By Connie Sullivan —
At the most recent meeting of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party (LACDP), the members passed a resolution in favor of abolishing the filibuster in the senate (LACDP Resolution).
There was some discussion and dissenting voices spoke up, but the motion to pass the resolution passed with an overwhelming majority. Ironically, a 60% super-majority is required to pass a resolution at LACDP.
A few people thought a simple reform of the filibuster would function well for the Democrats, while others recognized the fierce urgency of how HR 1, the For the People Act and the John Lewis Act (to undo the damage done by the Supreme Court in the Shelby County case), must pass in order to save our democracy (and that is not a hyperbolic statement). A reform to require a talking filibuster, for example, would still require a 60-vote majority to end debate. Does anyone believe there would be a bipartisan vote to end debate on an important issue like HR 1?
I do think a limited abolishment of the filibuster for only bills related to voting rights might be where they land and would protect the filibuster for the future on all other matters should the Republicans win in 2022. However, I wouldn’t put it past McConnell to convince the moderate Democrats not to end the filibuster this term and then abolish it whenever he and his Republicans return to the majority. So, let’s do it first and actually achieve an existential win on voting rights right now.
We all remember the bright promise of the Obama years, which started with overwhelming majorities in both houses of congress, and saw how the opposition was able to use the filibuster to thwart progress. Obama’s desire for bipartisan solutions resulted in very few of the accumulated unmet needs being addressed during his first two years when he had majorities.
The urgency is much greater now that Republicans are passing state laws that will virtually ensure Republican wins for decades or generations and render the U.S. an undemocratic, minority-controlled country.
Bipartisanship has been dead for a while and it’s time we recognized that.
If you’d like to call Senators Feinstein and Padilla to let them know you would like the filibuster abolished they can be reached at:
(202) 224-3841, Feinstein
(202) 224-3553, Padilla