January 3, 2018

Episode 7: Rules Around the Senate Filibuster

The filibuster effectively means 60 votes are usually required to take action in the Senate. But Senate majorities can make or change rules to get around it. In 2017, Republicans went “nuclear” on Supreme Court nominations and used reconciliation rules to pass tax cuts (but chose not to limit the scope of the Byrd Rule). New books by Molly Reynolds and James Wallner explain when Senate majority parties use procedures to get around the filibuster. Reynolds finds parties follow their electoral and policy preferences, but Wallner finds that minority party threatened retaliation can deter change. Matt Grossmann talks to both about the future prospects for the filibuster and the ways around it.

The Niskanen Center’s Political Research Digest features up-and-coming researchers delivering fresh insights on the big trends driving American politics today. Get beyond punditry to data-driven understanding of today’s Washington with host and political scientist Matt Grossmann. Each 15-minute episode covers two new cutting-edge studies and interviews two researchers.You can subscribe to the Political Research Digest on iTunes here.