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Expand chart
Data: RepresentUs analysis; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios. Note: Some states have multiple ways to break filibusters. For states with rules on filibuster-breaking votes, some require a certain share of senators to be present and others require a certain share to vote.

The vast majority of state Senates have rules making it harder to filibuster legislation than in the U.S. Senate, according to new research from the nonpartisan advocacy group RepresentUs.

Why it matters: This comes as Senate Republicans threaten to filibuster raising the debt ceiling, calling on Democrats to do it alone. Requiring 60 votes to close debate on a particular legislative topic has been a major factor of partisan gridlock in Congress — especially in the current 50-50 Senate.

  • "Not only are Republicans refusing to do their job, but they're threatening to use their power to prevent us from doing our job — saving the economy from a catastrophic event," President Biden said Monday. "I think, quite frankly, it's hypocritical, dangerous and disgraceful."

By the numbers: Lawmakers in 43 states have an easier time breaking a filibuster than members of the U.S. Senate, according to the analysis of state laws and rules.

  • Four states that have high vote requirements to end a filibuster also have pre-set time limits on speaking time, which the U.S. Senate lacks. Many states require only a majority to end debate.
  • Seven state Senates have rules similar to the U.S. Senate’s cloture rule. They don't have time limits and require a high share of senators to set limits or end debate. Four of those do not have any specified rules for ending debate at all.

"Rules matter, but they're not the only thing that determines the filibuster," Caroline Joseph, RepresentUs research analyst, told Axios.

  • States with the most similar rules to the U.S. Senate do not have significant problems with the lawmakers filibustering.
  • On the other hand, Missouri only requires a majority to end debate — but has some of the most frequent filibusters of any state.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect that four states with high vote requirements to end a filibuster have pre-set time limits on speaking time — not four states overall.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 14, 2021 - Axios Denver

Colorado redistricting gives Democrats edge in state Legislature

Expand chart
Data: Colorado Sun; Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

The General Assembly appears poised to remain in Democratic hands for years to come.

Driving the news: The Colorado Independent Legislative Redistricting Commission created new state House and Senate districts this week that give the Democrats the easiest path to power, the Colorado Sun reports.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
13 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.

Colin Powell dies from COVID complications at 84

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Capital Concerts

Colin Powell, the first Black U.S. secretary of state, died of complications from COVID-19, his family announced Monday. He was 84.

Driving the news: The Powell family said in a statement that he was fully vaccinated. "We want to thank the medical staff at Walter Reed National Medical Center for their caring treatment."