People For the American Way

The Filibuster No Longer Represents the People’s Voice

Federal Update
The Filibuster No Longer Represents the People’s Voice

At the 100-day mark, as the Biden-Harris team embarks on an ambitious new economic agenda, addressing jobs and infrastructure and other relief that families need in order to survive and thrive, we can celebrate what’s already been achieved since they took office alongside the 117th Congress.

There’s no question that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris hit the ground running on January 20. Their suite of day one executive actions included everything from protecting public health and tackling climate change to advancing racial equity and restoring public trust in government. Since then, they’ve assembled the most diverse cabinet in U.S. history including the first-ever Native American cabinet secretary and the first Black woman in more than 40 years to take the helm at HUD. They signed the American Rescue Plan into law.

The House of Representatives has been just as busy. Among the 71 other bills they’ve passed thus far are the No Ban Act, Washington D.C. Admission Act, Paycheck Fairness Act, Equality Act, PRO Act, and For the People Act. These bills are critical steps toward righting the wrongs of the last four years and making progress on justice and equity for all in the years to come. Religious freedom in immigration. No taxation without representation. Fair pay. LGBTQ+ civil rights. The ability of working people to join a union. A government that lives up to its ideals, where voting rights are protected, corrupt officials are held accountable, and money no longer has such an outsized influence.

Despite a Senate Democratic majority who shares this robust agenda, those and other “we, the people” priorities have once again landed in Mitch McConnell’s legislative graveyard. The only way to set them free is to take away McConnell’s minority veto power.

PFAW President Ben Jealous:

[I]t has become painfully obvious that the For the People Act, and much of the rest of the Biden legislative agenda, could be DOA in the Senate unless the now-antiquated filibuster goes the way of spittoons in the chamber. Holdouts against this position are becoming fewer and fewer.

The filibuster is keeping the McConnell graveyard locked tight. It no longer represents the people’s voice. We need to end it.


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