Scores of Progressive Groups Implore Chuck Schumer to Nix Senate Filibuster

More than 100 progressive are urging Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to eliminate the legislative filibuster, which 35 Republicans exploited last week to block the establishment a bipartisan commission to investigate the Donald Trump-led insurrection at the United States Capitol on January 6th.

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“We have moved past hypotheticals and entered a perilous new moment for our democracy. Senate Republicans’ decision to block legislation establishing a bipartisan commission to investigate the January 6th insurrection is a shameful abdication of their duties to our country,” the organizations wrote in a letter to Schumer that was obtained by NBC News on Thursday.

“That Republicans could not even support a bipartisan investigation into a deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol reflects dangerously misplaced priorities: they have chosen party over country, obstruction over progress, and Trump over democracy,” they said.

“In the face of Republicans’ inability and unwillingness to defend our democracy, it is clearer than ever that the filibuster needs to be eliminated,” the letter continued.

The nationwide efforts by Republicans in state legislatures to eliminate voting rights are also of the utmost concern.

“Meanwhile, we are witnessing the ‘greatest contraction of voting rights since the end of Reconstruction and the beginning of Jim Crow,’ as Republican legislatures across America attack voting rights and play partisan games with their election laws,” the groups continued. “We cannot allow the filibuster to stand in the way of progress or imperil the health of our democracy. As columnist E.J. Dionne noted, ‘No amount of cajoling, compromising, begging, pleading or standing-on-your-head-and-holding-your-breath will change this … you can defend voting rights or you can defend the filibuster. You can’t do both.'”

They concluded that “investigating an insurrection and protecting voting rights should not be controversial or partisan – and they should not be issues that a minority of senators are allowed to block. 1 We call on you and the Senate Democratic caucus to eliminate the filibuster as a weapon that Sen. McConnell can use to block efforts to defend and strengthen our democracy and make our government work for the American people.”

Read the full letter here.

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