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182 votes

Why is Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry a political issue?

What point was she trying to make when she claimed Native American heritage? There's a few things to consider here Native Americans are a pretty well defined minority group, complete with an actual ...
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59 votes
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How does the Democratic Party have a majority in the US Senate?

The current US Senate includes two Independent Senators who do not belong to either party but Caucus, which means to align with for counting purposes, with the Democrats. The Independent Senators are ...
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57 votes
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Can the Democrats filibuster the vote for a new judge for the Supreme Court?

It is not possible for Democrats to filibuster the nomination under the current Senate rules, due to Mitch McConnell's use of the 'nuclear option' in 2017 which allowed a nomination debate to be ended ...
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56 votes

Why is Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry a political issue?

The trivial answer is that its a political issue because she's a politician and a public figure, so its in several parties' interest to make a big deal about it. Unfortunately, that also means its ...
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54 votes

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

Because the US Supreme Court does not have the authority to rule on whether an impeachment is constitutional. That power lies solely with the US Senate, as part Article I, Section 3 of the US ...
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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 ...
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51 votes
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If the US Senate votes to not pass a bill, can the House of Representatives overrule that vote?

No, the House of Representatives does not have the power to overrule a Senate veto. Article I, Section 7 is quite clear that a bill needs to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate in ...
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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 ...
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46 votes
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Is there a difference between a tie-breaker and a regular vote?

Under normal circumstances, there is no difference. However, the Senate is not always full - Senators die or resign, or simply fail to make it to a vote. These were even more common situations when ...
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45 votes
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Why is Elizabeth Warren's Native American ancestry a political issue?

Politically, it is a very fruitful issue for those who wish to have the most bang for their attack-ad dollar. The fact is, she checked Native American in addition to White in some post-hire Harvard ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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44 votes
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Why isn't the constitutionality of Trump's 2nd impeachment decided by the supreme court?

@divibisan but this question isn't about reviewing impeachments. It's about whether impeaching a former president is constitutional. @divibisan I do not understand your question. OP asks why it is ...
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43 votes
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Does gerrymandering not affect elections for US Senators?

Yes. Currently gerrymandering has no effect on US Senators. However, before the ratification of the 17th amendment to Constitution, Senators were elected/chosen by the state legislature. The state ...
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39 votes
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When senators thank the chairman, what are they thanking him for?

In official proceedings of the United States Congress, members are expected to maintain a high degree of decorum. The repeated "thanks" (even though he may not mean it), and "my good friend, the ...
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39 votes

Can the U.S. Senate hold an impeachment trial if the House "passes" articles of impeachment but does not "transmit" them to the Senate?

Yes, the Senate can hold a trial, but they would have to change their rules first in order to do so. There's no Constitutional requirement that the Articles of Impeachment be somehow "sent" ...
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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 ...
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38 votes
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Is the number of federal judges appointed by Trump unusual?

The other answers indicate that Trump has appointed an unusually large number of judges, but they don't quite get to how Trump was able to nominate so many more judges than previous presidents. Vox: ...
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35 votes
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Why did Mitch McConnell vote against cloture for the continuing resolution on 2018-01-19 despite supporting it?

It’s for “procedural reasons to preserve his right to bring the bill up again”. This article from the Washington Post explains why former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid always seemingly vote ...
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35 votes
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What is the reason for the date of the Georgia runoff elections for the US Senate?

What is the reason for the date of the Georgia runoff elections for the US Senate? Law. Georgia Code Title 21. Elections § 21-2-501 (3) In the case of a runoff from a general election for a federal ...
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35 votes

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

He isn't the only one-- Sen. Sinema has certainly made her fair share of demands. But swing votes generally have much more power because they could credibly threaten to defect. Sen. Manchin is a ...
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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 ...
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33 votes
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Why do all states have equal representation in the U.S. Senate, regardless of population?

Because it was a compromise struck at the Constitutional Convention between the large colonies like Virginia and New York, and the smaller colonies like Connecticut and Rhode Island that all states ...
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33 votes
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Are US Representatives from wealthy districts more likely to "graduate" to the Senate than Reps from poorer districts?

This is a difficult question to answer because there's not easily accessible data on representatives who attempted to become senators but failed. So what I did was test whether the median income for ...
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32 votes
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Is this remark from Senator Lindsey Graham (Rep.) actually racist?

Let's get academic about it. I think the term racism is often used to address a basket of discriminatory positions. The folks over at Oxford Dictionary on Racism Prejudice, discrimination, or ...
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32 votes
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What is the "Biden rule" mentioned during the nomination of Merrick Garland to the US Supreme Court?

A short piece on PolitiFact published at the time in 2016 put Biden's 1992 speech in its political context: Biden's floor speech was on June 25, 1992, more than three months later in the election ...
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32 votes
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Why another impeachment vote at the Senate?

Most of the Republican portion of the Senate are objecting to the second Impeachment trial as unconstitutional because it is taking place after Trump has left office. They contend that because Trump ...
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32 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 ...
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32 votes
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Why is Joe Manchin a member of the Democratic Party when he consistently votes against them?

Well, I guess I'd better start by saying, it's not clear that Joe Manchin DOES consistently vote against his own party. BUT I suppose if you pre-suppose the conclusion, you can get plenty of ...
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