The Curious Case of the Silent Filibuster

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the Senate Armed Services chairman, talks to reporters before a weekly political luncheon with fell
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the Senate Armed Services chairman, talks to reporters before a weekly political luncheon with fellow Democrats at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, July 17, 2012. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Amid all the talk about filibuster reform, perhaps you've thought to yourself: "If filibusters are such a problem, why don't I ever see any news reports about senators talking through the night, holding up Senate business in protest?"

The reason is this: The "talking" filibuster of yesteryear has been replaced by something we call... the "silent" filibuster.

In Newsbound's latest visual explainer, we break down why filibustering senators are no longer forced to actually talk. Filibuster reform is likely to be a big national news story come January, so be sure to bone up on the issue now:

If you liked this, check out our previous breakdown of the so-called fiscal cliff. Additional explainers are available at Newsbound.com.