New answers tagged

1

According to news reports, this has lead 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 Senator and hence cannot vote unless the Senate is tied. Hence, a 50 seat + VP "majority" is not the same as an unequivocal 51 seat majority. A 50–50 ...


7

Anyone who is empowered to administer federal oaths. There's no requirement that it be a member of the supreme court; that is only a tradition. In fact, after Kennedy's assassination, Johnson was sworn in by a district court judge.


2

Each party in the Senate has their own rules in determining committee assignments and appointments of the top member on committees. The Democrats rely largely on seniority in appointing committee leadership. Democratic senators also voted to reject a six-year limit on committee leadership posts, preserving the caucus’s long-standing seniority system, while ...


1

What determines who becomes the chair of which Senate committee? From Senate Committees — The Role of Seniority in Selection of Chairmen and Ranking Members Traditionally, the majority party member with the greatest seniority on a particular committee serves as its chairman. When the Republican Party gained the majority in 1995, it altered its conference ...


9

Why does the 50–50 Senate need a new organizing resolution before Democrats can take control of committee chairmanships? RULE XXIV APPOINTMENT OF COMMITTEES In the appointment of the standing committees, or to fill vacancies thereon, the Senate, unless otherwise ordered, shall by resolution appoint the chairman of each such committee and the other members ...


10

It was James Allen, Democratic Senator for Alabama from 1969 to 1978. He refused to let the criminal-code reform bill pass without the inclusion of the Logan Act. From page 520 of the article in your question: There are but two realistic routes to outright repeal: an abrogation provision buried in some other bill, or the Act’s non-appearance in a general ...


6

Because nobody cares about their vote. The Senate is divided 50-50, but the numbers you cite are nowhere near that. This indicates that most Republicans were voting in favor of confirmation. So these were bipartisan votes where basically everyone (aside from a small number of dissenters) agreed with the confirmation. Let's set aside the dissenters for now, ...


4

It's a combination of things. They can honestly tell their constituents "I didn't vote for that cabinet member you hate so much" or "I didn't vote against that cabinet member you love so much". They also don't really need to vote either way, these weren't close votes at all. So if they have something else to do, they don't really lose ...


10

The issue under discussion is the Organizing Resolution, which details the rules, membership, and budgets of committees, among other things. The Organizing Resolution is a "simple resolution" which technically requires only a bare majority to pass, which the Democrats possess thanks to the Vice President's tie-breaking vote. The reason Senator ...


5

Actually, upon further research, it seems that a supermajority requirement to pass legislation was discussed and dismissed in the Federalist Papers. FEDERALIST NO. 58 is primarily focused on arguing against regularly increasing the size of the House of Representatives, but James Madison concludes by briefly mentioning a proposal to require more than 50% of ...


2

The founding fathers didn't have an idea of a filibuster because when the house and senate started all you needed was a simple majority to end debate. However it was at a later date that it got changed in the Senate but not the House. In reality it was created as an unintended consequence of trying to simplify the rules and everything was run by majority ...


18

This is mostly to do with the date of Harris' resignation as Senator. She submitted her letter of resignation to California Governor Gavin Newsom on Jan 18th, two days before being sworn in as VP. Recent Vice Presidents who resigned from their Senate seats did so earlier - with the consequence that their appointed replacement assumed their seat before ...


16

TL;DR: If both Senators of a state are sworn in on the same day, the Senator who is sworn in first will become the senior Senator. However, there are several factors that decide who gets to be sworn in first. From the Senate website, the tie-breaking factors (in order of precedence) are: previous Senate service service as the vice president previous House ...


2

According to a story written by the Associated Press, Wednesday afternoon: Warnock, Ossoff and Padilla to be sworn in after Biden [...] A person granted anonymity to discuss the planning tells The Associated Press that Harris is set to deliver the oath of office to the three Democrats after she is sworn in during the inauguration as vice president.


4

The Big Cat Public Safety Act (H.R.1380 116th Congress) will have no further action because all necessary actions were not complete before the end of the 116th Congress. A companion bill Big Cat Public Safety Act (S.2561 116th Congress) never got a hearing. That they cannot become law is true, as well, for measures introduced in the 115th Congress S.2990 and ...


0

How would tie votes in the Senate be resolved if there is no VP due to the VP assuming the presidency? The resolution of a tied vote is the same whenever the VP cannot or simply does not vote, whatever the reason. Possible reasons include as noted in the question, there might be no vice president; the vice president might be out of town or otherwise ...


3

There would be no vice president in that situation so the vote would be a tie. Unless there was able to be some sort of deal made another candidate would need to be chosen to fill the seat of vice president or it would just remain open until the next election. https://prologue.blogs.archives.gov/2017/02/10/the-25th-amendment-succession-of-the-presidency/ ...


5

In a word: no. The Vice President becomes President immediately upon the death, resignation or removal of the President. At that moment, he loses his tiebreaking vote in the Senate. If a vote to confirm a successor is tied 50-50, and there is no Vice President to break a tie, then the confirmation would be defeated as there is not the required majority.


11

Does a vice president retain their tie breaking vote in the senate during an impeachment trial if it is the vice president being impeached? It depends, in part, on whether the vice president is acting president at the time of impeachment. Though not mentioned in the Constitution, Senate impeachment trial Rule IV provides that the Chief Justice presides when ...


3

The senate has rules that would give the Chief Justice of the Supreme court tie-breaking vote privileges during a presidential impeachment taking them away from the Vice President. It should go to follow that something similar would happen if the VP was getting impeached. Although I am unable to find documentation to back it up I remember reading in the past ...


9

The Majority and Minority Leader can, in times of emergency, reconvene the Senate by agreement (S.Res. 296, 2004). From a press conference by Democrat leader Chuck Schumer on Jan. 12, 2021, who was Minority Leader at the time: There was legislation passed in 2004 that allows the Senate Minority Leader and Majority Leader to jointly reconvene the Senate in ...


8

The senate can certainly subpoena witnesses if they chose to do so in such a trial. They may or may not choose to. Trump could claim to be exempt from answering particular questions on the ground of Executive Privilege (EP). The exact limits of EP are not well established, but they do not seem to extend to any and every question that might be asked. A claim ...


19

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 California's Senators) is sworn in and seated, and the two new Senators from Georgia are sworn in and seated. If either of the three hasn't occurred, the ...


4

They can disqualify Trump from standing again with a simple majority, but only after he has been convicted, and a conviction requires a two-thirds vote.


3

Effectively, the committee chair is the top official in the Senate with respect to that policy area. And, in the area of the budget, how the budget process is framed and managed can heavily impact the outcome. The chair has the power to set the agenda of the committee and to preside in its meetings. The first power is the most important. When a Senator ...


3

As noted in Panda's answer to the linked q, the relevant precedent is The Constitution is silent on whether, after an official has already been impeached and removed from office, imposing the additional sanction of disqualification requires a supermajority vote. In the past, however, the Senate determined that a simple majority vote is sufficient for ...


10

Yes, this has happened five times1. I modified this list of "double-barrel"2 Senate elections, published by the UVA Center for Politics, to show only the elections where both Senate seats of a state flipped to the opposing party in a single election. 1Includes only elections after 1913 when the Seventeenth Amendment, which established the direct ...


0

A lot could be done to end the filibuster if it actually worked like it used to and would force the senate to deal with the issue. However now the filibuster just kills a bill without the need to actually filibuster it. The problem is that anymore bills don't get a filibuster but rather threatened to get one which ends up being the same. https://www....


1

By having an equal number of Senators per State, the original States could do two things: Ensure there wasn't Federal intervention to remove State laws that allowed slavery Limit the admission of new States such that there remained a roughly equal number of pro-slavery States to pro-emancipation States Even after the Civil War, that structure allowed laws ...


3

It's not officially revealed how the designated survivor is chosen. They are always chosen from one of the individuals in the presidential line of succession who is constitutionally eligible to become President. Usually, one such Cabinet member is chosen for events such as State of the Union addresses and presidential inaugurations. For instance, Secretary ...


9

The position of Majority leader of the senate is created by the Senate Rules, which are enacted at the stasrt of every session of Congress, usually with little change. The Senate chooses the Majority leader by vote, and can change the leader at any time. This can occur if the balance of parties changes, whether by death, resignation, special election, ...


2

Aren’t they both on the same ballot? (from the question title) Indeed they are on the same ballot, i.e. there is just one physical piece of paper on which the two Senate votes are cast. An image of that ballot can be found online (from Pickens County, Georgia; an absentee/provisional/emergency ballot) and is reproduced below. Although these votes are on ...


-2

There is a great deal of legislation that receives bipartisan support. IF the Democrats are sensible they will focus on what they can do that will get such support. If they fail to do that (e.g. by focusing on the extreme views at the fringes of their own party), they will simply be setting themselves up for defeats in future elections, just as the ...


10

Does this mean that a voter voted for Warnock but not Ossoff? tl;dr: Yes. At least 19K voters did that. There was a third race on the Georgia runoff ballot, which, in conjunction with the final (yet still unofficial) numbers, provides a little more clarity: The reason Warnock's race was called before Ossoff's, was simply due to the fact that his lead was ...


5

Arcanist has the right idea, but gives a race that is 100% certain. Let's consider about where we were yesterday morning. With about 90,000 votes outstanding, Warnock had a lead of about 50,000 votes, while Ossoff had a lead of about 15,000 votes (these are approximate for the sake of argument). Since most of the vote remaining to be counted was in heavily ...


6

The short answer: there are such facilities, but where they are and what capabilities they afford is unclear. The long answer: the US Congress is not bound to any particular location, and could use any of a number of facilities that are part of the US government continuity of operations apparatus, but which exactly is not public knowledge. According to ...


9

Senators Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.) and James Lankford (R-Okla.) "abandoned plans" to make objections to Biden electors. I read it as they never signed it. In his speech, Senator Mitt Romney said that they "withdrawn" their objection: “I salute Senator Lankford and Loeffler and Braun and Danes and ...


9

Mount Weather Emergency Operations Center in Virginia can accept leading congressional figures - and it did, by helicopter, after the attacks of 11 September 2001 - but as far as I know it is not equipped as a location at which the whole business of Congress, including chamber debates, can be conducted.


14

According to an NPR article, a secret bunker (Project Greek Island) was built in West Virginia's Greenbrier Resort in the late 1950s. It was large enough for both chambers of Congress to hold sessions, contained 1100 beds and a 6 month supply of food, and was to be used by Congress in the event of a nuclear war or some other emergency. It was exposed by the ...


14

Even without eliminating the filibuster, quite a lot of legislation can be passed through Reconciliation, which requires only a simple majority (50+VP) to pass. While this is, in theory, only intended for budget items, it has historically been used at other times to pass things that wouldn't normally be considered part of the regular budget, such as the ...


14

Races are called before all the votes are counted. If Amy has 10,000 votes, and Bob has 5,000, and there are 1,000 more to count, you can safely say that Amy is the winner. If, on the same ballot, Chris has 7,600 votes and Danny has 7,400 votes, then the media is not going to call the second race. The 1,000 remaining votes could tip the balance towards ...


23

The special election that Warnock ran in and the regular election that Ossoff ran in happened at the same time, and voters voted in each at the same time, but they were separate races. As of now, the afternoon of January 6, Warnock's lead over Loeffler is significantly larger than Ossoff's lead over Perdue. The difference is enough that many news ...


17

One thing they will be able to do is repeal regulations that have been finalized by the Trump administration in the last few months (many of which were rushed to completion during the lame-duck period). The Biden administration could put out new regulations to repeal the Trump administration's regulations, but they would have to go through the arduous ...


15

Control of the Senate controls the agenda. Examples: Nominations for positions and judges. In controlling the Senate agenda, The Republican majority leader took no action on a Supreme Court nominee by a Democratic president for 11 months. Never got a vote. The same majority leader managed to get a Republican president's nominee through in about 3 weeks. ...


27

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 agreement of 60 or more senators, but there are other things that will, such as bills that enable government to function. And there will be things that don't have ...


44

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 functionally ends a filibuster. In recent memory the Nuclear Option was employed to end filibusters of judicial appointments of the Democrat controlled Senate ...


8

Warnock is elected in a special election (Class III) to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Johnny Isakson. Warnock will serve for the remainder of Senator Isakson's term which ends on January 3, 2023. This explains why he will be up for re-election in 2022. Ossoff is elected in a scheduled election (Class II) so his 6-year term will end on ...


9

To add to the answer by Panda: In the Senate, the VP has the role of presiding, and of breaking ties. For the role of presiding, the Senate will almost certainly vote to end the term of the current President Pro Tempore, and elect a Democrat to that role, on January 20 or once the Georgia elections are settled and the new Democratic Senators are seated - if ...


15

A tie does not necessitate the Vice President to be present in the Senate. Without the VP's vote, the motion will simply fail. However, if the VP wants to break the tie, the VP has to be present on the floor, as the Senate's presiding officer1. (1more on this in @Damila's answer) It's worth noting that the Vice President is the President of the Senate which ...


4

It is wildly unlikely, but may be possible for Pence to read the alternate slate of electors or to simply not read any electors for the most contentious states. This has some slight precedence in that, in the election of 1960, then-Vice President Richard Nixon read out the Democrat electors for the state of Hawaii even though that state had previously ...


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