BUST THE FILIBUSTER

    Tell Your Senators: Saving democracy is more important than the filibuster

    The For The People Act, the most important fair elections bill in generations, is wildly popular, but it is doomed to fail in the Senate without filibuster reform

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    Democratic voters who support H.R. 1

    %

    Republican voters who support H.R. 1

    Number of Senate Democrats who support H.R. 1 — so far!

    More about filibuster reform and the For the For the People Act

    The filibuster is a procedural rule in the Senate that requires 60 senators to agree to end debate on any bill. While the original purpose of the filibuster was to foster deliberation, it has become a weapon for the minority party to stop any bill from receiving a vote. Indeed, over the past decade Republicans have used the filibuster to kill extremely popular legislation, even bills with majority support.

    The For The People Act is the most significant fair elections bill in generations. It has overwhelming support among Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, and has a near majority support among Senators. Yet, this bill will never even come up for a vote unless we reform the filibuster. Mitch McConnell has all but admitted it.

    The filibuster should not stand in the way of saving our democracy. Stopping voter suppression, ending the dominance of big money in politics, and banning gerrymander is too imperative.

    WHAT TO DO

    Call or tweet Senators listed below in red and yellow and urge them to support filibuster reform

    (If you’re in green, as you were.)

    AGAINST FILIBUSTER REFORM

    (3 Senators)

    UNKNOWN / UNDECIDED

    (17 Senators)

    FOR FILIBUSTER REFORM

    (30 Senators)

    Unsure what to say? Expand to see sample messaging.

    My name is [FULL NAME] and I am calling from [CITY/TOWN, STATE]. I would like to thank [SENATOR’S NAME] for their support for S. 1, the For The People Act, and to ask that they support filibuster reform to pass this bill. The For the People Act is the most important democracy bill in generations, and we cannot allow a minority to stop this bill while voting rights are being restricted in states across the country. This issue is important to me, and I hope [SENATOR] will help reform the filibuster to make sure this bill passes.

    Data for this page compiled by Daily Kos Elections

    Jump to:                  

    Krysten Sinema (D-AZ)

    “Sinema not only opposes getting rid of the 60-vote filibuster threshold for legislation, she wants to restore the supermajority requirement for presidential nominees that has been weakened by both parties. “They will not get my vote on [nuking the filibuster],” Sinema said …. “In fact, whether I’m in the majority or the minority I would always vote to reinstate the protections for the minority. … It is the right thing for the country.”

    -Seattle Times

    Tom Carper (D-DE)

    “Some Democratic senators still believe they can gather enough Republican support to keep the filibuster and legislate effectively, especially on job-creating measures like infrastructure funding. “These are bipartisan issues,” said Senator Tom Carper.”

    -Politico

    Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

    Taylor continued, “And so some of them are suggesting that the Senate should get rid of the legislative filibuster. What’s your view of that?”

    “No, I think that — I agree with Thomas Jefferson [who] said, you know, it’s the saucer where things cool,” Leahy responded. “What I want to do though is see us come back to voting on things.”

    -C-SPAN

    Mark Kelly (D-AZ)

    “When he’s elected, Mark will consider how any changes to the way the Senate does business could help improve the lives of Arizonans.”

    -HuffPost

    Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

    Feinstein’s state director Jim Lazarus told a group of activists from the progressive group Indivisible on Monday in San Francisco that she believes “the leadership of the Senate will come up with a path that allows” the voting rights bill currently stalled in the Senate “to go forward with 50 Democratic votes.”

    -CNN

    John Hickenlooper (D-CO)

    “I would listen to any rule change. I certainly think the way the filibuster is being used now is a joke.”

    -Huffpost

    Chris Coons (D-DE)

    “I have long spoken in defense of the filibuster,” Coons said. “What I’ve said was it — and this is very hypothetical — if Joe Biden is the president, if there is a Democratic majority, I won’t stand by for four years, and allow every effort to make progress to be blocked.”

    -Business Insider

    Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)

    “I don’t know how we return to where things were before both Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell decided to do the various versions of the nuclear option. I do think that it is pretty harmful when certain laws pass with a simple majority, because then folks in the minority don’t have their voice. And our system is set up so that those in a minority should have a voice. But the question then is, should those folks have the ultimate blockage to keep the majority from moving forward? So I don’t know where we are on that yet.”

    -NYT

    Angus King (D-ME)

    “As we enter this new Congress with a new president and a new Senate majority (barely), the question for me is how Mitch McConnell and his Republican colleagues will play their hand; if they are willing to work to find compromise and consensus on important initiatives (infrastructure, voting rights or immigration reform, for example), the importance of getting rid of the filibuster diminishes. If, on the other hand, they just say no, the necessity — and likelihood — of filibuster reform would only increase. That is to say, in large measure the outcome is in their hands.”

    -Washington Post

    Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

    Senate Dem Debbie Stabenow says Dems now need to have a serious discussion about nuking the filibuster — “there are really important things like voting rights that can’t be done through reconciliation.”

    -Statement to a reporter

    Gary Peters (D-MI)

    Several Democrats such as Sen. Gary Peters of Michigan said on Tuesday they were focused on winning the Senate in November and that they would “wait and see” on the filibuster question.

    -Busisnes Insider

    Jon Tester (D-MT)

    “NR: So you could potentially be open now to getting rid of the legislative filibuster?
    Sen. Tester: “Well, look. I mean, I’ve always been open to everything. I didn’t come here to not do anything. I came here to get things accomplished. And if people are willing to work together, I’m willing to work with them, and we’ll get some stuff accomplished..I think the filibuster serves an important purpose, but I also think that if there’s a lot of stonewalling that goes on, it doesn’t leave me a lot of choice.”

    -National Review

    Jacky Rosen (D-NV)

    “I do not think we should fully eliminate the filibuster,” Rosen said in a statement provided by her office. “It’s one of the few things that we have left in the Senate that allows all voices to be heard. But I am open to looking at and discussing reform proposals, like the talking filibuster, so we can get back to talking to each other and effectively governing on behalf of the American people.”

    -The Nevada Independent

    Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

    Position Unclear

    Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

    “Nothing is off the table.”

    -HuffPost

    Jack Reed (D-RI)

    “I’m focused on the Senate passing legislation that addresses the pandemic, the economy, our defense and our environment,” said Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island. “The onus is on Senate Minority Leader McConnell. He can either be a constructive part of that effort or create a wall of partisan obstruction and further threaten the Senate’s traditions.”

    -NYT

    Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

    “I suppose Republican intransigence could ultimately provoke me to that,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, adding that it’s premature to make a decision now.

    -Business Insider

    Mark Warner (D-VA)

    “I am hopeful that the Senate can work together to address the enormous challenges facing the country without resorting to drastic measures like eliminating the filibuster.”

    -Constituent Letter

    Patty Murray (D-WA)

    “We will see. If they don’t, and they just continue to be a smaller and smaller constituency party that just says no to everything and who is willing to live under one loud man’s tweets, then it’s detrimental and we’ll have to have to figure out how I move forward, how we as a country move forward, how I can best represent the interests and fight for what’s important in Washington state.”

    -KUOW

    Joe Manchin (D-WV)

    “If you want to make it a little bit more painful, make him stand there and talk, I’m willing to look at any way we can. But I’m not willing to take away the involvement of the minority.”

    -Slate

    Alex Padilla (D-CA)

    Shifting from policy to procedure, Michaelson asked Padilla his stance on the Senate filibuster, a practice which many Democrats, including former President Barack Obama have called to be done away with. Padilla agreed that the practice, which allows a member to extend debate until 60 Senators vote to invoke cloture, should be discarded.

    -Fox 11 Los Angeles

    Michael Bennet (D-CO)

    “I’m committed to making sure that (Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell can’t obstruct the business of the American people again,” Bennet said.

    -Colorado Politics

    Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

    “I continually to advocate, not just reform, but abolishing it because I think it obstructs the majority,” said Blumenthal. “At this moment, we need to get stuff done to meet the unparalleled pandemic and economic crisis that we face in this country.”

    -CT Post

    Chris Murphy (D-CT)

    Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut said he favors reforming Senate procedure. But he wouldn’t elaborate on how that happens. I don’t think that it’s consistent with the preservation of American democracy as it’s used today, Murphy said. “There are lots of different possibilities to reform the filibuster…I think we need to focus on the elections first and then see where we are.”

    -Business Insider

    Jon Ossoff (D-GA)

    “Has said he’s open to eliminating the filibuster.”

    -Huffpost

    Raphael Warnock (D-GA)

    “The filibuster, at the end of the day, is about minority rights in the Senate. How are you going to insist on protecting minority rights in the Senate, while refusing to protect minority rights in the society?”

    -Business Insider

    Brian Schatz (D-HI)

    “It’s time to trash the Jim Crow filibuster.”

    -Schatz statement

    Mazie Hirono (D-HI)

    “The filibuster is intended to protect the minority views. But notice that we’re in the minority and our views are not protected at all,” she told CQ Roll Call. “And in fact, [Republicans] just roll over everything. So in order to get things done around here, I would be very open to changing the filibuster.”

    -Roll Call

    Dick Durbin (D-IL)

    “I can tell you that’s where I’m leaning. I will tell you, I have been frustrated for a hell of a long time because of this filibuster.”

    -Yahoo News

    Ben Cardin (D-MD)

    “I would be prepared to eliminate the filibuster, but I don’t think you have the votes in the Senate to do it,” Cardin said in an interview. “I’m trying to find a bipartisan buy-in to reforming the Senate. I think that’s far healthier.”

    -Washington Post

    Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

    “Americans should not be robbed of a living wage by archaic Senate rules and procedures—including the filibuster.”

    -Van Hollen statement

    Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

    “That means when Democrats have the White House again, if Mitch McConnell tries to do what he did to President Obama, and puts small-minded partisanship ahead of solving the massive problems facing this country, then we should get rid of the filibuster.”

    -CNN

    Ed Markey (D-MA)

    “The filibuster must go,” Sen. Ed Markey told WBUR recently. “It’s something that’s rooted in a racist past, and it’s used today as a way of blocking the progressive agenda, which President Biden is proposing — [including] environmental justice, racial justice, economic justice.”

    -WBUR

    Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

    “I would get rid of the filibuster,” Klobuchar says. “I have favored filibuster reform for a long time and now especially for this critical election bill.”

    -Mother Jones

    Tina Smith (D-MN)

    “I believe that the filibuster should be abolished in all cases, not just for any particular piece of legislation.”

    -Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)

    U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) called to reform the legislative filibuster, calling specifically for the implementation of the “talking filibuster,” which would require any Senator who wishes to filibuster – or block – legislation to do so by publicly speaking on and holding the Senate floor.

    -Cortez Masto statement

    Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

    “I think we need to change the filibuster rule in the Senate,” Shaheen told NHPR in 2014. “It’s an arcane process. I don’t think we should have every vote require sixty in order to get something done.”

    -NHPR

    Bob Menendez (D-NJ)

    “Steve Sandberg, Menendez’s spokesman, said the senator is supportive of reinstating the “talking filibuster” proposed by Biden”

    -NorthJersey.com

    Cory Booker (D-NJ)

    “I don’t think I can effectively make that argument of why we should preserve the filibuster at this moment in history, days before we see a decision being made that could so hurt voting rights and health care and LGBTQ rights and women’s access to reproductive care and abortion care.”

    -The Atlantic

    Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM)

    “For me, my constituents supported me knowing that I support filibuster reform. And so I’m going to come here and hope that that’s a tool that we can use.”

    -Roll Call

    Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

    “The filibuster should be abolished or, at the very least, reformed to force senators to physically hold the floor to extend debate.”

    -Heinrich statement

    Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

    “I’m of the view that we should eliminate the filibuster despite all the risks,” Gillibrand said.

    -The Telegraph

    Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

    “We’ve got to eliminate the filibuster”

    -The Atlantic

    Ron Wyden (D-OR)

    “I am not going to let Mitch McConnell stonewall the ability to meet the urgent needs of the American people through procedural kinds of approaches that just tie the place in knots,” Wyden said.

    -The Hill

    Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

    “And if that means changing or abolishing the current Senate requirement for a supermajority to close debate and pass policy legislation—often referred to as a “filibuster”—then that is what we must do.”

    -Data for Progress

    Bob Casey (D-PA)

    “Yes, absolutely. And look, major changes to the filibuster for someone like me would not have been on the agenda, even a few years ago. But the Senate does not work like it used to.”

    -MSNBC via WaPo

    Bernie Sanders (D-VT)

    “We must pass a comprehensive agenda to guarantee the rights and dignity of everyone in this country. And that means, among other things, reauthorizing and expanding the Voting Rights Act, for which Congressman John Lewis put his life on the line. As President Obama said, if that requires us to eliminate the filibuster, then that is what we must do.”

    -Sanders statement

    Tim Kaine (D-VA)

    “I’m very open to it. Look, I was governor of a state with two legislatures and everything is operated by simple majority. It works fine.”

    -The Hill

    Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

    “Recently, the threat of filibuster has been used far too often and as a result political obstructionism in the United States Senate is now worse than it has ever been. The people of Wisconsin and our state’s progressive tradition deserve better.”

    -Baldwin statement