Questions tagged [senate]

Use for questions related to any legislative body referred to as a "Senate". Combine with the appropriate country tag. A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature or parliament.

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Why would the Senate not confirm a SCOTUS nominee?

Why would the Senate ever not confirm a SCOTUS nominee? The same President would just appoint someone else, so it will be someone else with the same ideology. Does it basically mean "This person ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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Does the US public find credible excuses by some Senators that Justices who overturned Roe had misled them in Senate hearings?

Two or even three US Senators have said that [future] justices that ultimately overturned Roe had essentially lied to them, or at least seriously misled them in the Senate hearings on their ...
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0 answers
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Limits on unanimous consent in parliamentary bodies (namely the Senate)

In the United States Senate, unanimous consent is used in a variety of situations. Any business conducted in the Senate, except for very narrow exceptions, requires a quorum of more than 50% of the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
759 views

What would happen if a Senate nominee dies several months before the election?

According to an article by the Washington Post, Senate nominee John Fetterman's (D-PA) stroke before the primaries was near-fatal. This made me wonder... if Fetterman was to unfortunately die, what ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Constitutional limits on the Standing Rules of the Senate

According to this comment by @RickSmith: "Congress may not 'ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method ...
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16 votes
2 answers
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When was the last time a Vice President chose to let a tied Senate vote fail, without using their negative casting vote?

I was reading a recent question on why a Vice President might choose to use a negative casting vote on a tied vote in the Senate rather than just letting the motion fail by withholding their vote, ...
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18 votes
3 answers
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Why would a Vice President cast a negative vote?

The Constitution allows for the Vice President to vote on an issue if the vote is equally divided. There have been a number of occasions when the Vice President has cast a negative vote, see here. Why ...
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1 answer
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When is the US Senate required to pass bills unanimously?

According to the BBC News website, the US senator Rand Paul has managed to delay approving financial aid package to Ukraine: Paul, who has historically opposed spending on foreign aid, refused to ...
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21 votes
7 answers
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Why is Joe Manchin a member of the Democratic Party when he consistently votes against them?

From his Wikipedia page, Joe Manchin appears to be a Republican pretending to be a Democrat to get elected in a state that is solidly Republican, but has returned him since 2010. He gets huge ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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"motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table" & "Madam president... I note the absence of a quorum" What do these mean? Why funny?

In CNN's April 8, 2022 Applause erupts in Senate chamber after Brown Jackson is confirmed there is this little vignette between US Vice President Kamala Harris and the Senate Majority Leader Chuck ...
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1 answer
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How and to what extent did the US Senate block or prevent the patenting of the Confederate Flag?

In the recent CNN video Cruz calls Biden's Supreme Court promise 'offensive' and 'insulting' former US senator Carol Moseley Braun responded to comments from US Senators Ted Cruz and Roger Wicker ...
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Can the Senate confirm a SCOTUS nominee before the seat is vacant?

The media is reporting that Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire at the end of this year's court term. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued the following statement regarding the confirmation ...
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US Constitution amendment restriction on Senate - is there a way around it?

According to Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution (emphasis added): The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the ...
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Why Democratic party in the US push for Voting Rights Bill while most of the Democrat's voters live in urban areas and are from middle class?

These days Voting Rights Bill is a political hot topic and Democrats are pushing to get it passed in the Senate. It seems most of the Democrats' voters reside in urban areas and are from middle social ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does the US Senate have the equivalent procedure, to a no-confidence vote, for the Majority Leader? [duplicate]

This is in light of Sen. Manchin (D-WV)'s fairly unambiguous break with the Democratic party, in declaring firm opposition to the BBB bill. CONTEXT For practical purposes, Manchin was voting as a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Politico's "Sinema rakes in Pharma and finance cash..." A salient issue and an exceptional pattern of donations, or just cherry picking of statistics?

Politico's October 15, 2021 Sinema rakes in Pharma and finance cash amid reconciliation negotiations begins Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) raised more campaign money in the last three months than in ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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How big a short term debt ceiling increase is McConnell agreeing to?

Senate Republicans have thus far refused to raise the debt ceiling, which needs to be raised by October 18 to prevent the US Government from defaulting on the national debt. They have been insisting ...
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2 votes
6 answers
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Why doesn't the US have party discipline?

Two Senators are refusing to vote for Joe Biden's infrastructure bill, so I was wondering why the U.S does not have a party discipline system. As the name suggests, if a majority of people in a party ...
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What new reconciliation powers has Schumer obtained?

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just sent a letter to President Biden explaining why Senate Republicans don't intend to vote to raise the debt ceiling, which needs to be raised by October 18 to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Where can I find written rulings of the Senate Parliamentarian?

Many topics in the news recently refer to rulings made by the Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough. However, so far, I've not been able to find links to the actual text of those rulings. Does ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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What danger(s) does Chuck Schumer see in using reconciliation to increase debt limit?

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that if Congress does not raise the debt limit by mid-October, 2021, the U.S. could default, which could have macroeconomic implications. The Senate minority ...
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11 votes
1 answer
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Isn't 50 +1 not enough to increase the debt ceiling and avoid a government shutdown

Currently, the Senate is split 50/50 but the Democrats have the presidency or they have a slim majority in the Senate. My question is do the Democrats need a Republican vote to increase the debt ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Could Republicans keep the Senate split 50-50 indefinitely by refusing to confirm a Vice President?

The United States Senate is currently (August 2021) split 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans. As such the Vice President gets the deciding vote: The Vice President of the United States shall be ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can the vice president ask for a roll call in order to stop a pro-forma session

Youtube edutainer CGPGrey posted this video explaining at the linked timestamp, a pro-forma session of the Senate. He explains that the Senate can "take a recess" without officially doing so,...
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2 votes
1 answer
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To what legislation is Sen. Hagerty referring "that threatens liability for ... companies that do not ... censor ... speech."?

In Americans, Not Government, Are the Arbiters of Truth, July, 29, 2021, by Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) for National Review, Hagerty complains that When the White House doesn’t like what Americans are ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Is there any sense in writing to a (US) Senator or Representative [closed]

In the US, is it at all worthwhile to write/call a Senator or Representative about a legislative issue? Is it likely to have any effect at all? I suspect it's a useless endeavor because of several ...
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19 votes
2 answers
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Are US Representatives from wealthy districts more likely to "graduate" to the Senate than Reps from poorer districts?

Some members of the US House of Representatives represent wealthy districts, and others represent poorer districts. Are Representatives from wealthy districts more likely to eventually become ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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Isn’t having unequal numbers of Senators in each class unconstitutional?

The Constitution says that Senators shall be divided equally as may be into three Classes So wouldn’t the current Class 3 consisting of 34 members while Class 1 and Class 2 only having 33 members be ...
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17 votes
1 answer
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How may the Sergeant at Arms "compel" an absent senator to attend?

According to the Rules of the Senate (VI.4) (emphasis mine): Whenever upon such roll call it shall be ascertained that a quorum is not present, a majority of the Senators present may direct the ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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How do Congress members digest 2,000+ page documents? [duplicate]

Today the Senate approved a 2,400-page industrial policy bill aimed at countering China. My question: how do Congress members digest a 2,400-page bill? I would’ve fallen asleep by the 5th page.
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32 votes
1 answer
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How many current US senators are NOT from political families?

Recently, I've read an interesting article about US political dynasties: It is perhaps not very surprising that so many children of politicians go into politics. After all, it’s daddy’s business. ...
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8 votes
1 answer
624 views

Can the president of the Senate (Vice president) introduce a bill?

Regarding United States government, I am under the impression that the president of the Senate is (only?) used as a tie breaker in the event of a tie during a vote, but can they introduce bills like ...
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6 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does the Senate violate Reynolds v Sims?

There was a landmark US Supreme Court case in 1964 called Reynolds vs. Sims. It states that voting districts for state legislative chambers must have equal population in every state. This raises the ...
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6 votes
4 answers
943 views

Would HR1 pass the US Senate if it only prohibited gerrymandering? [closed]

Would "For the People Act" (aka HR1) get required bipartisan support in the US Senate if it concentrated only on the prohibition of gerrymandering? Which political force is, at the present, ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What if the Senate is 50-50 but there is not an incumbent vice president, and can a new vice president take office in this case? [duplicate]

So imagine the following scenario: Biden steps down for some reason and Harris becomes the president, then the senate becomes 50-50 with no incumbent vice president breaking the tie even if the ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Why is Chuck Schumer considered the Majority Leader if the Democrats don't have a majority? [duplicate]

Democrats hold 48 seats in the Senate, Republicans 50, with the two remaining seats belonging to Independents. I understand that Kamala Harris is a Democrat and can cast a tie-breaking vote, but her ...
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3 votes
2 answers
129 views

Is there any publicly available draft of the American Jobs Plan beyond the fact sheet on whitehouse.gov?

The whitehouse released this fact sheet on the American Jobs Plan. However, there are several ambiguities in the plan so I am trying to find a more detailed draft of the plan. The House of Reps has ...
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0 votes
1 answer
102 views

Understanding Texas legislative process

If a Bill passes the Senate in Texas, does that mean it becomes law as the next step?
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7 votes
1 answer
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What was the one bill that Republicans filibustered in 2020?

Fox News correspondent John Roberts noted on Twitter that: After @POTUS @JoeBiden denounced the rampant abuse of the filibuster last year, we did some digging. Republicans used it once. Democrats ...
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3 votes
5 answers
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If the Democrats get rid of the filibuster to pass voting rights can the next congress repeal these voting rights with a simple majority?

If the Democrats get rid of the filibuster to pass voting rights can the next congress repeal these voting rights with a simple majority? Targeting State Restrictions, House Passes Landmark Voting ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
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What would happen if the filibuster rule was abolished in the current US Senate?

Active senators from each party at present: Republican - 50 Democratic - 48 Independent - 2 The Independent Senators often align with the Democrats, so many bills end up in 50-50 tie. Without ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Hypothetical: Law passes House and Senate with VP tie-breaker. Then president dies before signing

The circumstances of "The American Rescue Plan" made me think of this. Suppose a bill passes both the House and the Senate, but with a 50-50 tie in the Senate such that the vice president ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What was the deal struck between Republicans and Democrats to not bring the witnesses in Trump's second impeachment?

It was quite un-natural of Democrats when they had the upper hand of having a witness in Trump's second impeachment trial, to not use the witness. They initially voted to include the witness in the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How do you interpret a "Senate Executive Calendar"?

I am trying to figure out when Deb Haaland will take office as Secretary of the Interior. She was recommended by the committee, so it seems she's basically sure to be confirmed, but when exactly? I ...
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23 votes
2 answers
5k views

Which governors can flip the Senate as of March 2021?

Currently, the US Senate is split 50-50. If something should happen and one of the Senators die or resign, it's possible that they are replaced by a new Senator from the opposite party, giving one ...
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6 votes
1 answer
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Can a vote-o-rama continue indefinitely and how can it be ended?

Since yesterday, the Senate has been voting on a series of amendments on the coronavirus relief bill, in a process informally called vote-o-rama. The New York Times noted that it ends only "when ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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What happens if a Senate Committee is 50-50 split on a nominee?

I know when the Senate itself is split, the Vice President will cast the deciding vote. But in committee hearings where they're voting to approve Cabinet positions (Such as a Department of Security ...
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3 votes
1 answer
328 views

What is the deal with the U.S. Senate's Parliamentarian?

Recently the role of the Senate Parliamentarian has become a focal point in the upcoming 2021 COVID stimulus package. Specifically, the Senate Parliamentarian has ruled against allowing a $15 minimum ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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How are members and chairs of subcommittees appointed by their party caucus/conference in the U.S. Senate?

There are many subcommittees in the U.S. Senate. On the third of February, 2021, the committees were reorganized to reflect the new Democratic majority in the Senate. Since then, some subcommittees ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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US Senate Floor Leaders: What happens if there is a substantial third party? [duplicate]

According to the US Senate's web site, Leadership The floor leaders and whips of each party are elected by a majority vote of all the senators of their party assembled in a conference or, as it ...
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