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Questions tagged [senate]

Use for questions related to any legislative body referred to as a "Senate". Combine with the appropriate country tag. A senate is a deliberative assembly, often the upper house or chamber of a bicameral legislature or parliament.

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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 ...
Barmar's user avatar
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49 votes
5 answers
8k views

What's the difference between a 51 seat majority and a 50 seat + VP "majority"?

The US Senate currently has a 50/50 split of Democratic (D) and Republican (R) caucus members. According to news reports, this has lead to "power sharing agreements" needing to be made ...
user551504's user avatar
39 votes
8 answers
9k views

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 ...
Rain Willow's user avatar
  • 4,140
38 votes
2 answers
16k views

How is Senator Tuberville able to block all military promotions?

It has been widely reported that Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville is somehow single-handedly holding up all military nominations and promotions in the US Senate: AP: Why a single senator is blocking ...
BradC's user avatar
  • 6,502
34 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why is the Constitutionality of an Impeachment and Trial when out of office not settled?

The US Senate has voted 3 times, once in 1876 and twice in 2021, that impeachment and trial of an official who has left office is acceptable. Despite this, Mitch McConnell voted to acquit Trump in ...
Jontia's user avatar
  • 24.8k
32 votes
7 answers
9k views

Why isn't the constitutionality of Trump's 2nd impeachment decided by the supreme court?

Just five GOP senators vote Trump impeachment trial is constitutional As I understand the US supreme court, they rule on the constitutionality of issues. Therefore it seems like the question of ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 35.7k
32 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why would the Senate Majority Leader vote against their own cloture motion to stop a filibuster?

The record shows that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell voted against cloture for a continuing resolution which would have kept the government open. Despite this, he said that by not supporting ...
Henry Elliott's user avatar
32 votes
1 answer
4k views

How many current US senators are NOT from political families?

Recently, I've read an interesting article about US political dynasties: It is perhaps not very surprising that so many children of politicians go into politics. After all, it’s daddy’s business. ...
user2501323's user avatar
  • 11.8k
30 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can the Senate confirm a SCOTUS nominee before the seat is vacant?

The media is reporting that Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire at the end of this year's court term. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer issued the following statement regarding the confirmation ...
Panda's user avatar
  • 46.6k
29 votes
1 answer
4k views

What prevents a single senator from passing a bill they want with a 1-0 vote?

As a follow-up to this question, the answer there indicates that by the rules set by the Senate, a quorum is assumed to be present unless someone requests a roll-call vote. Because of this rule, the ...
GendoIkari's user avatar
  • 1,981
29 votes
2 answers
3k views

Do any Republican Senators oppose replacing Justice Ginsburg on the Supreme Court before the election?

After Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death earlier today, Senator McConnell vowed to bring the President's nominee to a vote quickly: The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said late ...
divibisan's user avatar
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28 votes
6 answers
17k views

Does gerrymandering not affect elections for US Senators?

Gerrymandering is a problem; a Representative could have their voter base diluted across neighboring districts at the whim of the controlling party. But Senate elections are statewide, and states don'...
JesseTG's user avatar
  • 1,617
26 votes
7 answers
11k views

Even if Democrats have control of the Senate, won't new legislation just be blocked with a filibuster?

According to Wikipedia: Filibuster is a tactic used in the United States Senate to prevent a measure from being brought to a vote by means of obstruction. The most common form occurs when one or more ...
mhdadk's user avatar
  • 377
26 votes
1 answer
5k views

Can the Democrats filibuster the vote for a new judge for the Supreme Court?

The Republicans will try to install a new judge for the Supreme Court before the election. Can the Democrats prolong this process, e.g. by filibuster, so that it does not finish on time?
J Fabian Meier's user avatar
25 votes
6 answers
6k views

Why do some US senators, like Joe Biden, Mitch McConnell, Dianne Feinstein, etc., last for so long in the Senate?

Is it because they are so good, there is no one better than them and therefore people keep voting for them for decades? Or is it because their respective party deliberately does not put forward anyone ...
CITBL's user avatar
  • 360
25 votes
1 answer
11k views

How does the Democratic Party have a majority in the US Senate?

According to Wiki, Democrats have a majority in the Senate of the 117th United States Congress despite only having 48 seats. Why are the two independent senators being counted as Democrats? Please ...
Kaguya Ōtsutsuki's user avatar
24 votes
5 answers
10k 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 ...
Wes Sayeed's user avatar
  • 12.1k
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

Which governors can flip the Senate as of March 2021?

Currently, the US Senate is split 50-50. If something should happen and one of the Senators die or resign, it's possible that they are replaced by a new Senator from the opposite party, giving one ...
Bobson's user avatar
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23 votes
5 answers
4k views

Can the VP technically take over the Senate by ignoring certain precedents?

Here's an article about possible "hardball" tactics Democrats could use under Biden/Harris, if they don't get control of the Senate: https://reason.com/volokh/2020/12/11/potential-...
user3752935's user avatar
23 votes
1 answer
3k views

When is the US Senate required to pass bills unanimously?

According to the BBC News website, the US senator Rand Paul has managed to delay approving financial aid package to Ukraine: Paul, who has historically opposed spending on foreign aid, refused to ...
Piotr Golacki's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
7k views

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 ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
21 votes
3 answers
4k views

"motion to reconsider is considered made and laid upon the table" & "Madam president... I note the absence of a quorum" What do these mean? Why funny?

In CNN's April 8, 2022 Applause erupts in Senate chamber after Brown Jackson is confirmed there is this little vignette between US Vice President Kamala Harris and the Senate Majority Leader Chuck ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 17.1k
21 votes
4 answers
3k views

Is there a difference between a tie-breaker and a regular vote?

In the United States Senate, if there is a tie in a vote, the vice president breaks that tie. According to the senate.gov website, the vice president cannot vote except when breaking a tie. Is there ...
GendoIkari's user avatar
  • 1,981
21 votes
7 answers
4k views

Why is Joe Manchin a member of the Democratic Party when he consistently votes against them?

From his Wikipedia page, Joe Manchin appears to be a Republican pretending to be a Democrat to get elected in a state that is solidly Republican, but has returned him since 2010. He gets huge ...
Jontia's user avatar
  • 24.8k
20 votes
3 answers
7k views

Can one run for House and Senate at the same time?

I am wondering about the idea of a senator running for the House of Represenatives because their senate seat is endangered. There are different reasons someone might want to do this. One could be ...
Number File's user avatar
  • 12.2k
20 votes
2 answers
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 ...
user541686's user avatar
  • 2,120
20 votes
2 answers
4k views

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 ...
Scorb's user avatar
  • 303
20 votes
1 answer
2k views

What would happen if Senators boycotted the Impeachment Vote

I know it would take a 2/3rds majority vote in the Senate to convict Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial. But what if a substantial number of Senators boycotted the trial, and declined to ...
Chris Sunami's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are US Representatives from wealthy districts more likely to "graduate" to the Senate than Reps from poorer districts?

Some members of the US House of Representatives represent wealthy districts, and others represent poorer districts. Are Representatives from wealthy districts more likely to eventually become ...
EveryoneElse's user avatar
  • 1,681
19 votes
2 answers
2k views

How could a US Senator be prevented from reading classified information into the record?

The New York Times reported today on a Senate floor speech by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) in which he criticized the CIA's actions on torture and mentioned a secret internal report. The article goes on:...
Nate Eldredge's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
1k views

In the U.S., how can the filibuster be invoked without continued speeches?

In the U.S. Senate, the filibuster allows a single senator to effectively block a vote by way of the senate rules that allow for unlimited debate, but now, the senate rules have somehow been modified ...
WilliamKF's user avatar
  • 1,577
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

How can a bill pass the US Senate by a vote of 3-0?

The Palm Sunday Compromise was a bill which passed the US Senate by a vote of 3-0, 97 not present. How is it possible for the Senate to conduct business with the overwhelming majority of its members ...
Stephen Collings's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

How may the Sergeant at Arms "compel" an absent senator to attend?

According to the Rules of the Senate (VI.4) (emphasis mine): Whenever upon such roll call it shall be ascertained that a quorum is not present, a majority of the Senators present may direct the ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
19 votes
2 answers
1k views

Are Senators not allowed to criticize each other on the Senate floor?

Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic senator, was prevented from speaking by her fellow Senate members after they claimed she had broken 'Rule 19' Section 2 which states: No Senator in debate shall, ...
Brad Ford's user avatar
  • 751
18 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why would a Vice President cast a negative vote?

The Constitution allows for the Vice President to vote on an issue if the vote is equally divided. There have been a number of occasions when the Vice President has cast a negative vote, see here. Why ...
Viktor's user avatar
  • 1,535
17 votes
6 answers
7k views

Is this remark from Senator Lindsey Graham (Rep.) actually racist? [closed]

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 ...
Mithridates the Great's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the reason for the date of the Georgia runoff elections for the US Senate?

On Election Day 2020, both US Senate seats for Georgia were up for election. However, no candidate received more than 50% of the vote, and so both races go to a second round. This runoff election will ...
Marc's user avatar
  • 277
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

What happens if the Vice-President were to die before presiding over the official electoral college vote count?

The President of the US Senate (who is the Vice-President ) is responsible for presiding over the electoral college's votes formally in a Joint Session of Congress. However, what if the Vice-President ...
Schwarz Kugelblitz's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does a tie in the Senate require the vice president to always be present in the Senate?

Would the vice president be required to always be in the senate chamber in order to break ties? If not, how often must she be there -- or does she need to be there at all to vote her tie-breaker vote? ...
macetw's user avatar
  • 273
17 votes
1 answer
2k views

How unusual is a Vice President presiding over their own replacement in the Senate?

Yesterday, new Vice President Kamala Harris presided over the swearing-in of 3 new Senators, including her own replacement. This required her to read a statement which had her own name in it, so she ...
Darrel Hoffman's user avatar
16 votes
7 answers
7k views

Why is Manchin the only Democratic Senator leveraging the 50/50 vote split for the benefit of their state?

In theory, all 50 Democratic Senators can use their vote to demand something from Chuck Schumer or other Congressional leaders. But in practice we only hear about Joe Manchin following this strategy ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
  • 50.9k
16 votes
7 answers
4k views

US Constitution amendment restriction on Senate - is there a way around it?

According to Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution (emphasis added): The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the ...
jcgoble3's user avatar
  • 271
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

When was the last time a Vice President chose to let a tied Senate vote fail, without using their negative casting vote?

I was reading a recent question on why a Vice President might choose to use a negative casting vote on a tied vote in the Senate rather than just letting the motion fail by withholding their vote, ...
Silver Fox's user avatar
  • 1,944
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

What events can occur in the electoral votes count that would overturn election results?

What series of events would specifically need to occur on January 6 (when Congress counts the 2020 electoral votes) so that the election is overturned? I know there's a remote possibility something ...
fdkgfosfskjdlsjdlkfsf's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
3k 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. ...
Panda's user avatar
  • 46.6k
16 votes
1 answer
7k views

Why do all states have equal representation in the U.S. Senate, regardless of population?

For example, while California (population: 39,144,818) has two senators to represent them, Wyoming (population: 586,107) also has two senators to represent them. The population of California is more ...
Paraney's user avatar
  • 2,983
16 votes
2 answers
4k 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 ...
Rain Willow's user avatar
  • 4,140
16 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does a vice president retain their tie breaking vote in the Senate during an impeachment trial if it is the vice president being impeached?

If the vice president is the subject of an impeachment, does the vice president have a vote in the Senate trial of which they are the subject? Note: The constitution only mandates that the chief ...
Dougie Fuoco's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
9k views

If the US Senate votes to not pass a bill, can the House of Representatives overrule that vote?

Background: During a conversation about politics, I mentioned that one party in the US might try to amend the Constitution so that, should a bill pass the House of Representatives but be voted down in ...
KernelOfChaos's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
4k views

Did SCOTUS have the authority to rule on McConnell's refusal to allow Obama to fill a SCOTUS vacancy?

In 2016, the death of Justice Scalia created an opening in the Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader McConnell announced he would not grant a hearing for any candidate proposed by then-President Obama....
T.A. Neal's user avatar
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