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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.

California governor declares drought emergency in most counties

A sign in April on the outskirts of Buttonwillow in California's Kern County, one of the top agriculture producing counties in the San Joaquin Valley, after historically low winter rainfall. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) extended a drought emergency declaration to cover 41 of the state's 58 counties on Monday.

Why it matters: Most of California and the American West are experiencing an "extreme" or "exceptional" drought, per the U.S. Drought Monitor. Newsom and other officials are concerned California could experience a repeat of the catastrophic 2020 wildfire season.

2 hours ago - World

Jerusalem crisis escalates after Hamas and Israel trade rocket fire

Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip on May 10. Photo: Said Khatib/AFP via Getty Images

Nine children were among 20 Palestinians killed in Israeli airstrikes after Hamas fired dozens of rockets at Jerusalem for the first time since 2014 Monday, per AP and Reuters.

The big picture: The rockets come after escalating violence in Jerusalem has injured 250 Palestinians and several Israeli police officers during protests over the planned evictions of Palestinian families from their homes that began Friday.