WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is famous for marathon speeches. Some are obstructive filibusters to delay or scuttle legislation or a presidential nominee, while others are just unusually long speeches.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley’s action “holding the floor” for more than 15 hours Tuesday night into Wednesday morning wasn’t a filibuster under Senate rules, but his remarks protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Colorado Judge Neil Gorsuch certainly made the list of lengthiest Senate speeches.
A look at the longest U.S. Senate filibusters and speeches since 1900, when the Senate began keeping precise records:
–24 hours, 18 minutes: Strom Thurmond of South Carolina, civil rights bill, 1957
–23 hours, 30 minutes: Alfonse D’Amato of New York, military bill, 1986
–22 hours, 26 minutes: Wayne Morse of Oregon, Tidelands oil bill, 1953
–21 hours, 19 minutes: Ted Cruz of Texas, health care bill, 2013
–18 hours, 23 minutes: Robert La Follette Sr. of Wisconsin, currency bill, 1908
–16 hours, 12 minutes: William Proxmire of Wisconsin, debt increase, 1981
–15 hours, 30 minutes: Huey Long of Louisiana, industrial recovery, 1935
–15 hours, 27 minutes: Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, 2017
–15 hours, 14 minutes: D’Amato, tax bill, 1992
–14 hours, 50 minutes: Chris Murphy of Connecticut, gun control, 2016
–14 hours, 13 minutes: Robert Byrd of West Virginia, civil rights bill, 1964
–12 hours, 52 minutes: Rand Paul of Kentucky, use of drones against American citizens, 2013
–10 hours, 31 minutes: Paul, renewal of Patriot Act, 2015
Onscreen in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”:
Nearly 24 hours: Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart), Willet Dam, 1939
Source: Senate Historical Office, Columbia Pictures.
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