Fetterman taps person who literally wrote the book on killing Senate filibuster as chief of staff
US-NEWS-PASENATE-FETTERMAN-LAMB. - TIM TAI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

U.S. Senator-elect John Fetterman on Friday announced two key staff hires for his office on Friday, including tapping the author of a book calling for the abolishment of the arcane Senate filibuster to be his next chief of staff.

The Pennsylvania Democrat said in a statement that he has hired Adam Jentleson to oversee his D.C. office as chief of staff and that longtime party operative and labor organizer Joseph Pierce will be his state director.

A veteran of the Senate who served under former Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, Jentleson also wrote the 2021 book, Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern State and the Crippling of American Democracy, which examines Senate rules that powerful interests have exploited to obstruct progressive legislation with overwhelming majority support among the American public.

Throughout the first two years of the Biden administration, Jentleson was a key voice calling for Senate reforms to enact pressing priorities.

When Republicans blocked an effort in the Senate in May of 2021 to establish an official inquiry into the January 6 insurrection, Jentleson, then serving as executive director of the advocacy group Battle Born Collective, said it would be a "dereliction of duty" for Democrats not to reform the chamber's rules to push the measure through.

"There is no longer any question about whether Republicans will put country over party—it is clear to anyone with eyes to see that they will not," Jentleson said at the time. "The only question that remains is whether Democrats will take the steps necessary to protect our democracy, and end the filibuster."

On the campaign trail ahead of the midterm elections, Fetterman repeatedly vowed to support the end of the filibuster in the Senate if it would allow for key legislation to pass on gun control, labor protections, abortion rights, or voting access.

At a September rally with voters, Fetterman denounced the U.S. Supreme Court ruling destroying the abortion rights and said, "Send me to D.C. and you will know I will be there to be that vote to scrap the filibuster and codify Roe v. Wade."

While Jentleson has been spearheading Fetterman's transition team since winning in Pennsylvania against Republican Mehmet Oz, Pierce served as statewide political director on the winning campaign.

"Joe and Adam are the best in their fields and I am honored that they have both accepted key staff positions for my office," Fetterman said in a statement on Friday.

"It will be invaluable to have a veteran of the Senate and a veteran of state politics in these key positions as we serve the people of Pennsylvania," he added. "Between Adam's deep understanding of the Senate and Joe's wealth of knowledge and experience serving the people of our commonwealth, I am confident that my office will be ready to fight and deliver for the people of Pennsylvania on day one."