Last updated on August 27, 2020
Received this e-mail today from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley’s (D. OR) U.S. Senate campaign:
Here's the cold, hard truth: even if a blue wave gives us control of the Senate in November, Mitch McConnell will be in charge.
He won't be majority leader anymore, but he'll have an absolute veto over everything Joe Biden and a Democratic majority want to accomplish—through the “filibuster.”
Let's be clear, we're not talking about a movie filibuster with a senator talking on the floor at length. We're talking about Mitch McConnell abusing the rules so that a supermajority of 60 is needed to pass nearly any policy Democrats put forward to make the world a better place or solve problems for working Americans.
This McConnell Veto must be ended.
What's your top priority? Finally addressing the Trump pandemic and recession? Sensible gun safety legislation? Fighting racial injustice? Affordable prescription drugs, a bold climate plan, cleaning up corruption and restoring our democracy?
McConnell and the Republicans will block it all. If we let them.
The requirement to get 60 votes to pass legislation is an anti-democratic historical accident that has no basis in our Constitution. It was used for decades to protect racist Jim Crow laws—and it's been used in recent years by Senators representing a tiny minority of this country to stop the progress that a vast majority of Americans want to see.
Republicans like the current system fine, because they've given themselves exceptions for their two top priorities. They've changed the rules so they can pass massive tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and huge corporations and packing the courts with right-wing judges by a simple majority.
We must be just as determined to pass an agenda for the People that restores democracy, creates good jobs and opportunity, and invests in our shared future. We must end the McConnell Veto. We must end the filibuster.
If the American people vote for change, we need to be able to deliver. We can't allow 41 Senators representing less than a quarter of American voters to overrule the majority of the voters.
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