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Senate votes to impose modest limits on filibusters

January 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The debate process in Congress could soon change. The Senate has voted to impose modest limits on filibusters.

Filibusters are the procedural delays that outnumbered senators use to derail legislation. It's a move often used by Republicans these days because they are in the minority in the Senate.

The changes would reduce the number of times opponents can use filibusters. In return, the majority party - Democrats today - would have to allow Republicans at least two amendments on a bill. Lawmakers hope this will speed up action on the Senate floor.

President Barack Obama said the change will help his agenda in Congress.

"At a time when we face critical decisions on a whole range of issues - from preventing further gun violence, to reforming our broken immigration system, to getting our fiscal house in order and creating good paying jobs - we cannot afford unnecessary obstruction. And I am hopeful that today's bipartisan agreement will pave the way for the Senate to take meaningful action in the days and weeks ahead," Obama said in a written statement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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