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Sen. Elizabeth Warren gives one of her famous pinky promises to 5-year-old Evelyn Baker on a nurses' picket line in Worcester, Mass., last week. Photo: Ashley Green / Telegram & Gazette via Reuters

Signaling a coming case by progressives, Sen. Elizabeth Warren told Axios the Senate's legislative filibuster, which requires 60 votes for most legislation, wasn't a creation of the founding fathers.

What she's saying: "The filibuster has deep roots in racism, and it should not be permitted to serve that function, or to create a veto for the minority. In a democracy, it's majority rules."

The big picture: A leading theme among progressive Democrats is to ramp up moral pressure on more skeptical members of their caucus who are skeptical of reforming the filibuster.

  • Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) also played on this theme in a conversation with Axios' Kadia Goba.
  • "It's important that we not continue to allow the filibuster to be a tool used to suppress the right to vote, that black people have fought and died for," Johnson said, adding that he thinks moderate Democrats should consider changes to the Senate rule that would exclude it from applying to voting rights legislation.
  • Playing on these members' legacy is also an emerging theme in their persuasion tactics, senior Democratic aides tell Axios. Do they really want to be remembered as standing in the way of the administration's ability to enact significant policy when Democrats not only control the White House but both chambers of Congress?

Context: Warren explained to Axios that, during the Constitutional Convention, "the founders debated whether to require a supermajority in either House of Congress, and decided that government would function more effectively if both the Senate and the House worked by simple majority."

  • "When they didn't want a simple majority, for example in an impeachment, they said so specifically. The filibuster is a later creation that was designed to give the South the ability to veto any effective civil rights legislation or anti lynching legislation."
  • This understanding of the filibuster's origins is in part what's driving many Democrats' hopes at using their voting rights package to try and convince those on the fence to support changes.

Go deeper:

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White House nominates Rick Spinrad as NOAA leader

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, a Cat. 4 storm, moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019. (Photo by NOAA via Getty Images)

The White House on Thursday evening nominated Rick Spinrad, an oceanographer at Oregon State University, to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Why it matters: Filling the NOAA slot would complete the Biden administration's leadership on the climate and environment team. The agency, located within the Commerce Department, houses the National Weather Service and conducts much of the nation's climate science research.

2 hours ago - World

Israeli officials will object to restoration of Iran deal in D.C. visit

Photo: Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has instructed the delegation traveling to Washington, D.C. next week for strategic talks on Iran to stress their objection to a U.S. return to the 2015 nuclear deal and to refuse to discuss its contents, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: That position is similar to the one Israel took in the year before the 2015 nuclear deal was announced, which led to a rift between the Israeli government and the Obama administration. History could now repeat itself.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases aren't budging — even after vaccinations doubled— Health care workers feel stress, burnout more than a year into the pandemic — Handful of "breakthrough" COVID cases occurred in nursing homes, CDC says.
  2. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson's vaccine production problems look even bigger — All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. Political: Watchdog says agency infighting increased health and safety risks at start of pandemic.
  4. World: EU regulator: Benefits of J&J vaccine outweigh risk of rare blood clots.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.