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Questions tagged [senate-rules]

Questions related to the official or unofficial rules of any legislative body in a country which is formally known as a Senate.

63
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10answers
22k views

How did the Kavanaugh confirmation move so quickly despite the serious allegations?

I did not pay attention to the news for a few days and am completely confused now. Last I saw, Kavanaugh was in the midst of his sexual assault hearings. I thought Trump had said he would let a ...
8
votes
1answer
232 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 ...
4
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1answer
200 views

Can a lame duck Senate confirm a SCOTUS nominee?

Given that a number of reasons for delaying a vote on confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh to the SCOTUS have come up, it may happen that they will not be resolved until after the mid-term elections will ...
10
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
389 views

Is the “pairing” procedure used in the US Congress?

In the UK Parliament, there is a procedure whereby two MPs from opposite sides of the House can agree to both be absent for a vote, thereby preserving the same balance of votes as if both had attended....
5
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2answers
266 views

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 ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Can a vice president's vote be considered to create the presence of a quorum

In the advise and consent process, should the minority party refuse to participate in a floor vote and the majority has only 50 members, can the vice president's presence for a vote create a quorum?
4
votes
2answers
490 views

Can a Member of Congress be “Impeached”?

On a tangent to the initial question posed in How can a Senator be removed from office during a term for medical reasons? the possiblity that a sitting member of the Senate might be "impeached" has ...
15
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5answers
5k views

How can a Senator be removed from office during a term for medical reasons?

While the present condition of Senator McCain prompts this question I am looking for a general answer under similar circumstance for any senator, not necessarily "just McCain". Is there a mechanism ...
16
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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. ...
16
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4answers
1k views

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 ...
2
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2answers
269 views

Why is the looming shutdown of the US federal government not avoided by “reconciliation”?

As alluded to in this MSNBC clip, the strategy of at least some of the elements of the Republican party is to lay blame for the looming shutdown of the US federal government due to lack of funding ...
3
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1answer
184 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

Is it legal for US Senators to take favours?

Is it mentioned in the US Constitution if taking favours in cash or of any kind from an individual or an organization by a Senator is legal or illegal?
11
votes
2answers
265 views

Can the seating of a Senator be delayed indefinitely?

As Doug Jones won the Alabama Senate race yesterday, there are calls by Democrats to seat him immediately. However, Republican Senate leadership mentioned that whoever the winner, he will be seated ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

In US law, what means are there to block a nominee approved by the Senate to become a District Judge?

This is about the nomination of Brett Joseph Talley to the position of District Judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. According to this article in the Los ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Can the Republican Congress pass both tax reform and healthcare reform using the same budget reconciliation bill?

Assuming for a moment that the Senate fails to pass a healthcare bill before the Sepetember 2017 deadline, can they still use budget reconciliation to pass a massive bill that includes both tax reform ...
19
votes
4answers
10k views

Can a U.S. Senator block the Vice President from voting by not attending a vote and having the results be 49-50?

The U.S. Constitution states The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided. I understand that if a Senator's vote ...
0
votes
2answers
238 views

What is the meaning of a “symbolic vote” in the House or Senate?

Suppose John McCain voted "yes" on a symbolic vote on a bill, and "no" on the actual bill. What is the meaning and purpose of a symbolic vote? What are the most common symbolic votes to be cast? ...
5
votes
2answers
176 views

Can the Senate reject recess appointments on their return?

If, for instance, the Senate goes into recess and Trump makes a recess appointment of a new Attorney General, can the Senate meet and reject that appointee upon their return to session or does the ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Is there a place to find the “unofficial” Senate rules?

I was able to find the "official" Senate rules here. However, it seems that the Senate sometimes changes the rules without changing these official rules. For example, they changed the judicial ...
3
votes
3answers
344 views

Why did the senate not introduce a replacement to the Affordable Care Act

Why did the Senate, who vowed to make considerable changes to the House passed ACA (Obamacare) Replacement, not introduced their own bill from the start of the process instead of relying on the House ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

US Senate rules to pass a bill by simple majority? [duplicate]

As usual Congress is sharply divided on party lines. Can the minority in the US Senate use a filibuster to prevent passage of any bill they oppose? I understand in some cases a bill passes with only a ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

U.S. Senate: Can the minority party maintain a pro-forma session and refuse to recess even if the House says they can?

Recently the Senate minority party maintained pro-forma sessions which effectively prevented recess appointments by the President. These were decided as legal by the Supreme Court in NLRB v. Canning. ...
5
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2answers
250 views

How many Senate Democrats voted against the nuclear option?

Did any Senate Democrats vote against this? And if so did they supply a reason?
7
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3answers
399 views

If the Democrats hadn't invoked the nuclear option in 2013, couldn't the Republicans could just invoke it today?

In 2013 the majority (but not super-majority) Democrats in the US Senate invoked the nuclear option for confirming cabinet appointments. Today, the majority (but not super-majority) Republicans are ...
-1
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3answers
386 views

Can the US Senate stop the filibuster by silencing the minority?

In recent years, the Senate has operated under a filibuster rule that 60 votes are needed to end debate and bring an issue to a vote. However, President Trump has encouraged the Senate to "go nuclear"...
3
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3answers
334 views

What does this mean “upending standard committee rules”?

I'm just wondering if someone could break this down Senate Republicans pushed through a pair of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees Wednesday, upending standard committee rules to circumvent a ...
6
votes
2answers
632 views

Can cloture for position nominations ever be returned to 60/100 in senate?

In 2013 in response to the Republicans rejecting President Obama's nominees, Senate Democrats reduced the vote to halt a filibuster to confirmation of certain government positions to 50 votes. Now, in ...
4
votes
3answers
330 views

Any public statements by McConnell that he's about to compel Democratic Senators to quorum?

Democratic Senators have been blocking Committee work by refusing to show up en masse, thus preventing regular order. So I was wondering where is Mitch McConnell on this move, and why he hasn't ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

How is the schedule for Senate Committees determined in Canada?

As I understand it, the Canadian Senate can refer bills to a Senate Committee to be studied in more detail. Once a bill is referred: How is the schedule for reviewing the bill determined? (Who makes ...
5
votes
2answers
591 views

Can Cabinet nominees be denied a position following a Senate confirmation hearing?

When the President Elect in the US picks members to be part of their Cabinet, to form their government, during the Senate confirmation hearing if the members of the Senate are dissatisfied with their ...
1
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0answers
13 views

Can Cabinet-post nominees be filibustered? [duplicate]

Under the current Senate rules, can Cabinet-post nominees be filibustered?
7
votes
3answers
515 views

How would a minority party in the Senate be able to delay the appointment of the President-elect's cabinet?

Though Democrats wouldn't be able to block an appointment since they're not the majority, how exactly could they delay one if they chose to?
0
votes
1answer
165 views

Supreme Court Nominations

If the GOP loses the Senate majority in this upcoming election, will they still have enough power to block Supreme Court Justice nominee?
5
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0answers
104 views

Why were these amendments introduced to H.R. 5325 in this manner?

Pages S6075–76 Pending: McConnell (for Cochran) Amendment No. 5082, in the nature of a substitute. Page S6075 McConnell Amendment No. 5083 (to Amendment No. 5082), to change the ...
7
votes
1answer
856 views

Can a bill that has passed the US Senate or House expire?

The Senate passed the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 in 2013; however, the house has still not acted on it. Is it possible for the bill to expire? ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

How do you count the tie-breaking votes? [closed]

For example, there are 24 candidates for senator and only 12 will be declared as the winner. Example: ...*(other already won candidates) 9) Candidate A - 5 (already won) 10) Candidate B - 5 (...
5
votes
1answer
370 views

Filibusters in the United States Senate

My understanding is that filibusters in the US Senate are used to consume all the time allocated for a debate on a measure and thus forcing an eventual vote on a bill. Some of the filibusters last ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can senators walk out of a filibuster?

In the U.S. Senate, it is not uncommon for senators to speak for hours on the Senate floor. Some infamous filibusters include a 24-hour speech against the Civil Rights Act and Ted Cruz's campaign to ...
7
votes
2answers
510 views

Historically, why is the filibuster allowed?

As an European, I find it very strange for a modern democracy to allow someone to obstruct the functioning of a democratically-elected political organisation. So, is there a historical (or other) ...
10
votes
1answer
232 views

What are the bottlenecks in the US Supreme Court appointment process?

Here are the steps as I understand them and then questions to which I have not found answers. Process The President nominates a candidate for the Supreme Court. A subset of the Senate (called the ...
6
votes
2answers
352 views

Can the senate wait until the election and then confirm the president's supreme court nominee?

Currently the Republican held senate has vowed to block any supreme court nominee by President Obama. The president recently nominated Merrick Garland. Merrick is fairly moderate and, while he's no ...
5
votes
1answer
421 views

Can an organization's presiding officer vote during their impeachment? [closed]

Members in an organization I am involved in are attempting to impeach the President of the organization for negligence of duty. The Constitution/Bylaws of this organization state the following: ...
7
votes
1answer
163 views

The law on addressees of U.S. senators' resignations

This is not wholly unrelated to this question on history.stackexchange.com . A few days ago if you had asked me who would be the addressee of a United States senator's letter of resignation, I ...
5
votes
3answers
392 views

Why did Senator Rand Paul speak for ten hours on 20th May 2015 and why did he stop before midnight?

I am not American and have only a sketchy knowledge of Senate procedure. What exactly was Rand Paul trying to achieve with this marathon speech? Why did he stop when he did, rather than go on past ...
4
votes
1answer
438 views

Ability of a minority party to hold a pro forma congressional session

I recently came across the concept of a pro forma congressional session, where a single lawmaker will open the session, wait a minute, then close the session. Apparently, this tactic has been used by ...
9
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1answer
578 views

Is there a procedure to recall US Senators?

I live in Colorado. Is there an procedure to recall a senator or representatives in Congress in my state? What are the steps in executing that procedure?
5
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3answers
6k views

How many votes is a senate supermajority when there are vacancies?

If there are vacant seats in the senate such that 3/5ths or 2/3rds of the duly-chosen and sworn senators is not a whole number, how is a supermajority rounded? e.g. If there are only 99 senators, 3/...