Press release

“Unlike the Right to Vote, There is Nothing Sacred About the Filibuster” - Senators and Key Voices Call for Action on Filibuster

Fix Our Senate

Leading Senators and key observers are highlighting the urgency of federal voting rights and democracy-protecting legislation and calling for Democrats to address the filibuster to protect Americans’ rights and the health of our democracy. Key recent voices include:

  • Senator Angus King (I-ME) op-ed in the Boston Globe, A constitutional crisis is unfolding before our eyes: “This issue is too important to go unaddressed, so I will continue to invite my Republican colleagues to come to the table in good faith and negotiate legislation to protect voter access and strengthen our electoral system against true threats, not Internet myths. I want to negotiate a compromise, first and foremost. But absent that, I am open to pursuing structural reforms to the Senate in order to turn these priorities into law and to defend ballot access for all of our citizens. The stakes could not be higher.”
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a Dear Colleague letter to Senate Democrats: “...[J]ust because Republicans will not join us doesn’t mean Democrats should stop fighting. This is too important. Even if it means going at it alone, we will continue to fight for voting rights and work to find an alternative path forward to defend the most fundamental liberty we have as citizens. To that end, a number of our colleagues – with my full support - have been discussing ideas for how to restore the Senate to protect our democracy. Those conversations will continue in earnest this coming week. Despite all that confronts us, we must continue our fight to protect our democracy.”
  • Marc Morial, President/CEO of the National Urban League, op-ed, Reform the Filibuster and End the Assault on Voting Rights Now: “Unlike the right to vote, there is nothing sacred about the filibuster. It’s not in the Constitution. It never was part of Framers’ vision for the Senate and is not enshrined in any law. It’s time to dispense with the filibuster — at the very least, with regard to voting rights … The 117th Congress will be remembered for overseeing the systematic dismantling of American democracy and the desecration of our most sacred constitutional right. The racially discriminatory voter suppression that has run rampant through the states is unconscionable; the Senate’s abject failure to contain it is unforgivable.”
  • E.J. Dionne column in the Washington Post, Why do Democrats let Republicans set the terms of debate?: “Democratic politicians should be ashamed that while Trump has turned his “Stop the Steal” lies into a mobilizing battle cry for Republican base voters, Democrats have been unable to do the same with their defense of the right to vote...Republican senators have used the filibuster to stymie the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. In the face of such gridlock, Democratic loyalists are justified in asking their party’s leaders: Where are you when it comes to defending fair elections — and our rights? Making these bills law is thus both the right thing to do and a political imperative.”
  • Washington Post editorial, Why on Earth are Republicans still blocking voting rights bills? “Senate Republicans’ real object seems to be enabling state-level Republicans to continue making it harder to vote, in an effort to tilt the playing field their way … Every American — Democrat or Republican — should favor reforms that promote voter participation and honest competition between the parties. Senate Republicans have proved time and again that is not what they want, even as voting rights come under attack in many states. At this point, Democrats must consider reforming the filibuster to allow the Senate to debate and vote on measures to protect the franchise.”