Action alert from Indivisible
In just the past few weeks, we’ve seen some major strides on our top democracy reform priorities. From the For the People Act and the D.C. statehood bill passing in the House to continued momentum on the filibuster, court reform, and more, our movement’s work on democracy is making a real impact on policy.
Today, we’re taking it back to classic Indivisible with a deep dive into the status of some of our top democracy provisions, where we’ve made progress, and where there’s still work to be done. Spoiler alert: we’re going to ask you to support our work to get these bills across the finish line. If that’s all you need to hear, click here to donate to Indivisible right now, or read on for more on how we’re thinking about our chances.
For the People Act
Bottom line: Growing sense of urgency helps build support for a Senate floor vote.
The sense of urgency behind the For the People Act (also known as S. 1) is palpable. With hundreds of disgraceful voter suppression bills being introduced and passed in Georgia, Arizona, Texas, Florida, New Hampshire, and more, the salience of the reforms in the For the People Act has never been greater. And continued GOP attacks on the broadly popular reforms in this bill are making our case for us — as Republicans introduce more bad legislation, the need for transformative reform is getting clearer and clearer.
We’re expecting S. 1 to come to the Senate floor in the coming weeks — which means we have to keep building urgency, driving calls to key senators, and watching developments on the Hill and across the country as they happen.
Bottom line: Risk of senators getting distracted.
With the Biden Administration’s American Jobs and Families Plans released, many members of Congress are fighting their hearts out for the strongest recovery measures they can get. These plans to get the country back on track post-COVID-19 can’t wait. Unfortunately, we’ve got ample evidence that Congress struggles to do more than one thing at a time. Without much time to spare, we have to ensure that senators move on the For the People Act, and fast — even while they’re fighting to win a robust and inclusive recovery
Also recently, the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the budget reconciliation process (see our resource for more on what that means!) can potentially be used multiple times to bypass the filibuster on legislation. This could be great for removing barriers on economic-related policies, but it still doesn’t help us move democracy reform — and it could distract senators by weakening their resolve for reforms like eliminating the filibuster.
We’ve built strong momentum for the For the People Act over the last few months, and we know that defeating it is one of McConnell’s and the GOP’s top priorities. That means making calls, running ads, building toolkits, hosting virtual and safe in-person events, and more is all going to be necessary to win this one — and we need your help. Click here to support our For the People Project to pass S. 1 and other key democracy reforms and fund all our work this year.
Bottom line: Pressure from Indivisibles leads key senators to go public with their support for democracy reform.
Indivisibles’ work on the filibuster has gone a LONG way. Only a few years ago, our talk about the filibuster sounded super wonky and on-the-margins; now, fueled by anger at GOP stalling tactics, this arcane Senate rule is in the news frequently. Indivisible groups’ activism has even led to new anti-filibuster commitments from previously supportive or undecided senators, like Bob Casey in Pennsylvania.
With continued pressure on folks like John Hickenlooper and Kyrsten Sinema, we’re keeping this Jim Crow relic on the front burner and making it clear that as long as it remains in place, our top priorities remain at Mitch McConnell’s mercy.
Bottom line: Manchin’s public reluctance on the filibuster could slow momentum — even though we believe Manchin himself remains movable.
As you might have seen, Joe Manchin wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post a few weeks ago about his stance on the filibuster. The headline — “I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster” — sounds bad, but that’s actually not why this is down here in the “bad” section.
The content of what Manchin wrote isn’t actually new, just a rearticulation of stances he’s already taken. And given his previous statements in support of reforming the filibuster, where he lands at the end of all this remains to be seen. But media coverage about his op-ed has made it sound like this is the final nail in filibuster reform’s coffin. While we know that’s not true (we’ve won so-called “unwinnable” fights before!), these defeatist attitudes could put a damper on activist energy. That’s why it’s on us to prove that we can organize to win this fight.
The filibuster is built into everything we’re working to accomplish this year — with this tool in his back pocket, Mitch McConnell can delay or defeat nearly all of our top priorities. That means the community engagement and activist work our organizers are supporting, the outreach our policy experts are doing, and all the messaging it takes to keep the filibuster front-of-mind are crucial to all our plans. We need your help: donate today to enable all our democracy reform work and every advocacy priority we’re fighting for.
Bottom line: The bill’s progress has already made history — and we’ve got solid grassroots engagement on our side.
Despite early worries that statehood was on the legislative back burner, we’ve seen real movement here. From Republicans making fools of themselves with nonsensical arguments in House hearings to the passage of the bill on the House floor a few weeks ago, we’ve got both the narrative high ground and genuine legislative momentum on our side.
And Indivisible activists across the nation are rallying around the cause — just check out all the photos groups have sent in with their 51-star flags! With outspoken advocates in already-represented states and D.C. alike, the amount of media and movement engagement on D.C. statehood is outstanding.
Bottom line: Danger of being sidelined until it’s too late.
The first hurdle for D.C. statehood: getting national leaders to treat it like a priority. Statehood for D.C. — a majority Black and brown city — is a racial justice issue, it’s an issue of voter suppression, and it’s an issue of equal representation. It’s absolutely a part of the fight for a better, more participatory democracy. Yet many Democratic leaders give top billing to the For the People Act, and either off-handedly mention statehood as a nice-to-have bonus or even worse, don’t mention it as a critical democracy reform at all. But we don’t have much time to make D.C. the 51st state: even though we’re going to fight like hell to keep our Democratic trifecta next year, history tells us that trifectas are fleeting. We need to do as much as possible to fix our democracy with the majority we have — that means acting now on D.C. statehood.
What It’ll Take to Win
The integrity of our democracy is at stake as Republicans continue to work to undermine it. Luckily, Indivisibles have everything we need to fight back — people power and activist know-how. From planning events and making calls to sharing social media posts and writing letters to the editor, Indivisible volunteers are making waves on all the biggest democracy issues.
And we’re here to support those efforts every step of the way — with policy expertise and continually updated resources and toolkits, with calling and texting tools, with ads to get the word out, and more. We know a better democracy is possible, and we know it’s what the people deserve. We’re here to make it happen. And we need your help to do it: click here to donate to support our For the People Project for democracy reform, pass our top priorities, unrig our democratic system, and fund all our work this year.
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All the things we’ve accomplished in just a few months is nothing short of incredible. Indivisibles are pushing new representatives and the old guard alike to be bigger, bolder, and more inclusive than ever before. That means it’s not time to rest on our laurels — it’s time to fight even harder because we can already see the impact we’re having, and we don’t have any time to lose. Let’s go win this.