Gregory Koger, Explaining The American Filibuster

Gregory Koger i i

Gregory Koger is a political scientist and professor at the University of Miami. Courtesy of the author/Courtesy of the author hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of the author/Courtesy of the author
Gregory Koger

Gregory Koger is a political scientist and professor at the University of Miami.

Courtesy of the author/Courtesy of the author

If high-school government class taught us anything, it's that getting bills passed through Congress is a game of numbers: The bill with the most votes wins.

Turns out it's not that simple. These days, the polarized state of American politics means that major bills need at least 60 votes to avoid an inevitable filibuster by the opposition.

Political scientist Gregory Koger's new book, Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate, addresses the institutionalization of the filibuster — and describes congressional loopholes by way of which fast thinking and hard work can beat the numbers. Koger teaches American politics at the University of Miami. He joins host Terry Gross for a conversation about what has happened to simple majority rule.

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