WASHINGTON, D.C. – After four years of costly inaction on a host of crises ranging from the pandemic to climate chaos, the American people are increasingly recognizing the need to fix the broken Senate, specifically the filibuster—a procedural tool that was created by mistake and can be wielded to grind Senate business to a halt and kill legislation that is supported by a bipartisan majority of Americans. Even conservative thought leaders are recognizing the absurdity of allowing a minority of Senators representing an even smaller minority of voters to veto virtually every piece of legislation without even feigning interest in negotiating.
A majority of Republican voters support the For the People Act, sweeping anti-corruption legislation that would combat voter suppression, partisan gerrymandering, and dark money in politics to put power back in the hands of the American people. Similarly, strong bipartisan majorities favor President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which Republicans in Congress are lining up to oppose. In the face of knee-jerk obstruction of popular bills responding to real crises, the need to restore the Senate’s ability to deliberate and govern is increasingly obvious.
Here’s what they’re saying:
The Case for Biden Optimism (David Brooks, The New York Times)
…I was struck by how passionately these Republicans and Democrats are committed to one another across party lines, how deftly they used the evenly divided Congress to restart the Covid-19 relief effort in December, how fervently they want to break the partisan logjam.
If this doesn’t work and Republicans go into full obstruction mode, Democrats should absolutely kill the filibuster… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
The Founders Were Wrong About Democracy (David Frum, The Atlantic)
…States would be better governed if a majority of the voters elected a majority of the legislators. Congress would legislate more effectively—and better protect its prerogatives against the executive branch—if the filibuster were abolished. Reducing the many barriers to registration and voting faced by poorer and minority citizens would reduce the number of extremists in state and federal legislatures. Bringing the Electoral College more in line with the popular vote would better safeguard the country against another corrupt and authoritarian presidency than the present system of over-representation… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
Voters of Both Parties Want to Ditch Plutocracy and Election-Rigging (Abigail Weinberg, Mother Jones)
…The polling results are in line with what Michael Li, a redistricting expert at the Brennan Center for Justice, told me earlier this week: that the aggressive partisan gerrymandering following the 2010 census convinced many voters from both parties of the need for reforms. “There is this distrust of the political class among everyday Americans, and there’s a sense that one of the things that makes our democracy not work was the fact that the maps were rigged,” he said.
He also said that there was a growing frustration among both Democrats and Republicans with dysfunctional state and federal governments, and with politicians whom voters believe are beholden to special interests. These feelings, pervasive among voters of both parties, translate into a desire for reform… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.
Congress needs to seize the moment, end the influence of Big Money, and save American democracy (Jana Morgan, Business Insider)
…To heal our country and build a more just, fair, and inclusive democratic society that is not driven by the power of the dollar, we must pass and sign into law these fundamental, historic, and popular reforms immediately. Recent polling shows that 67% of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, independents, and Democrats, support the common sense reforms in the For the People Act.
Our democracy only works when all voices can be heard. Passing the For the People Act is an opportunity for Congress and the new administration to unite our nation, curb corporate influence, and have our politicians truly legislate on our behalf. It’s time to move our country forward to live up to its democratic ideals… CLICK HERE TO READ MORE.