There are few restraints on what senators can say while filibustering on the Senate floor.
According to a 1940 study, Sen. Huey Long of Louisiana used some of his time describing his technique for frying oysters. A 1992 filibuster on a tax bill by then Sen. Alphonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., that lasted 15 hours and 14 minutes, including his singing a rendition of "South of the Border."
Filibusters in which senators actually spoke continuously on the floor began dying out in the 1970s and 1980s, when the chamber's leaders decided the delays were preventing too much work from getting done, according to Senate Historian Donald Ritchie.
In addition, while filibustering senators only needed a handful of lawmakers to keep talking, the majority party had to keep at least 51 senators nearby, often sleeping on cots in the Senate cloakroom, Ritchie said. That was needed to prevent the minority from voting to adjourn the Senate and further delaying the legislation in question. As a result, filibusters proved more exhausting to the majority than to filibustering lawmakers, he said.
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