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Procedural step of ending debate on a proposal, and holding a vote to determine if it will pass.  In the U.S. Senate, a three-fifths majority is usually required to invoke cloture, which translates to 60 votes if no vacant seasts exist.  If debating a change to procedural rules, an even larger two-thirds majority is required in the Senate.  In the U.S. House of Representatives, a simple majority suffices to cut off debate.

See Filibuster.