Filibuster

Labor leaders worry about 2020 Democrats' arcane policy focus

Kirsten Gillibrand speaks at a Green New Deal press conference last month. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

The 2020 Democrats "are spending too much time talking about esoteric issues like the Senate filibuster and the composition of the Supreme Court and not enough time speaking the language of workers, several union officials said."

Why it matters: "Those ideas may excite progressive activists, they said, but they risk alienating working-class voters ... 'They've got to pay attention to kitchen-table economics,' said Ted Pappageorge, president of the Las Vegas Culinary Union that represents 60,000 hotel and casino workers. 'We don't quite see that.'"

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Where 2020 Democrats stand on ending the Senate filibuster

This image is a four-way split screen of Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Jay Inslee, and Bernie Sanders.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Cory Booker, Gov. Jay Inslee, and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Photo: Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Gov. Jay Inslee are leading the charge to abolish the Senate filibuster, while most other 2020 Democratic candidates are either keeping their distance from the issue or still figuring out their stance.

Why it matters: Killing the filibuster is likely the only way Democrats could actually advance most of the progressive policies 2020 candidates are promising, even if they secured unified control of Washington — because almost every bill gets filibustered in the Senate, and Democrats won't reach a 60-seat supermajority necessary to break a Republican filibuster.