Trend Watch

McConnell Files for 'Cloture'

Lookups rise 70,000% after petition

Cloture spiked dramatically in lookups on the evening of October 3rd, 2018, after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed a cloture motion, bringing closer the vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.

McConnell, a Republican, filed a petition for a so-called cloture vote, which if successful would limit debate on the Kavanaugh nomination and start the clock ticking on a final 30-hour waiting period before the Senate could vote to confirm the nominee.
Reuters (, 3 Oct. 2018

The word, which we define as “the closing or limitation of debate in a legislative body especially by calling for a vote,” comes from the French clôture. In French the word has the literal meaning of “closure.” The word has been in English use since the early 19th century.

After him M. Hyde de Neuville, spoke, among many interruptions, on the question of order as to closing the debate; and when he finished, the demand for the cloture was overwhelming.
City Gazette (Charleston, SC), 22 Apr. 1826

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