Filibusters in the Video Library
December 10, 2010
While Bernie Sanders (I-VT) filibusters in the Senate, we thought we would look back at earlier filibusters in the Senate. There were five “real” filibusters that can be found in the Video Library. A “real” filibuster is one when senators spoke for an extended period of time and the majority leader took efforts to end or disrupt the filibuster with mandatory quorum calls and directing the sergeant-at-arms to bring absent senators to the floor.
The longest and the most famous of these was in 1988 when Republicans filibustered campaign finance reform. The single Senate session lasted 53:30 minutes. At one point in the wee hours, the sergeant-at-arms actually carried one of the filibuster leaders, Senator Robert Packwood (R-OR) to the floor when Majority Leader Robert Byrd (D-WV) moved that the sergeant-at-arms bring absent senators to the floor.
Don’t go looking for this memorable moment in the Video Library, however, because the Senate-controlled cameras remain focused on the senator speaking and are not permitted to show other activity in the Senate. C-SPAN has requested that the House permit C-SPAN to install two of its own cameras to supplement the House-controlled cameras. That request was made to incoming Speaker John Boehner.
Another memorable filibuster was a bipartisan all-night filibuster by Senators Moynihan (D-NY) and D’Amato. This October 5, 1992 lasted 33 hours. The two New York senators were seeking a provision to help a company that was threaten by foreign competition.