Clay pigeon floor procedure

Last updated

The clay pigeon floor procedure is a rare maneuver employed to gain political leverage in the United States Senate. The name comes by analogy with the clay target which shatters when hit in skeet shooting. In the procedure, an amendment comprising multiple proposals is shattered by demand of a single Senator into individual components to be discussed separately. By pre-agreement, a vote to limit total debate on the amendment is taken. Requiring a supermajority of 60 votes to abbreviate debate, all components are due for vote at the end of the allotted time.

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.

Skeet shooting sport in which players use shotguns to hit clay disks in midair

Skeet shooting is a recreational and competitive activity where participants, using shotguns, attempt to break clay targets mechanically flung into the air from two fixed stations at high speed from a variety of angles.


Two distinct goals have been recognized in the history of the procedure. Because individual features of an amendment are exposed to public airing, the process may coerce greater accountability. By contrast, in its most recent engagement, the Democratic majority used the tactic to curtail debate on immigration reform, thereby containing opposition.

Harry Reid American politician

Harry Mason Reid is a retired American attorney and politician who served as a United States Senator from Nevada from 1987 to 2017. He led the Senate's Democratic Conference from 2005 to 2017 and was the Senate Majority Leader from 2007 to 2015.

Tom Coburn Medical doctor, politician

Thomas Allen Coburn is an American politician and physician. A member of the Republican Party, he was a United States Representative and later a United States Senator from Oklahoma.

Related Research Articles

Filibuster parliamentary procedure where debate over a proposed piece of legislation is extended, allowing one or more members to delay or entirely prevent a vote on the proposal

A filibuster is a political procedure where one or more members of parliament or congress debate over a proposed piece of legislation so as to delay or entirely prevent a decision being made on the proposal. It is sometimes referred to as "talking a bill to death" or "talking out a bill" and is characterized as a form of obstruction in a legislature or other decision-making body. This form of political obstruction reaches as far back as Ancient Roman times and could also be referred to synonymously with political stonewalling. Due to the often extreme length of time required for a successful filibuster, many speakers stray off topic after exhausting the original subject matter. Past speakers have read through laws from different states, recited speeches, and even read from cookbooks and phone books.

Dick Durbin United States Senator from Illinois

Richard Joseph Durbin is an American attorney and politician serving as the senior United States Senator from Illinois, a seat he was first elected to in 1996. He has been the Senate Democratic Whip since 2005, the second-highest position in the Democratic leadership in the U.S. Senate.

Ben Nelson 37th Governor of Nebraska and Former U.S. Senator

Earl Benjamin Nelson is an American politician, businessman, and lawyer who served as the 37th Governor of Nebraska from 1991 to 1999 and as a United States Senator from Nebraska from 2001 to 2013. He is a member of the Democratic Party.

2004 United States Senate elections

The 2004 United States Senate elections were elections for one-third of the seats in the United States Senate which coincided with the re-election of George W. Bush as president and the United States House election, as well as many state and local elections. Senators who were elected in 1998, known as Senate Class 3, were seeking re-election or retiring in 2004. This was the third consecutive election for Senate Class 3 where the Democrats either broke even or lost seats. This also marked the first time since 1980 in which a presidential candidate from either party won with coattails in the Senate. As of 2018, these are the last elections held during a Presidential election year in which the Republicans made a net gain of seats.

1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election

The 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 3, 1998. Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura defeated Republican Party challenger Norm Coleman and Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party challenger Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III. Ventura governed with a DFL-controlled state Senate and a Republican-controlled state House.

2006 New Hampshire gubernatorial election

The 2006 New Hampshire gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Democrat John Lynch defeated Republican James B. Coburn and won a second term as Governor of New Hampshire.

Jonathan Hershel Singer is a progressive blogger. For five years, he was a writer for the progressive blog MyDD, which was credited by Campaigns and Elections magazine as being "the first major liberal blog".

The Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 was a bill in the 109th United States Congress. It was passed by the United States House of Representatives on December 16, 2005 by a vote of 239 to 182, but did not pass the Senate. It was also known as the "Sensenbrenner Bill," for its sponsor in the House of Representatives, Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner. The bill was the catalyst for the 2006 U.S. immigration reform protests and was the first piece of legislation passed by a house of Congress in the United States illegal immigration debate. Development and the effect of the bill was featured in The Senate Speaks, Story 11 in How Democracy Works Now: Twelve Stories a documentary series from filmmaking team Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini.

Colorado Republican Party

The Colorado Republican Party is the state affiliate of the Republican Party in the U.S. state of Colorado. The party's headquarters is located in Greenwood Village, Colorado. The state party chair is U.S. Representative Ken Buck.

Libertarian Party of Connecticut

The Libertarian Party of Connecticut is a statewide affiliate of the U.S. Libertarian Party. According to the bylaws posted on its web site, the Connecticut Libertarian Party has the basic aims of furthering individual freedom and opposing the initiation of force against individuals, among other things. It does this by engaging in political, educational, and social activities.

Roderick Neil Brown, Q.C. is a lawyer, biologist, Canadian politician and former Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, representing the constituency of Calgary-Nose Hill as a Progressive Conservative.

The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 was a bill discussed in the 110th United States Congress that would have provided legal status and a path to citizenship for the approximately 12 million illegal immigrants residing in the United States. The bill was portrayed as a compromise between providing a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and increased border enforcement: it included funding for 300 miles (480 km) of vehicle barriers, 105 camera and radar towers, and 20,000 more Border Patrol agents, while simultaneously restructuring visa criteria around high-skilled workers. The bill also received heated criticism from both sides of the immigration debate. The bill was introduced in the United States Senate on May 9, 2007, but was never voted on, though a series of votes on amendments and cloture took place. The last vote on cloture, on June 7, 2007, 11:59 AM, failed 34–61 effectively ending the bill's chances. A related bill S. 1639, on June 28, 2007, 11:04 AM, also failed 46–53.

Steve Drazkowski is a Minnesota politician and member of the Minnesota House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party of Minnesota, he represents District 21B, which includes portions of Dodge, Goodhue, Wabasha and Winona counties in the southeastern part of the state.

2004 United States Senate election in California

The 2004 United States Senate election in California took place on November 2, 2004 alongside other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer ran for re-election and defeated Republican former Secretary of State Bill Jones. Boxer's 6.96 million votes set the all-time record for the most votes cast for one candidate in one state in one election, although it was surpassed by Senator Dianne Feinstein's 7.75 million votes in 2012.

Ranked-choice voting (RCV), also known as instant-runoff voting (IRV), is used for state primary, congressional, and presidential elections in Maine and for local elections in 11 cities. Those cities include San Francisco, California; Oakland, California; Berkeley, California; San Leandro, California; Takoma Park, Maryland; Basalt, Colorado; Telluride, Colorado; St. Paul, Minnesota; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Portland, Maine. It is pending implementation in several additional cities, including in 2019 in Las Cruces, New Mexico and St. Louis Park, Minnesota. RCV is commonly used for student government and other non-governmental elections. It has been proposed for presidential elections and will be used in four states in the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries.

This article compares the presidential candidates in the United States' 2008 presidential election. It does not cover previous elections. Because of ballot access restrictions in the United States, not all candidates appeared on the ballots in all states.

In United States Senate procedure, filling the tree is the process by which a piece of legislation in the Senate has all of its possible opportunities for amendments filled by the majority leader. It is not a new tactic, but has seen an increase in prevalence over the past few decades.

2004 United States Senate election in Colorado

The 2004 United States Senate election in Colorado took place on November 2, 2004 alongside other elections to the United States Senate in other states as well as elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell decided to retire instead of seeking a third term. Democratic nominee Ken Salazar won the open seat.

Political positions of Harry Reid

Former United States Senator Harry Reid has declared his position on many political issues through his public comments and his senatorial voting record.

Rutgers University Debate Union

The Rutgers University Debate Union (RUDU) is Rutgers University's intercollegiate debate team. Re-founded in 2001, the Union's roots extend back to the 18th century literary societies that existed at Rutgers. There have also been the tradition of King's-Queen's Debates with Columbia University when Rutgers was known under its founding name of Queen's College. RUDU currently competes on the American Parliamentary Debate Association (APDA) circuit and finished the 2010-2011 season ranked fifth in that league. At the end of the most recent 2012-2013 season, RUDU was ranked third. RUDU also took sixth place in the North American Parliamentary Debate Championships 2012 and ninth place in the US National Championships 2013.


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-07-12. Retrieved 2007-06-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Decisive Immigration Votes Lined Up
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) All Coburn All Day
  3. Rare Tactic May Allow Immigration Votes.