Progressive groups urge Feinstein to back filibuster carve out for voting rights or resign

A coalition of nearly 70 California progressive grassroots groups urged Sen. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinWhat's that you smell in the Supreme Court? New variant raises questions about air travel mandates Progressive groups urge Feinstein to back filibuster carve out for voting rights or resign MORE (D-Calif.) either to call for the "swift passage" of both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John LewisJohn LewisDemocratic frustration growing over stagnating voting rights bills With extreme gerrymanders locking in, Biden needs to make democracy preservation job one Obama, Dave Chappelle nominated in same Grammy category MORE Voting Rights Advancement Act by the end of this month or to resign.

In a letter released on Tuesday, the 69 civic and environmental groups asked that Feinstein call for the two pieces of legislation to be passed and express her willingness to "abolish or create an exception to the filibuster" in order to get them through the Senate.

"If you are unwilling to take these steps to protect our democracy, we ask that you resign and allow Governor Newsom to appoint a successor who is willing and able to fight for the survival of our country," they wrote, referring to California's Democratic governor.

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Feinstein has previously publicly expressed her support for both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.

“Voting is the foundation of our democracy. The Freedom to Vote Act would preserve the integrity of our elections by ensuring every person has equal access to the ballot," Feinstein said in an October statement. "Congress should be working to make it easier, not harder, for eligible voters to access and cast their ballots. Every senator should want to protect the right to vote and the sanctity of our elections.”

Feinstein has also previously suggested that she would be open to returning to a talking filibuster as President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE had said earlier this year, saying she was not in favor of political parties "abusing the filibuster."

The groups expressed appreciation for Feinstein's public support of the two bills but warned that Republican lawmakers across the country were swiftly passing laws that suppress voters and "give Republicans the ability to reject election results they don’t like."

"We recognize that passage of these democracy-saving bills will take the votes of all fifty Democratic senators. We realize that you cannot deliver those votes, nor do you control the process for moving the bills forward. But you have a voice," the groups wrote.

"You are the most senior Democrat in the Senate, with a long and admirable record of achievement, whose voice carries weight with the public and with conservative Democratic senators. We implore you to not let our nation’s democracy die without even a fight."

The Hill has reached out to Feinstein's office for comment.