WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Hundreds rallied in Washington Thursday, calling on Senate Democrats to break the filibuster and force through their legislative agenda quickly without Republicans.
“We cannot wait for jobs, we cannot wait for relief and we cannot wait for citizenship,” demonstrator Jennifer Epps Addison of the progressive Center for Popular Democracy told the assembled crowd.
Missael Garcia was among those listening to Addison. His top concern is immigration: He’s a Mexican national and recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, which means he came to the U.S. illegally as a child but has been allowed to stay for now.
“It’s time they put themselves together,” Garcia said. “I have a 3-year-old daughter, a U.S. citizen, here and I want to make sure I am here.”
With the midterm elections creeping closer, the demonstrators say Democrats push pass big agenda items now. The obstacle is the Senate, where Democrats hold only a slim majority and still need 10 Republicans on board to pass just about anything. Otherwise, Republicans can block items using the filibuster.
So the self-identified progressive protesters want Democrats to get rid of it.
“Republicans want to destroy our agenda,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said. “We won the House, we won the Senate, we won the presidency. We won the trifecta and the people were demanding change when they voted in 2020.”
He said he’s prepared to vote to change filibuster rules.
Republicans oppose eliminating the filibuster — and so do some Democrats. At least two say they will not vote to change the rules.
“They agree with myself, actually,” Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., said of those moderate Democrats. “The filibuster pushes Republicans and Democrats to work together for long-term solutions.”
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., warned that if Democrats do force their agenda, it could backfire.
“I think the American people would have something to say about that come November 2022,” Hawley said.