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To: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and US Senators
End the Jim Crow Filibuster Now
Democrats want to deliver on their promise to meet the needs of hurting Americans during this pandemic and beyond with urgency. We can make health care a human right, raise the federal minimum wage, swiftly address climate change, champion racial justice by addressing the impacts of white supremacy, take action against voter suppression by passing the For the People Act, give undocumented residents a pathway to citizenship, and so much more. What’s stopping Democrats in the Senate? The filibuster, a Jim Crow relic invented by pro-slavery senators before the Civil War that prevented the passage of over 200 anti-lynching bills over the years. We must end the filibuster, now!
Why is this important?
When Mitch McConnell and the GOP Treason Caucus controlled the Senate, they used every bit of power at their disposal to enact Trump’s dangerous agenda and never held back. Even though Democrats now hold the majority and should be able to govern, the Jim Crow filibuster gives veto power to McConnell and the Republican Party to obstruct any and all attempts at championing progressive change.
McConnell currently deploys the archaic and racist filibuster to ensure that no legislation can pass without the support of 10 Republican senators, a nearly impossible feat given that only seven of 50 Republican senators voted to convict Trump even after he incited a deadly insurrection led by white nationalists. We can’t allow Republicans to block progress any longer.
We’re not alone in this fight: Senate Democrats understand that Republicans will continue to undermine progress so long as the current filibuster exists. Last week, Senator Dick Durbin spoke on the floor about how the filibuster has "become the death grip of democracy." The archaic tool means that "Senators can literally phone in a filibuster …. Today's filibuster has turned the world's greatest deliberative body into one of the world's most ineffectual bodies."
For the first time ever, President Biden came out in favor of reforming the filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer acknowledged that failing to make bold changes because of the filibuster is not an option for Democrats. Even Senator Joe Manchin expressed support by calling for Republicans to be forced to hold a talking filibuster on the floor. Democratic leaders recognize that the current version of the filibuster must not continue.
We need relief and aid, and McConnell and the GOP Treason Caucus cannot be allowed to block such progress any longer. We must end the filibuster now.