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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

A progressive coalition is pressuring Chuck Schumer on his home turf by running a digital billboard in Times Square urging the new majority leader to end the Senate filibuster.

Why it matters: Schumer is up for re-election in 2o22 and could face a challenger, and he's also spearheading his party's broader effort to hold onto its narrow congressional majorities.

The backdrop: Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are currently negotiating a power-sharing agreement to operate the new 50-50 Senate. Whether the 60-vote filibuster rule will endure is at the center of their stalemate.

Driving the news: Just Democracy, a coalition of more than 40 progressive groups led by Black and brown organizers seeking to reform government, created and paid for a week-long billboard in the heart of Schumer's district starting Monday.

  • The ad boasts quotes from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former President Obama and ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, all condemning the filibuster. None of them is working in conjunction with the organizers on the billboard.
  • Of note: Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive beacon, won't quell speculation she's considering challenging Schumer for his seat.

What they're saying: “Democrats gained control of the Senate because of Black and Brown organizers and voters," Stasha Rhodes, campaign director for 51 for 51 and a member of the Just Democracy coalition, said in a statement to Axios. "Now they have a chance to remove the biggest impediment to the legislation those voters care about most — voting rights, healthcare, a serious COVID rescue package and more."

  • Another group, Fix Our Senate, ran a full-page ad in Sunday's New York Times that also pushed Schumer to end the filibuster.

Go deeper

Senate Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In a closely divided Congress, the Senate’s Mischief Makers could thwart their leaders' best-laid plans with their own agendas.

Why it matters: On Wednesday night, we shared a list of House members who our leadership sources on the Hill consider some of the top troublemakers. But their Senate counterparts may be even more impactful in a 50-50 chamber, where Vice President Kamala Harris holds the tiebreaking vote.

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

5 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.