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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11
votes
1answer
212 views

Why does the Senate Majority leader often vote against their own bills? [duplicate]

In the US Senate on Sunday, March 22nd, passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was blocked in a 47-47 vote. The vote was generally along party lines, with one ...
9
votes
1answer
786 views

Can the US House and Senate make allowance for self-quarantined members to vote remotely?

Can the US House and Senate make allowance for self-quarantined members to vote remotely? Is the requirement that a member be in chamber in the constitution or law - or is it part of the senate or ...
28
votes
1answer
6k views

Why does the Senate work such odd hours for Trump's impeachment trial?

The Senate convenes for Trump's impeachment trial at 1pm local time and ends at 9pm local time. Why these weird hours? The majority of the population I know begins work at around 9am and finish at 5-...
4
votes
2answers
826 views

Why can a Chief Justice break ties in the Senate during an impeachment trial?

I came across a Politico article that suggests that Chief Justice John Roberts can vote to break ties in the US Senate during an impeachment trial. Unless Chief Justice John Roberts shocked ...
0
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0answers
43 views

What consequences would a senator who does not attend the impeachment trial face? [duplicate]

I have seen the argument that impeachment was not about removing Trump, but rather it was about keeping presidential candidates who also happen to be senators off the campaign trail, especially Bernie ...
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 ...
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

What are Australian parliament's rules on the use of props?

NPR's recent news item and podcast Australians Debate What To Do About Climate Change contains the following from NPR's Jason Beaubien reporting from Sydney. Question: What are Australian parliament'...
2
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2answers
259 views

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 ...
1
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0answers
161 views

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 ...
12
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2answers
576 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 ...
3
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2answers
227 views

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 ...
6
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1answer
492 views

Could the Senate legally hold an impeachment conviction vote in secret?

Recently, a GOP consultant became famous for saying that if the Senate held this vote in secret, at 30 Republican senators would vote to convict Trump on impeachment charges. I am wondering if the ...
8
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1answer
482 views

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://...
0
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0answers
52 views

What requirements are there on the Senate to process Articles of Impeachment? [duplicate]

If the House passes Articles of Impeachment, can the Senate refuse to accept them for processing or delay them through Senate procedures?
6
votes
1answer
430 views

Senate bypass Majority Leader

According to this answer citing the senate website: Senate rules also permit a measure to be placed directly on the calendar when introduced or received from the House. This process permits ...
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 ...
64
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10answers
23k 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
436 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 ...
3
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1answer
300 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
3k 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
738 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
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 ...
8
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2answers
3k 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?
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 ...
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 ...
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. ...
22
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5answers
8k 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
387 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
votes
1answer
553 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
927 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
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2answers
222 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
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2answers
345 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
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
118 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 ...
20
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
616 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
228 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
157 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
424 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 ...
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. ...
4
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2answers
336 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
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
648 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"...
2
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3answers
375 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
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
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
671 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
695 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?