Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) spoke for 21 hours and 19 minutes between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning because Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) wouldn’t raise the vote threshold to amend the Continuing Resolution (CR) from a simply majority (51 votes) to 60 votes, giving Senate Democrats the ability to strike language defunding ObamaCare without Republican support.
The filibuster, which has existed for more than 200 years, has long-been used as a tool to slowdown or prevent passage of legislation with which members disagree.
Below is a brief look at the top 10 filibusters in Senate history. While Cruz’s control of the floor wasn’t technically a filibuster in the true sense, as he couldn’t stop the already scheduled cloture vote on the motion to proceed, it would rank fifth on the list.
10. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) — 8 hours, 39 minutes (2003)