You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe


Five obscure tactics to snarl Congress

(And you thought the filibuster was bad)

If any word characterizes the current Congress, it’s “obstruction.” The best-known tactic for blocking your political opponents is, of course, the filibuster, an antique tool that has seen such heavy use lately that critics have begun calling for it to be abolished.

If it is, though, the impulse is unlikely to die with it. The arcane procedural rules on Capitol Hill, especially in the Senate, offer legislators any number of obscure ways to thwart the plans of their opponents—and, says Bruce Oppenheimer, an expert on Congress at Vanderbilt University, some are already being considered as parties gird for more, and messier, battles. According to Oppenheimer and other observers, here are five to watch out for:

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week