January 11, 2022



THE ISSUE: The threat of the filibuster by the GOP has been used hundreds of times since 2000 to hold equal rights hostage and halt action on legislation. Typically, it takes 51 votes for a bill to be passed during a debate in the Senate, but with a filibuster, sixty votes are then required to pass a law rather than just the 51 majority. Though some argue that the filibuster is used to facilitate debate and to give a voice to the minority, it effectively shuts down debate and allows for the minority to dictate which bills get considered. 

WHY IT MATTERS: The GOP is determined to kill the Democratic agenda and prevent it from being adopted in an attempt to dim President Biden’s prospects and Democratic candidates’ success in the 2022 mid-term elections. Legislation that would codify in U.S. statutes the right to abortion, assure equal pay for substantially similar jobs, prohibit widespread discrimination against LGBTQIA+ persons, increase the federal minimum wage, remove the deadline from the preface of the Equal Rights Amendment, and many more have been stopped dead in the water this session. 

THE STATUS: Time is running out – if the Democrats do not limit or prohibit the use of the filibuster soon, it will be very difficult (and perhaps impossible) to get any of their major bills passed in this year, not just for this Congress but for decades to come. Republicans will not even agree to debate. And Senators Joe Manchin III (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) are continuing to claim that it promotes bipartisanship when, in fact, the filibuster has the opposite effect. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has said he will attempt to end the filibuster by Martin Luther King Jr. Day (January 17th) so that votes on critically important legislation such as voting rights and the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) can be taken.  


It is essential that everyone contact their two senators ASAP to urge them to end the filibuster. Regardless of your senators’ party affiliation, both need to hear from the grassroots loud and clear. 

WHAT CAN I DO? Call your senators and urge them to support the filibuster’s elimination. We also encourage you to place pressure on West Virginia and Arizona Senators Joe Manchin III and Krysten Sinema to vote with their fellow Democrats and amend the filibuster. Even if you don’t live in West Virginia or Arizona please call Sens. Manchin and Sinema, the residents of their states will benefit tremendously with the passage of major Democratic initiatives like the BBBA. 

HOW DO I DO IT? Every U.S. Senator can be reached at the Capitol Switchboard at 202–224–3121 and a directory of their contact information can also be found here. If senators are in their home state – many are due to the pandemic – they can be contacted at their local offices.  

WHAT DO I SAY? I am calling to urge Senator [NAME] to support eliminating the filibuster. With the current Democratic Senate majority, it is important to act now so that priority legislation can be passed. If the filibuster is allowed to remain, some senators will continue to block any and all bills. We must unite against the filibuster to get rid of this regressive and anti-democratic tactic. It is vital that Senator [NAME] pledge his/her support.   


Encourage others to take action by spreading the word on social media about the danger of the filibuster. Below are examples of social media posts that can help: 

  • The filibuster is threatening our rights by preventing the passage of essential legislation to protect women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. We must urge Congress to #EndtheFilibuster now. 
  • The filibuster is unconstitutional and is a product of the US’s racist history. It is time we do away with this harmful practice! 
  • We cannot let the filibuster continue to stand in the way of progress! #EndtheFilibusterNOW 
  • @[Senator handle] Please support the elimination of the filibuster to protect the rights of all of your constituents. 
  • The filibuster does not promote bipartisanship – in fact, it prevents debate and compromise. #EndtheFilibusterNOW