How the Filibuster Became the Rule – New York Times
So far in this first year of the 110th Congress, there have been 72 motions to stop filibusters, most on the Iraq war but also on routine issues like reauthorizing Amtrak funding. There were 68 such motions in the full two years of the previous Congress, 53 in 1987-88 and 23 in 1977-78. In 1967-68, there were 5 such votes, one of them on a plan to amend cloture itself, which failed.
For policy making, this is the legislative equivalent of gum on a shoe.
It has produced a numbing cycle of Washington futility: House Democrats pass a bill, but Senate Democrats, facing a filibuster by the Republican minority, fail to get the 60 votes needed to end debate. Little wonder that approval ratings of Congress stink these days.