What is filibustering? and Where and why is it used?

Updated: Nov 16, 2021

Filibustering is a process of blocking legislation on the ground of the senate. According to the US constitution, any bill cannot be reached on the president's desk to be signed unless it has passed through both houses: House of Representatives and Senate. The rule of passing a bill is simple “majority is authority.” If a bill could attain more than 50 percent of the vote in each house, it would have been declared as passed, and after being signed by the President, it would be enacted. However, a loophole exists which can prevent the bill to be passed despite having the majority.




Any legislation can be blocked if any senator thinks that the bill has to be in the debate rather than be voted. This process is known as Filibustering. However, if any party wants to override the filibustering process, it must have 60 out of 100 votes in the senate, and two-third votes in the House of Representatives. However, the house of Representatives has dismantled the filibustering practice in the presidency of Woodrow Wilson by introducing the process of cloture. By using it, any bill can be moved for voting by ending the debate over it.


Note: filibustering process is now only be used in the house of senate


Fortunately or unfortunately, filibustering is still used in the Senate in an attempt to block the legislation. Both parties have used it as a tool for countering the bill which they considered not to be passed. However, the filibustering process can be overturned on the issues like taxes and finance.