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LWV Supports Senate Filibuster Reform for a Healthy Democracy

WASHINGTON – Today the League of Women Voters CEO Virginia Kase issued the following statement about the Senate filibuster rule:  

“The League of Women Voters calls on the US Senate to amend the filibuster rule that continues to stand in the way of progress for the American people. The League has a history of calling for filibuster reform to ensure a functioning democracy. In 2011, the League called for filibuster reform to end gridlock and partisan warfare in the Senate. Today, we are seeking the same reform to limit obstruction. 

“The American voters elected senators to legislate, and we want to see Congress pass laws—not use outdated, arbitrary rules with a history of racist ties to obstruct our democracy. The Senate filibuster is a Jim Crow relic, historically used to protect the South’s dependence on slave labor and later to defend segregation and block civil rights legislation.  

“The League supports reforming the filibuster to prohibit a minority party from blocking opening debate of a bill. We support instituting a ‘talking filibuster,’ ending silent holds, putting the onus on minority parties to produce 40 votes, and lowering the cloture vote threshold to bring bills to a final up-or-down vote on the Senate floor. 

“As long as senators can hide behind the filibuster, they are not beholden to the American people. Under current rules, senators far too often abuse the filibuster to delay important legislation and conceal debate behind closed doors, out of the view of the American people.  

“This does a disservice to our democracy. The American voters deserve to see which of their elected senators are obstructing a vote on issues that matter to our communities, the nation, and the health of our republic. Those wishing to block action should be held accountable and required to hold the floor of the US Senate to explain themselves to the public.  

“Our nation deserves better. The American people are tired of seeing this archaic tool used and abused to delay progress. It is time to amend the filibuster for the health and safety of our democracy.”  

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CONTACT: Sarah Courtney | 202-263-1332 | [email protected]