The Filibuster Final Four

The Filibuster Final Four

Just four Senate Democrats have yet to express openness to filibuster reform or call for abolishing the Jim Crow relic

The movement to achieve filibuster reform has quickly gained momentum. In recent weeks, 46 Democratic Senators have made clear they will not surrender to Republicans’ intransigence and publicly stated that they were open to filibuster reform or endorsed an outright end to the filibuster (according to Battle Born Collective’s tracker). 

That leaves just four Senate Democrats without such a stance: Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Jack Reed (D-RI), and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ). These Senators have earned themselves a spot in the Filibuster Final Four.

These senators have all campaigned on and championed legislation that are all but certain to be blocked by Republicans and fail if the arcane 60-vote threshold is kept in place.

We are curious about where they stand—and optimistic that they will join their colleagues and President Biden—in supporting filibuster reform. 

The Filibuster Final Four


Scouting Report
Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Senator Cantwell is a co-sponsor of the For the People Act, the sweeping democracy reform package which the House has already passed. Sen. Cantwell also is an outspoken advocate for child care affordability, and has called on the Senate to pass both the Pro Act, which would help protect workers’ rights to join a union, and the Equality Act, which would protect against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. But all the while, Sen. Cantwell has remained silent on the filibuster. 

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Leahy is also a co-sponsor of the For the People Act and, on the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, called for passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. He is also a co-sponsor of the Pro Act. Despite being outspoken on these priorities, Sen. Leahy has remained silent on filibuster reform. 
 
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
Senator Reed is a co-sponsor of the For the People Act. He has also been an outspoken supporter and co-sponsor of the Equality Act. Following the recent mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, Sen. Reed has made his prioritization of gun control legislation clear and acknowledged that overcoming the filibuster stands in the way of meaningful legislation. Sen. Reed tweeted “I hope 10+ Senate Republicans will join Democrats in allowing debate & an up or down vote on bipartisan #gunsense measures.” But what happens if (and likely when) they don’t?

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Like all three of her colleagues in the Filibuster Final Four, Senator Sinema is a co-sponsor of the For the People Act. She is also a co-sponsor of the Equality Act. But unlike her Final Four colleagues, Sen. Sinema has been far from silent on the issue, recently doubling-down on her support for the Jim Crow relic.