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Here We Go Filibuster: Harkin, Coburn on Whether Senate Is ‘Dysfunctional’

Filibuster, (noun), U.S. Politics: Informal term for any attempt to block or delay Senate action on a bill or other matter by debating it at length, by offering numerous procedural motions, or by any other delaying or obstructive actions. (United States Senate)

On Friday’s NewsHour, political correspondent Kwame Holman delves into the partisan war raging over this particular tool on the Senate floor — as some senators, amidst gridlock and an impending fiscal cliff, voice concern over proposed changes to eliminate the 60-vote threshold needed to formally begin debate on a bill and require a talking filibuster.

Earlier this week, Kwame spoke with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. and Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa. Here are their full interviews.

While Coburn says the change is the undoing of what the Founders intended — warning that “the Senate will unwind if this happens,” Harkin, who’s been pushing for reform, called the filibuster “a dinosaur,” which is “being used to thwart the majority.”

For more political coverage, watch the PBS NewsHour on-air and online at 6 p.m. ET and visit the politics page.

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