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Questions tagged [senate]

A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature or parliament.

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Do elected officials need to pass background checks to obtain security clearances?

I was in the Navy and during my time I needed a background check to get the required security clearance. How does this work with elected officials? Can the president of the United States, senator, or ...
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120 views

How can a citizen change an existing law — who can the bill be submitted to

its known that in order to make or change a law, a bill is needed which is introduced to congress and the senate etc.... The question: If a citizen is directly affected by a current "unfair" law and ...
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Do Senate committees really ever interview low-level nominees?

Does the United States Senate actually take the time to interview low level nominees like nominees for low military general ranks (Brig. General) or really specific roles that require senate ...
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2answers
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How can an Australian Senator be removed from office?

There's currently a change.org petition calling for the removal of Fraser Anning from the Australian Senate. Accepting that a change.org petition is merely indicative, and ignoring the specific ...
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6answers
495 views

Is there a reason why the U.S. Senate, unlike most upper chambers in liberal democracies, is still co-equal to the lower chamber?

The U.S. seems to be the only western democracy where the upper chamber still seems to be co-equal to the lower chamber. In Britain, for example, the House of Lords is essentially close to useless, ...
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1answer
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How much power does the Senate Majority Leader have?

Following this question: Why is the Senate leader allowed to decide which bills to vote on? - how much power exactly does Senate Majority Leader have? Let's suppose that the Senate is split 51-49 ...
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1answer
179 views

How To Remove A Senator or Representative [duplicate]

If the people of a state feels a Senator or Representative are not doing the job they were elected to do by the that said state, do the people of said state have any recourse in removing that person ...
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How can the Senate remove the majority leader?

If the senate majority leader is refusing to do his job, can the other Senators vote to expel him or force a vote for new leadership?
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Why is the Senate leader allowed to decide which bills to vote on?

The House of Representatives passed a bill to partially fund the government. Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader, then came out and said that the Senate would not consider that bill, that they ...
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0answers
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How many dollars does the US Senate bill keeping the gov't open till Feb 8, 2019 authroize?

The senate passed a spending bill this week which would keep the government open to Feb 8, 2019. How many dollars does that authorize to be spent? Extra credit for anyone who can link the official ...
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1answer
173 views

Is there precedent for a losing candidate to be appointed to the Senate shortly after the election?

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey recently appointed Martha McSally, the losing candidate in the 2018 Senate election, to the state's other Senate seat. Is there any precedent since 19131 for a Senate ...
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1answer
667 views

Are there any states which never had any appointed Senators?

In most states, the governor is able to appoint Senators on a temporary basis. Senator Jon Kyl's appointment was the first in Arizona. Are there any states where no Senators have ever been appointed?
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Are Senators briefed before hearings?

During the hearings with Facebook and Google CEOs, it seems that Senators don't have much knowledge about the basic functionality of social media. I’m wondering if Senators are briefed about the ...
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How does voting in the US Senate work?

There were a number of confirmation hearings in the Senate where Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, cast the tie-breaking vote. That part is clear to me from the Constitution. Impeachment is ...
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1answer
117 views

What happens if nominated candidate is not confirmed by the senate?

As far as I understand it the US cabinet is nominated by the president, but the senate has to consent to the nominees. The same applies applies to judges of the Supreme Court. But what happens if the ...
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2answers
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Can both US Senators from a state be elected at the same time?

I understand the US constitution mandates three rolling 'classes' of nearly equal numbers of Senators be elected every two years, each for 6 year terms. The convention has been to not elect both ...
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1answer
178 views

What are the repercussions of a poorly designed ballot?

I've been following the Florida senate race, and according to multiple sources, something seems to be off about the votes in a specific district. It mentions that the design of the ballot itself ...
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1answer
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How can the US Senate bypass the Majority Leader's agenda?

If the US Senate Majority Leader doesn't want to bring a bill to the floor for a vote, are there other mechanisms that would allow the bill to be voted on anyway? If so, what are they?
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2answers
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Make sense of the NYT Senate totals?

I'm pretty confused by the New York Times' page describing the Senate results (https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/11/06/us/elections/results-senate-elections.html). It says that the Democrats ...
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3answers
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What would be the effect of a change in the US Senate?

The 2018 midterms seem likely to flip the US House of Representatives from a Republican to a Democratic majority. This change would impact the Trump/Republican agenda. Apparently much less likely, the ...
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6answers
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Is this remark from Senator Lindsey Graham (Rep.) actually racist?

Recently, there has been a huge debate about Senator Lindsey Graham's statements (regarding the DNA test and Iran) being racist. I'm a native Iranian, but I live in South Carolina and I hear these ...
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2answers
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When did Elizabeth Warren first refer to her Native American ancestry?

I am assuming that Trump calls Elizabeth warren Pocahontas because at some point in the past she made reference to her Native American ancestry. Is this assumption correct? If so, when/how did she ...
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Why is Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry a political issue?

In the past (perhaps during her Senate campaign), Senator Elizabeth Warren has mentioned that she has some Native American blood in her geneology. For some reason, Donald Trump has accused her of ...
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2answers
816 views

Impeachment trial proceedings of a Vice President

Since the Vice President is also president of the Senate, what mechanism is there to prevent him from presiding over his own impeachment trial? Article I.3 makes no specific mention of this. Does ...
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1answer
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Does voting for Kavanaugh really improve Manchin's chances of re-election?

The BBC and Independent reports I've read estimate that Democrat US Senator Joe Manchin's vote to confirm Kavanaugh to the US supreme court may increase his chances to win re-election in West Virginia,...
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1answer
393 views

What is the US senate mechanism for members to respond to/challenge each other during debate?

I have been following Dutch politics for a while now, and what makes debates interesting is interruptions; When somebody doesn't agree with what a speaker is saying they can step up to the microphone ...
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1answer
504 views

Who presides over the US Senate on a day-to-day basis?

In the Senate, they always seem to be addressing "Mister President" or "Madame President", and occasionally the presiding Senator says something - but it's never clear who that is (I listen to ...
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1answer
441 views

Dem anti-Kavanaugh strategy: why focus on sexual assault allegations, as opposed to a blend of issues? [closed]

The Democratic party seems to be putting a lot (all?) of its hopes on the Ford sexual assault allegations for blocking the Kavanaugh nomination. Media coverage has been extensive and highly polarized. ...
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4answers
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Will Democratic senators be permitted to ask questions of Dr. Blasey Ford?

Acknowledging that the conditions of hearing currently scheduled for Thursday is fluid, so what will actually happen is speculative, I am asking what I think is a process question. Reportedly, the ...
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1answer
141 views

Do any legislative branches besides the US have a tradition of voluntarily requiring more than 50% of the votes to pass a law?

In the US Senate there's a peculiar tradition where 60 out of 100 votes are required to overcome filibuster, even though constituonally speaking 51 votes (or 50 votes plus the vice president's tie ...
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1answer
159 views

What was Rand Paul's argument for objecting to the 2017 Montenegro Treaty?

In this video John McCain says Rand Paul, a US Senator, is "working for Putin". I have a few questions about this: Did the treaty pass with bipartisan support? Did Rand Paul explain his reasoning for ...
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2answers
222 views

Why would filibuster work if opposition has more than enough votes to pass bill?

If the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed in the Senate with an overwhelming vote of 73–27, then why would a filibuster even matter? This is my reasoning, which I know is incorrect, hence the ...
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1answer
177 views

Can I access closed session Senate Foreign Relation Committee transcripts?

A book I'm reading mentions a quote that supposedly comes from a closed session of the Senate Foreign Relation Committee meeting: Senator Albert Gore Sr., an ally of the administration, stated that ...
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5answers
508 views

What would it take for the Senate to auto-consent to an appointment?

This question and some of its answers got me thinking: What would it take for the Senate to make a rule so that its own (future) inaction on an appointment caused that appointment to be confirmed ...
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1answer
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Abstaining from Senate vote on Supreme Court nominee

What would be the effect of an abstention vote by four US senators on a question of whether to confirm a Supreme Court nominee, if the result were that there were only 49 votes in favor of confirming ...
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1answer
249 views

Hostile answers during US Supreme Court Senate confirmation hearings

My question is: Does it help or hinder to answer questions with hostility during United States Supreme Court Senate confirmation hearings? There are many examples in real life where a senate asks ...
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2answers
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After the nuclear option is invoked, are 51 votes required to move to cloture or just a majority provided quorum is met?

I'm wondering if it's just a majority needed from those present (provided there are 51 senators present in total), or if it's a majority in terms of total senate seats (51)? Is this true even for the ...
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1answer
141 views

Can a large number of federal judges be confirmed at once in the US Senate?

President Trump has nominated many federal judges for Senate confirmation. As this list from Wikipedia shows, there is a huge backlog of judiciary nominations. For instance, only 20 judiciary ...
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2answers
4k views

When senators thank the chairman, what are they thanking him for?

I find it weird that on committees, senators say "thank you" to the chairman when they get the chance to speak, or when they cede back time. What are they thanking the chairman for? For example, is ...
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1answer
844 views

Why does the President appoint the heads of the Federal Reserve Banks?

Isn't the Federal Reserve supposed to be an independent central bank? So, independent of the Legislative and Executive branches? How is it independent if the President & Senate choose who leads ...
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1answer
381 views

Why does the Senate have to approve a cabinet member's hiring, but not their firing?

In light of Rex Tillerson's firing, why does the Senate have to approve a cabinet member's hiring, but not their firing?
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1answer
512 views

What is public credit?

In a quote by President Hoover referring to a veto, he stated: With the utmost seriousness I urge the Congress to enact a relief measure, but I can not approve the measure before me, fraught as ...
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2answers
2k views

Why is an unrelated House-passed measure used to start the immigration debate in the Senate?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently moved to vote to open the immigration debate in the Senate. As quoted from this article by CNN, he chose an unrelated bill to be used for the debate. ...
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4answers
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What power does the Vice President really have?

According to the Constitution, the Vice President is the head of the Senate, but doesn't really explain what that means except to say that he doesn't get to vote except to break a tie. Aside from ...
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1answer
639 views

Who is Senate Majority Leader if the parties are tied with a 3rd party president?

Since the Senate relies heavily on the majority party's leader, what would happen in the unlikely event that the two major parties are tied in the Senate, and the President/VP are third-party or ...
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2answers
1k views

Why did Sen. McConnell object to Sen. McCaskill's resolution to fund the military during the government shutdown?

The Washington Post reports that ...Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) made an effort shortly after midnight to get the troops’ salaries and death benefits paid through the shutdown. “I want to ...
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1answer
4k views

Why did Mitch McConnell vote against cloture for the continuing resolution on 2018-01-19?

The record shows that Mitch McConnell voted against cloture for a continuing resolution which would have kept the government open. He had said Democrats were trying to “hold the entire country hostage”...
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1answer
462 views

How can a Senate bill bypass committee and directly go to a vote?

According to this tweet from the Democrat Coalition, it seems to suggest that a bill can bypass committee action and be voted on in the Senate, should it obtain a number of cosponsors. A Senate ...
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1answer
142 views

What actually happened to the FISA reauthorization bill in the Senate?

I was reading this Washington Post article, and saw this line: The Senate voted 69 to 26 Thursday afternoon to start debating the [FISA reauthorization] bill, which would extend for six years the ...
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1answer
840 views

How did Tax Reform (2017 December) pass with a simple majority in Senate?

Tax Reform is not technically a spending bill, which can otherwise be passed with simple majority. Why has it passed with simple majority instead of 60 votes? Currently senate is waiting on 60 votes ...