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Posted at 9:56 AM ET, 12/13/2010

It wasn't always like this

By Ezra Klein

Speaking of the filibuster, here's a telling fact:

During Johnson's three terms as majority leader, from 1955 to 1961, there was only one time when a vote was called to break a filibuster. In the past two years, there have been 84

.

By Ezra Klein  | December 13, 2010; 9:56 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

Remember, however, that Johnson had Democratic majorities of 66 and 68 senators during the two congresses of his term. That a filibuster ever had to be broken is kind of interesting.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | December 13, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Oops, sorry: I didn't read majority leader but was thinking of his presidency.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | December 13, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

thank you to president and michelle obama,
for the healthy hunger-free act.
another piece of legislation,
that makes a difference, for many americans.

Posted by: jkaren | December 13, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

what a magnificent and proud moment, to hear michelle obama, speaking with her husband, and signing the bill into law at tubman elementary school.
we have a magnificent president, and an magnificent first lady!
we are blessed!!

Posted by: jkaren | December 13, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

What we don't know is how many times Johnson refused to allow a bill to come to a vote because he knew that it would be filibustered. In other words, how often was the mere threat of a filibuster (which back then would shut down all Senate business) enough to achieve its goal?

Posted by: tomtildrum | December 13, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

"During Johnson's three terms as majority leader, from 1955 to 1961..."

Those were the days when the filibuster was the only thing stopping enactment of an effective civil rights act, so I wouldn't wax nostalgic for them.

Posted by: kscheidegger | December 13, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

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