Posted Tuesday, Apr. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

When the Senate failed to pass universal background checks for gun purchases, it wasn't because a majority of senators failed to support the bill. It was because the minority of senators who opposed the bill filibustered it.

Why is it so difficult for the Star-Telegram and other news sources to report this accurately?

It doesn't take 60 votes to "pass" a bill in the Senate. It only requires 51, a simple majority. However, in the face of an objection by any senator, unless 60 senators vote to proceed, a cloture vote, the Senate cannot vote on the bill.

The last Congress set a record for votes to shut off debate -- 112, far exceeding the previous mark of 61 in 2001-02. There have been 64 cloture votes this year. Filibusters used to be the exception; now they are the rule and routinely used to block votes on significant legislation.

If a vote had been held, this bill would have passed 55-45.

-- Craig C. Roshaven, Fort Worth

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?