Washington (CNN) - The Senate voted Thursday to eliminate so-called "secret holds" that many senators complained caused unnecessary delays in approving bills and nominations and contributed to a general legislative backlog in the chamber.
The lopsided 92-4 vote came after weeks of wrangling over whether to overhaul filibuster rules and other tactics that are employed by senators to stall votes.
Under the new rules, a senator's name will be published in the Congressional Record two days after the senator places a hold.
The Senate also overwhelmingly supported a measure that will make it harder to force a bill to be read aloud in the Senate chamber, so long as senators have had reasonable time in advance to review the text.
Senate leaders announced an agreement earlier in the day to limit the number of administration appointees requiring confirmation by the full Senate. This too is aimed at easing the Senate's workload and lowering the number of nominations subject to holds and filibusters.
Efforts to make it easier to break filibusters failed. However, in a non-binding agreement announced by Senate Majority Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in the future, majority Democrats will try to allow more amendments by the minority Republicans and, in turn, Republicans will agree to fewer filibusters.
Reid and McConnell also agreed that any change to Senate rules would require 67 votes, not a simple majority.