Bipartisan senators propose curbing filibusters

A bipartisan group of senators is proposing to put modest limits on filibusters, the procedural delays that minority parties often use to grind the Senate's work to a halt.

Led by Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Sen. John McCain, R-AZ., the group's proposal is aimed at heading off a bitter partisan fight over the issue when the new Congress convenes next week. The proposal would make it harder to filibuster at the start of debate and impose other curbs.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says Republicans filibuster too frequently. He has threatened to impose even stricter filibuster limits with a simple majority vote -- in effect ramming them through over GOP objections.

Republicans say they filibuster because Reid often blocks them from offering amendments.