The Washington Post

Ted Cruz officially pulls an all-nighter

Updated 5:00 a.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) started talking Tuesday afternoon and by early Wednesday morning was still going.

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Texas senator had spoken for more than 14 hours at 5 a.m., surpassing the lengths of more traditional filibusters given by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) in March and by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) in 1964.

And Cruz also reached another notable milestone by prompting an official all-night session of the Senate.

Any session of the Senate that continues until 4 a.m. or later is considered an official all-nighter by the Senate Historian. Sure, there might be sessions that go until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., but for record-keeping purposes, they don't count towards the official tally.

There have been 32 all-night sessions since 1915, beginning with a 54-hour session devoted to consideration of the Ship Purchase Act, according to the Senate historian. In the years since, the Senate has kept the lights on overnight to continue debating appropriations bills, judicial nominations, an atomic energy measure, civil rights legislation (three times in the 1950s and 1960s), and in 1986, when lawmakers sought to override Ronald Reagan's veto of a bill imposing sanctions on South Africa for its apartheid policies.

A 50-hour session in 1950 caused Sen. William Langer (R-N.D.) to collapse during a filibuster on the veto of a Communist registration bill, according to the historian. More recently, the Senate stayed in session for more than 53 hours in 2003, during the fight over judicial nominations, and in 2007, during debate over the war in Iraq.

Follow Ed O'Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

Ed O’Keefe is covering the 2016 presidential campaign, with a focus on Jeb Bush and other Republican candidates. He's covered presidential and congressional politics since 2008. Off the trail, he's covered Capitol Hill, federal agencies and the federal workforce, and spent a brief time covering the war in Iraq.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
Sleep advice you won't find in baby books
In defense of dads
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
For good coffee, sniff, slurp and spit
How to keep your child safe in the water
How your online data can get hijacked
Play Videos
How to avoid harmful chemicals in school supplies
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
What you need to know about Legionnaires' disease
How to get organized for back to school
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
Next Story
Chris Cillizza · September 24, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.