126 votes
Accepted

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

The situation is fairly complex so I'm not surprised it was confusing. Here's the general rundown (partially pulled from this article for brevity) Sometime in July, Ford (Kavanaugh's accuser) wrote a ...
Machavity's user avatar
  • 48.3k
67 votes
Accepted

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

If a Senator missed a vote (deliberately or not), and all other Senators are present and voting, it would deny the VP the opportunity to break a tie. However, there's no point to deliberately doing ...
Bobson's user avatar
  • 24.3k
67 votes

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

I'm not sure what the standard for evidence is (i.e. for references) on this site. If you want to know, here's what I inferred from following the Twitters of a couple of (anti-Trump) American lawyers....
ChrisW's user avatar
  • 1,235
58 votes
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Why would the Senate adopt such tiring impeachment trial rules?

Because Senate leadership [which largely shapes these rules] sees the trial's outcome as a forgone conclusion “I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch ...
Dolphin 613 Motorboat's user avatar
53 votes

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

According to news reports, this has led to "power sharing agreements" needing to be made between the Ds and Rs. Why is this necessary? First, it's important to note that the VP is not a ...
Panda's user avatar
  • 46.6k
50 votes
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Why doesn’t the Republican majority in the United States Senate reintroduce their heathcare legislation?

To pass, a bill needs to pass in the House and Senate and be signed by the President. Since the last election, Democrats took control of the House, so while the Obamacare repeal bills that failed in ...
divibisan's user avatar
  • 25.9k
49 votes
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Why does the Senate work such odd hours for Trump's impeachment trial?

Regarding the start time (1p) From my understanding it is due to The Chief Justice's day job (SCOTUS). If true, this could be why on Saturday Jan 25 the trial started earlier as the SCOTUS didn't ...
RandomlyOnside's user avatar
47 votes
Accepted

How is Senator Tuberville able to block all military promotions?

Just to expand a bit on Joe W's answer:- The Senate usually approves over 30,000 military promotions and appointments alone per year. Passing each nomination individually would eat up a lot of ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 106k
44 votes

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

Votes have to be taken in the Senate chamber during an offical sitting of the Senate. A senator can't just pass a bill when they are alone in their office. They can't creep into the chamber in the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 119k
44 votes
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Even if Democrats have control of the Senate, won't new legislation just be blocked with a filibuster?

In the Senate, there is the so-called "Nuclear Option" that permits the rules of the Senate to be changed with a simple majority. These rules include the 60-vote rule to close debate, which ...
Thegs's user avatar
  • 1,533
39 votes
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When is the US Senate required to pass bills unanimously?

Unanimous consent is required to do things quickly. It allows the Senate to dispense with the general procedures and just get things done. Unanimous Consent unanimous consent – Agreement on any ...
Jontia's user avatar
  • 24k
38 votes

Must the Vice President preside over the counting of the Electoral College votes?

The President Pro Tempore of the Senate can do it. In 1969, Vice President Hubert Humphrey did not participate in the count of the electoral college votes. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate took ...
butterfly's user avatar
  • 481
34 votes
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Can the Senate confirm a SCOTUS nominee before the seat is vacant?

Yes - in 1994 the 103rd Congress voted to confirm President Bill Clinton's nomination of Stephen G. Breyer to replace Harry A. Blackmun. The nomination was received in the Senate on May 17th, and the ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 106k
33 votes

"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?

To "lay [a measure] upon the table" (or to "table a motion") means to set it aside from debate or consideration in the present moment. Sometimes to be taken up later, other times ...
William Walker III's user avatar
30 votes

Why would the Senate adopt such tiring impeachment trial rules?

Let's state a few facts establishing the preconditions: The GOP and their senators, by and large, have made their peace with Trump's presidency. They do not want him removed from office, neither by ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

How many current US senators are NOT from political families?

As this is the sort of question that would benefit from group research and updating as the Senate changes, here is a wiki answer. Please update this if you find any senators who have been missed, who ...
28 votes

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

Assuming that 60 out of 100 senators will never agree on the same thing... That's a huge assumption, which is to say that it is unrealistic. There are lots of things that will not attract the ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 17.8k
27 votes

Why doesn’t the Republican majority in the United States Senate reintroduce their heathcare legislation?

With Democrat control of the House such a bill would have no chance of becoming law. Yehuda points out that bills are sometimes introduced for show, even if they have no chance of becoming law, to ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 15.3k
27 votes

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

And is it true, as this article argues, that the VP could technically choose not to follow certain precedents (not even Senate rules--just certain precedents of practice) and recognize the minority ...
D M's user avatar
  • 2,356
27 votes
Accepted

Must the Vice President preside over the counting of the Electoral College votes?

Well, the Constitution says (Article II, Section 1) The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then ...
Justin Cave's user avatar
  • 6,203
27 votes
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What would happen if Senators boycotted the Impeachment Vote

The precise wording in the Constitution (with emphasis added) is: The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. ...
Joe C's user avatar
  • 27.9k
26 votes

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

US Constitution Article 1 Section 5 Clause 2: Rules Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings,... This includes how discussions are held and how votes are brought to the floor. President ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 1,542
25 votes
Accepted

Why is an unrelated House-passed measure used to start the immigration debate in the Senate?

This is a common legislative tactic. Although Sen. McConnell didn't explicitly describe his plan, he was likely planning on gutting the bill (removing all of its current content) and eventually ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 23.8k
24 votes
Accepted

Why would a Vice President cast a negative vote?

Mostly (if anything), just to set a record. As a way of making the failing of the motion more "official", or to show the White House's opposition to it. Technically, the result is always the ...
Gouvernathor's user avatar
  • 1,208
22 votes
Accepted

What power does the Vice President really have?

When thinking about political power and influence it is important to distinguish between formal and informal power. While the law explicitly provides some powers, often times the most significant ...
indigochild's user avatar
  • 23.8k
22 votes
Accepted

What happens if a Senate Committee is 50-50 split on a nominee?

While Azor Ahai's answer is correct in general, that ties are usually resolved in the negative, the Senate power-sharing agreements negotiated for the 107th and 117th (current) Congresses, which were ...
CDJB's user avatar
  • 106k
21 votes

"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?

To further explain the "motion to reconsider" verbiage, here's rule XIII.1 of the Senate Rules: When a question has been decided by the Senate, any Senator voting with the prevailing side ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 9,285
19 votes

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

Weakening of the Filibuster was one of the primary reasons this moved faster than previously possible. This weakening of the filibuster began in 2013, by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-...
Burt_Harris's user avatar
  • 8,007
19 votes
Accepted

When will Chuck Schumer become Majority Leader?

Between January 20th and January 23rd (inclusive) The Democratic majority in the Senate will only be cemented once Kamala Harris becomes VP, her replacement in the Senate (she was serving as one of ...
zibadawa timmy's user avatar

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