Democrats ended the filibuster early Thursday morning after Republican Party leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.

The epic filibuster ending in a moving tribute to a Sandy Hook teacher's bravery that cause us all to have a little something in our eyes ...

So, where exactly this filibuster land in the list of longest filibusters?
Below is an updated list of the ten longest lasting filibusters ever to take place in the United States Senate since 1900.

Rank Senator Date (began) Measure Hours
1 Strom Thurmond (D-SC) August 28, 1957 Civil Rights Act (1957) 24:18
2 Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) October 17, 1986 Defense Authorization Act (1987), amendment 23:30
3 Wayne Morse (I-OR) April 24, 1953 Submerged Lands Act (1953) 22:26
4 Ted Cruz (R-TX) September 24, 2013 Affordable Care Act (2010) 21:18
5 Robert M. La Follette, Sr. (R-WI) May 29, 1908 Aldrich–Vreeland Act (1908) 18:23
6 William Proxmire (D-WI) September 28, 1981 Debt ceiling increase (1981) 16:12
7 Huey Long (D-LA) June 12, 1935 National Industrial Recovery Act (1933), amendment 15:30
8 Alfonse D'Amato (R-NY) October 5, 1992 Revenue Act (1992), amendment 15:14
9 Chris Murphy (D-CT) June 15, 2016 Nominally H.R.2578; supporting gun control measures 14:50
10 Robert Byrd (D-WV) June 9, 1964 Civil Rights Act (1964) 14:13

Despite the late night Senator Murphy is showing no signs of slowing down. The Senate back in session as of 10:00 AM this morning, so... Tick Tock Senators! Let's go! Let's hope something gets done!

Mad respect to Republican Senators Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska for breaking ranks with their party and taking a literal stand against gun violence! Here's hoping we can get some common sense reform soon!

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