Advocates Weigh in Following Vote on Bipartisan Jan. 6 Commission: It’s Time to Eliminate the Filibuster and Protect Our Democracy

May 28, 2021 | Press Release

By Alan Minsky, Executive Director – Progressive Democrats of America

“The path forward is clear: The filibuster must be eliminated as a weapon that a minority of senators can wield to veto popular democracy-protecting bills”

Washington, DC — Following the Senate Republicans filibuster of legislation to create a bipartisan commission investigating the January 6 insurrection, Indivisible, Fix Our Senate, and 56 other organizations representing millions of people across the country released the following statement calling on Senate Democrats to finally eliminate the filibuster:

“This is no longer a debate about hypotheticals: Senate Republicans have filibustered a bipartisan bill to form a bipartisan commission investigating an attack on their workplace and the seat of our democracy. Despite Senate Democrats ‘imploring’ Republicans to work with them to get this done, Sen. McConnell and his caucus swatted away every attempt at good faith bipartisan work and committed themselves to partisan obstruction. Now the path forward is clear: The filibuster must be eliminated as a weapon that a minority of senators can wield to veto popular democracy-protecting bills. 

“Democrats won the White House, Senate and House on promises to protect our elections, stand up to special interests, and restore our democracy – and they have a mandate for action on the January 6th commission, the For The People Act, and other bills protecting and expanding our democracy. After seeing obstruction in action, Senate Democrats have a choice – they can protect the filibuster or deliver on critical and popular policies to protect our democracy. They won’t be able to do both.”

At the same time GOP legislatures are attacking voting access in states across the country, some Senate Republicans admit there is nothing Democrats can do to get their support for the For The People Act, crucial legislation to ensure voting access and election integrity. Senate Minority Leader McConnell has called blocking the For the People Act his “top priority” and is committed to using the filibuster as a weapon to keep our democracy rigged. Investigating an insurrection and protecting voting rights should not be controversial or partisan legislation, and a minority of Senators should not be able to block such bills. 

Progressive momentum and support for eliminating the filibuster continues to build. Last week over 250,000 people joined Senator Merkley, Senator Warren, and advocates and activists across the country in a virtual town hall calling for the elimination of the filibuster. And Fix our Senate and Indivisible joined New York activists in pressuring Senators to end the filibuster with #FilibusterFriday, a weekly momentum-building effort on social media, along with over a dozen partner organizations. The effort includes an action center to help grassroots activists email, call, and tweet their senators to end the filibuster to pass democracy reforms. Last week’s efforts reached over 13 million Twitter users.

The statement was signed by the following organizations 

  1. America’s Voice
  2. Athens County’s Future Action Network (OH)
  3. Battle Born Collective
  4. Blue Wave Postcard Movement
  5. Broward for Progress
  6. Businesses for a Livable Climate
  7. CA Businesses for a Livable Climate
  8. Call to Action Colorado
  9. CatholicNetwork US
  10. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
  11. Clean Elections Texas
  12. CO Businesses for a Livable Climate
  13. Colorado Small Business Coalition
  14. Common Defense
  15. Communications Workers of America
  16. DC Vote
  17. Demand Justice
  18. Demand Progress
  19. DemCast USA
  20. Equal Justice Society
  21. Evergreen Action
  22. Fix Our Senate 
  23. For All
  24. Free Speech For People
  25. Friends of the Earth
  26. Indivisible 
  27. Mainers for Accountable Leadership
  28. Mid-Ohio Valley Climate Action
  29. MoveOn Civic Action
  30. New Energy Economy
  31. No Dem Left Behind
  32. North Range Concerned Citizens
  33. Oil Change U.S.
  34. Our Revolution
  35. Our Revolution Michigan
  36. People’s Action
  37. People’s Parity Project
  38. Progress Arizona
  39. Progressive Democrats of America (PDA)
  40. Public Citizen
  41. RapidShift Network
  42. RepresentUs New Mexico
  43. Rise Up WV
  44. Secure Elections Network
  45. Sierra Club
  46. Spirit of the Sun
  47. Stand Up America
  48. Take Back the Court
  49. The Borneo Project
  50. The Workers Circle
  51. UltraViolet Action
  52. Unite North Metro Denver
  53. Voices for Progress
  54. Vote Save America
  55. Wall of Women
  56. Women’s March
  57. WV Citizen Action
  58. Working Families Party

3 Comments

  1. Marcus Perriello

    Eliminating the filibuster isn’t enough. The next Republican-controlled Senate can just go right back to it. The two sides to this coin are not pretty, but they are important to understand:

    1. The Republicans are actively attempting to overthrow Democracy and turn this country into an Authoritarian Dictatorship with Trump (or someone worse) at the head of the table. They want to destroy Democracy because that many voices contributing to the national discussion is an impediment to their profits. In the end, this is all that matters to them.

    2. The Democratic Establishment understands that without Democracy, people would be suffering at the hands of a brutal Authoritarian regime and that, at the very least, the illusion of Democracy keeps the masses from picking up those pitchforks, lighting those torches and polishing those guillotines. But just like their Republican counterparts, the only thing that matters to them in the end is PROFIT.

    Two things need to happen, in my view: The first thing is that we ultimately should abolish the Senate and move to a proportionate representative body, using Ranked Choice Voting at all levels of Government – including the Presidency both through this, and through abolishing the Electoral College. Second, certain issues must be taken off the table via Constitutional Amendment that guarantee the American people all the basics for sustaining life:

    Food, Shelter, Clothing, Healthcare, and Education. The 5 Pillars of Life, as I call them. These are the things that must be guaranteed to all people, for without them, every other aspect of society is meaningless. The only way to prevent these things from being put on the chopping block in the future is through a Constitutional Amendment mandating that Congress allocate all necessary funds towards these areas without debate or delay. After these things are addressed, THEN there can be discussion on any other issue.

  2. Tania Malven

    Republicans will NOT act in a bipartisan way EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You MUST END THE FILIBUSTER to get anything else done!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW DAMN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,

    • Marcus Perriello

      That’s part of the point of my post; except, like I said, getting rid of the filibuster isn’t enough because the GOP can just bring it right back when they get back into power. What I just stated above is the most effective way to get around this ridiculous partisan nonsense.