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SPLC: It’s Time to Eliminate the Filibuster and Make the U.S. Senate a Majority-Rule Body

Today's 35-54 Vote Blocking Bipartisan January 6 Commission Demands End to Filibuster

MONTGOMERY, Ala.  – The U.S. Senate, in a 35-54 vote today, filibustered the creation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6. 
 
The following statement is from Margaret Huang, president & CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center:
 
“Today is a demoralizing day for American democracy. There are moments in our country’s history that demand unified action by our elected officials and transcend politics. The January 6 violent attack on the U.S. Capitol to block the constitutionally prescribed certification of a democratic election is one of those moments. 
 
“We cannot forget January 6. Every person participating in the insurrection should be held accountable, including the disgraced former president and his enablers, the extremists and conspiracy theorists there, and any elected federal officials and staff involved. Property was destroyed, dozens of officers severely injured, five people died on the day-of, and two officers died by suicide in the aftermath.  
 
“As we've made clear in joint communication with dozens of civil rights groups, the country needs a fully empowered commission to investigate and demand accountability. Today’s proposed commission to investigate the events on January 6 at the U.S. Capitol would have equal party membership with shared power to hire staff, issue subpoenas, and draft a report.
 
“That 35 members of the U.S. Senate could ignore their oaths to the U.S. Constitution and use an outdated procedural tool to block the commission’s creation shows that in Washington, D.C., self-interest drives many, not patriotism.
 
“If there was ever a time in modern political history that a spotlight was put on the absurdity of the filibuster, it is today. Every structure and process of the proposed commission was bipartisan in nature. The votes in both houses of Congress in support of it were bipartisan – and yet, the filibuster still encouraged partisan, self-interested politics.
 
“Throughout its history, the anti-majoritarian filibuster rule has been used to block legislation that would advance the civil and human rights of all Americans. Generations of senators from the Deep South were elected under a regime of racial terror that violently barred Black citizens from participating in elections. These senators used the filibuster in the U.S. Senate to perpetuate that racial order. The effect: the country never fully addressed its original sin of slavery or was successful in building a multi-racial democracy after the Civil War. 
 
“Now, after the worst domestic attack on our democracy since the Civil War, the filibuster is once more being weaponized against building a multi-racial democracy, with many senators continuing the shameful legacy of their predecessors.
 
“It’s time to finally eliminate the filibuster and make the U.S. Senate a majority-rule body.
 
“The American people already agree; we just need 50 senators to muster the courage to protect U.S. democracy.”