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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What's (roughly) the smallest percentage of the US population that through its Senators has successfully blocked a piece of legislation?

According to some US constitutional pundits, in theory, senators representing about 11 percent of the population can filibuster a bill or those representing about 16 percent of the population can ...
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US Chief Justice Roberts' choices of “in conformity with” and “in conformance with” during the swearing in at the Senate

US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts used both the phrases in conformity with and in conformance with within the same minute during a swearing-in process in the senate. This can be heard in CNN’...
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Can impeachment managers be changed once the Senate trial starts?

So Pelosi has picked the "impeachment managers" for the House. Are there rules that these managers can't be changed once the trial in the Senate starts? If so, what is the rationale for preventing a ...
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Are all U.S. Senators required to attend the impeachment trial?

Several U.S. Senators are campaigning for their party's nomination for the general presidential election of 2020. The impeachment trial will start next week. Are these Senators required to attend all ...
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Who presented the articles to the Senate alongside the Clerk?

During the preceding, the Clerk of the House and the Sergeant at Arms of the House were side-by-side. However, during the presentation, the Clerk was next to someone else, seen on the right below. Who ...
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Can The Chief Justice Excuse Senators From The Jury In A Presidential Impeachment?

In a normal trial the judge presides over jury selection during the voir dire process. Jurors are excused for causes such as lack of impartiality. Does the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court have ...
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Can the U.S. Senate impose a deadline for the House to transmit articles of impeachment?

A follow-up to this question. Background The House has passed articles of impeachment but at present is refusing to transmit them to the Senate or appoint impeachment managers. The effect of this ...
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Can the U.S. Senate hold an impeachment trial if the House “passes” articles of impeachment but does not “transmit” them to the Senate?

After passing articles of impeachment against the President, Speaker Pelosi has announced she will not immediately send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial. What does this actually ...
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Why did the democrats take the “nuclear option” in 2013?

In 2013 the democrats took the nicknamed "Nuclear option" when it came to non SCOTUS judicial appointments. Given this was Obama's second term I guess Republicans were continuing to stone-wall, but ...
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Is the number of federal judges appointed by Trump unusual?

Among the achievements of President Trump quoted by supporters and the White House itself is a drive to appoint federal judges. His recent letter to the Speaker of the House gives the number of 170 ...
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Is there a time constraint on the Senate voting to convict an impeached president? [duplicate]

This question is mostly what it says in the title. My understanding is that if a president is successfully impeached, the Senate is required to hold a vote on whether or not to convict. Is there any ...
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Are there any rules against cursing in the United States Congress?

When I’ve watched things broadcast from the House and Senate on C-SPAN, CNN, etc. there seems to be a purposeful avoidance of repeating curse words in quotes. I noticed today that Jamie Raskin of ...
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What is the smallest percentage of U.S. voters needed to re-elect the 34 Senators to acquit a President?

When a U.S. President is tried for impeachment, he will be acquitted if more than 1/3 of the Senators (currently 34) vote to acquit him. What is the minimal number of voters (as a percent of eligible ...
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Can the US Senate's Hong Kong bill be treated as foreign interference?

Recently, the US Senate passed a bill about the situation in Hong Kong. Some core points from the bill: impose sanctions on Chinese officials review the special autonomous status it grants Hong ...
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How can one view the changes made by amendments to bills in Congress?

In this particular case, I am interested in bill S.1838 in the 116th Congress. There is an amendment to this bill called S.Amdt.1246 to S.1838. However, I can't find any information about what changed....
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Have Senate Republicans called any witnesses that Devin Nunes wanted to testify?

On November 6, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee led by Congressman Devin Nunes sent a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff containing a list of witnesses they ...
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What is the longest someone served in the US Senate before they sponsored and passed a major piece of legislation?

Major can be defined as anything other than nonbinding resolutions, naming of public buildings, national days, flag commemorations and the like. And by passed I mean the act was voted into law. I ...
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Does impeachment have any concrete implications? [duplicate]

Assuming Trump gets impeached, are there any ramifications other than that the Senate votes on whether to remove him from office? Assuming they don't, since they're Republican-controlled and they need ...
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What problems is Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) likely to face, given the lack of majority in the Senate?

According to the official results of the Polish parliamentary election, the Law and Justice party (PiS) has won majority in the Sejm (the lower house), but lacks majority in the Senate (the upper ...
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Has Ukraine responded in any way to the 2018 letter sent by three Democratic senators?

Trump has raised the issue of a 2018 letter to Ukraine, sent by three US senators (all Democrats) . As CNN summarized this letter: it expressed concern about a New York Times article that said ...
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Has Orrin Hatch elaborated on his vote against the Export Administration Act?

Only three senators voted against the Export Administration Act. He seemed to be supportive of Israel. He wanted to suspend the importation of steel, so it seems like he was not as supportive of ...
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Can the senate majority leader postpone a vote on impeachment? [duplicate]

In an infamous column in the Washington Post entitled Mitch McConnell is a Russian asset, it's argued that the senate majority leader repeatedly has postponed bills with bipartisan support so they ...
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Let's say the impeachment procedure reaches the Senate. What next?

Let's assume for a second that the House votes to impeach Trump. This only takes a simple majority, something that they might be able to achieve, depending on how serious the Ukraine allegations turn ...
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Can the Senate ignore impeachment? [duplicate]

If the House of Representatives impeaches a President, can the Senate Majority Leader or Senate leadership just ignore it and not even take it up, or are they required to hold a trial?
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How was voting “present” on the Green New Deal resolution meant to be taken as a protest?

Background Back in March 26th, of 2019, Mitch McConnell forced a vote on the Green New Deal resolution proposed by Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and later Ed Markey. The vote ended as such: The measure,...
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Can the senate vote to condemn? Is this even an official practice?

Recently, the Democrat-controlled House voted to condemn 3 of President Trump's tweets. This gave me two questions: Can the Republican Senate do the same based on their political desires and Is "...
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Why are some Senators so insistent on using unanimous resolution to pass election security bills?

Background Recently, Mitch McConnell was the only senator to stop two unanimous resolutions on election security: On July 25th he said “Clearly this request is not a serious effort to make a law. ...
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How has Angus King explained why he's an Independent?

Angus King is an independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Unlike Bernie Sanders, he is a pretty normal-seeming Democrat, not a self-described democratic socialist. What has he said about his ...
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Are there any restrictions on how amendment should be related to original law in US Senate?

As I understand, When US Senate approves some law, there can be amendments, attached to it. But sometimes, such amendments seem to not relate to the parent law at all, for example: https://...
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Why did Barry Goldwater change from opposing to supporting the Export Trade Administration Act of 1979?

The House modified the bill after it passed the Senate. Goldwater was among three Senators who voted against the bill. Can someone confirm that the modifications that the House of Representatives ...
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Why would a US Senate bill be stuck on 'Introduced' for over a decade?

Why would a Senate bill be stuck on 'Introduced' for over a decade? What is required to get it going, whatever that voting outcome may be. The example I came across (while reading on Catch-22's ...
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What was the Manchin-Toomey Amendment amending?

Wikipedia says this about the Manchin-Toomey Amendment: The Manchin-Toomey Amendment was a bi-partisan piece of legislation that would require background checks on most private party firearm sales, ...
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Is the idea of governing for one's constituents at odds with good policy?

In the US legislator, the elected people govern to help their constituents. How does this work with governing for the greater good of everyone. Let’s use climate change as an example and assume it is ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...