Press release

Momentum and Pressure Building Ahead of Historic Voting Rights and Filibuster Votes

Fix Our Senate

Eli Zupnick of Fix Our Senate: “Momentum and pressure continue to grow as senators are about to face a stark choice: protect voting rights and our democracy or protect the outdated and abused filibuster.”

WASHINGTON, DC — Ahead of historic votes on filibuster reform and voting rights, Fix Our Senate released the following statement as President Biden meets with Senate Democrats and other Democratic leaders add to the momentum and pressure to put voting rights and democracy ahead of an abused Senate rule:

Eli Zupnick, spokesperson for Fix Our Senate, stated: “We commend President Biden, former President Obama, and the Senate leaders who are standing with advocates and millions of people across the country in the fight to protect our democracy and fix the broken Senate. Momentum and pressure continue to grow as senators are about to face a stark choice: protect voting rights and our democracy or protect the outdated and abused filibuster.”

The momentum and pressure generated by President Biden, former President Obama, and other Democratic leaders includes:

  • President Joe Biden continues his full-court press to encourage Senators to address the filibuster to pass voting rights legislation. Following his powerful speech in Georgia, President Biden will today visit Senate Democratic lunch today. As the President tweeted yesterday, “Last year alone, 19 states enacted 34 new laws attacking voting rights. Republican legislators in several states have already announced plans to escalate the onslaught this year. Adversaries and allies alike are watching whether American democracy can meet this moment.”
  • Former President Barack Obama penned his first post-presidential op-ed, writing in USA Today why “The filibuster has no basis in the Constitution. Historically, the parliamentary tactic was used sparingly – most notably by Southern senators to block civil rights legislation and prop up Jim Crow. In recent years, the filibuster became a routine way for the Senate minority to to block important progress on issues supported by the majority of voters. But we can’t allow it to be used to block efforts to protect our democracy. That’s why I fully support President Joe Biden’s call to modify Senate rules as necessary to make sure pending voting rights legislation gets called for a vote. And every American who cares about the survival of our most cherished institutions should support the president’s call as well.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, together with colleagues and House counterparts, has found a procedural way forward to force debate on voting rights and issued a memo that directly addressed one of the stated concerns expressed by residual filibuster reform skeptics, writing: “If the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same? In the coming days, we will most likely confront this sobering question — together.”
  • Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a fellow member of Senate leadership, wrote a powerful Medium post on the need for filibuster reform to restore a functional Senate and gave an interview on a Seattle NPR affiliate that noted: “As someone who believes strongly in the right of the minority party to have a voice, I know personally that the way the Senate runs right now is keeping us from protecting our democracy.”
  • Senate moderates and former skeptics of filibuster reform, such as Senator Angus King (I-ME), continue to be among the most powerful pro-reform voices about what’s at stake. Senator King tweeted, “The Senate’s upcoming votes on voting rights may be the most important votes I ever take – because without free and fair elections, the rest of our system doesn’t work. This is no ordinary policy issue; it is the foundation of our democracy, and we must defend it.”