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.

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9
votes
1answer
1k 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?
6
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3answers
697 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?
4
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1answer
573 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 ...
15
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6answers
10k 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 ...
11
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1answer
942 views

In the U.S., why does the majority party in a new Senate session always approve the filibuster rule?

In the U.S. Senate, the Senate rules apparently do not apply to the first day of a new Senate session until the rules are voted in by a simple majority. Given this, and that the filibuster comes from ...
16
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2answers
3k views

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 ...
12
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2answers
577 views

How many Senators must vote to override specific judgments of the Chief Justice in an impeachment trial of the President?

Background In the United States, the Chief Justice presides over the impeachment trial of a President, which happens inside the Senate. He has some powers as laid out in the first answer to this ...
31
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4answers
8k views

Why would the Senate adopt such tiring impeachment trial rules?

Many took breaks from listening to the hours-long presentations by house managers to stretch. But only hours into the presentations, several senators were spotted nodding off, including Sen. Richard ...
6
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3answers
7k 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/...
21
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2answers
7k views

Can the Vice President force the Senate to vote on something?

My understanding is the Vice President is constitutionally the president of the Senate, although they now usually only preside when a tie-breaker is likely to be needed or when required (e.g. counting ...
7
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3answers
473 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 ...
5
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2answers
751 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 ...
4
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1answer
240 views

Are recess appointments that occur during a pro forma session really recess appointments?

Recently, President Obama nominated Richard Cordray to be the first head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A position created by the controversial Dodd/Frank financial reform legislation, ...
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. ...
9
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1answer
2k 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? ...
9
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3answers
5k 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 ...
7
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1answer
740 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....
7
votes
2answers
874 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) ...
6
votes
2answers
684 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
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3answers
479 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 ...
1
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1answer
169 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 ...