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November 21st, 2013

Senate Changes Rules to Curb Filibusters on Obama Appointees

By Associated Press reporter Alan Fram 

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats eased the way for swift approval of President Barack Obama’s current and future nominees on Thursday, voting unilaterally to overturn decades of Senate precedent and undermine Republicans’ ability to block final votes.

The 52-48 vote to undercut venerable filibuster rules on presidential appointees capped more than a decade of struggle in which presidents of both parties complained about delays in confirming appointees, particularly to the federal courts.

At the White House, Obama applauded the vote. He said Republicans had used delaying tactics “as a reckless and relentless tool to grind all business to a halt.”

“And that’s not what our founders intended. And it’s certainly not what our country needs right now,” the president said.

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Watch President Obama’s speech praising the Senate filibuster reform.

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