Stop the Filibuster From Paralyzing Congress

Target: Joe Manchin, U.S. Senator

Goal: End filibuster process that impedes meaningful reforms on critical issues.

Division creates gridlock, and nowhere is this principle more evident than in the United States Senate. The instrument of inaction most favored by Senators is the filibuster. During this controversial process, a minority coalition of legislators can indefinitely delay, stall progress, and essentially strangle to death any proposal they oppose. The modern-day filibuster first gained notoriety in the 1960s, when a group of Southern senators almost derailed the landmark Civil Rights Act. Since then, a tactic that was historically employed once or twice during an entire Congressional term has devolved into a spectacle that can take place hundreds of times. The filibuster subverts the will of the majority (the very antithesis of democracy), and its archaic power to diminish the rights of others will only grow if left unchallenged.

As it stands now, the lion’s share of legislation in the Senate must surpass a 60-vote threshold before bills can move along the road to becoming law. With partisan divides more entrenched than ever (and an evenly divided Senate), this means that practically no effort can take steps forward. Currently, the filibuster is preventing important strides made to ensure voting rights for all Americans, to enact even the most minimal gun reform, or to act on climate change in an impactful way. For years, filibusters have even hindered movement on an issue that both major parties agree needs urgent attention: infrastructure.

Sign the petition below to urge an end to this relic of the past that inevitably leads to political paralysis.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Manchin,

Former Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk gained notoriety as the place where bills went to die. Please do no not help the Senate become a graveyard where progress endures a slow and inevitable death. You may now see the filibuster as a shield against tyranny, but it has grown from its Jim Crow roots into a monster that defies the very idea of democracy.

Supermajority rules, especially in these partisan times, only serve to facilitate oppression and inaction in the name of compromise. Such  pacification brought us the 3/5 Compromise, the Fugitive Slave Act, and the notion that Southern states could keep their slaves so long as they did not expand this inhumane practice into newly formed states. Senator, some things (especially in regards to matters of human worth and dignity) are non-negotiable.

You cannot yield on fundamental issues at the core of our democracy like voting rights or save urgent crises affecting our lives (such as gun violence and climate change) for another debate and another day. Most of all, we cannot hold progress hostage. Please revisit your stance on eliminating the filibuster and let liberty free.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Erlend Bjørtvedt

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2 Comments

  1. PROTECT HONEST DEMOCRACY from Republican’s obstructionism!!!!!!

    The filibuster VIOLATES the spirit and the practice of honest democracy!!!!!!

  2. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    PLEASE SENATOR MANCHIN!
    We must END the filibuster and get things done.
    The future of our nation hangs in the balance.

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