Letter to the Editor: Time for Coons to publicly support change in filibuster rules

Posted 1/15/22

On Jan. 3, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., made this announcement: “We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will …

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Letter to the Editor: Time for Coons to publicly support change in filibuster rules

Posted

On Jan. 3, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., made this announcement: “We hope our Republican colleagues change course and work with us. But if they do not, the Senate will debate and consider changes to Senate rules on or before Jan. 17, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to protect the foundation of our democracy: free and fair elections.”

The same day, Sen. Schumer wrote to his fellow Democratic senators:

  • “Much like the violent insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol nearly one year ago, Republican officials in states across the country have seized on the former president’s Big Lie about widespread voter fraud to enact anti-democratic legislation. We can and must take strong action to stop this anti-democratic march.”
  • “We must ask ourselves: if the right to vote is the cornerstone of our democracy, then how can we in good conscience allow for a situation in which the Republican Party can debate and pass voter suppression laws at the State level with only a simple majority vote, but not allow the United States Senate to do the same? We must adapt. … The Senate must evolve, like it has many times before.”

Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., has received petitions, postcards, emails, calls and letters urging him to support changing the filibuster rules, so the U.S. Senate can debate the Freedom to Vote Act and the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. Still, he remains silent.

While Sen. Coons has been silent, legislators in Republican-controlled states have passed laws making it easier to sabotage elections and harder to vote.

Once again, we call on Sen. Coons to publicly support a change in filibuster rules. It is time for an up or down vote on the future of our American democracy. As Sen. Lyndon Johnson said in 1957, “This right to vote is the basic right, without which all others are meaningless.”

Joanne Cabry

Chair, Progressive Democrats of Sussex County