Senate



Democrats’ Dilemma over the Federal Judiciary

Susan Sullivan Lagon | March 29, 2017

In all likelihood, Tenth Circuit Judge Neil Gorsuch will replace the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. How he gets there is the question, not whether. If confirmed, Gorsuch will be a predictably conservative voice on the nation’s highest bench just like Scalia was. It’s the next vacancy that could shift the


On to Reconciliation! Republicans have a plan but probably won’t follow it.

Josh Huder | January 12, 2017

The Senate passed a budget yesterday. It lacked some of the typical hallmarks of a budget resolution. Namely, the chamber did not debate in any great detail discretionary spending numbers. This budget is meant for one purpose and one purpose only: repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following the campaign congressional Republicans set out on


Senate SCOTUS politics in 2016

Josh Huder | February 19, 2016

The passing of Justice Antonin Scalia this past weekend throws a new wrinkle into Senate politics. As if things were difficult enough for Majority Leader McConnell, he now has to navigate one of the Senate’s most important votes, or lack thereof, as he attempts to defend seven vulnerable Republican seats. President Obama is expected to


Conservatives’ Playcalling: Hail Mary… Repeat.

(Hail Mary, noun, 2. (FOOTBALL) a very long, typically unsuccessful pass made in a desperate attempt to score late in the game.) It appears Speaker Boehner may have another rebellion on his hands. Will this be the toughest challenge to his speakership? Maybe. That is if you don’t include the last two speakership elections,


Tedious Filibuster Talk: Was Rand Paul’s talk-a-thon a Filibuster?

Josh Huder | May 21, 2015

Short answer: Yes. There are a couple reasons cited as to why it was not a filibuster. However, neither disqualifies Paul’s 10-hour talk-a-thon. Paul’s filibuster came at a somewhat odd time. NSA spying was not on the Senate floor last night. The upper chamber was still considering the trade promotion authority (TPA) bill. Since TPA


Why three failed votes is not necessarily a failure

Josh Huder | February 6, 2015

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received a fair amount of flak this week for his attempts to move forward on the DHS funding bill that expires at the end of the month. Republicans failed to invoke cloture on the DHS funding bill for the third time in three days, raising speculation about a potential shutdown of


The Senate’s Return to Regular Order?

Josh Huder | January 23, 2015

For the past week, Majority Leader McConnell experimented with an open amendment process in the Senate. Members offered amendments on everything from climate change, to federally protected land, to limiting the President’s ability to initiate and sign bilateral agreements with foreign countries. The broader question is can McConnell take a positive step toward a functioning


113th Congress: Arguably the least democratic in American history

The 113th Congress may very well go down in history as the least democratic in our nation’s history. Except it probably not in the way you are thinking. This has nothing to do with how much money was spent in campaigns, gerrymandering, voter suppression laws, or other things that distort the electoral process. The 113th Congress, more


Vote Scores hurt Vulnerable Senate Democrats

Several Senate Democrats are running their campaigns as far away from the President as possible. Democrats are defending six states that Mitt Romney won in 2012. Three Democratic incumbents find themselves in toss-up races in states Mitt Romney won by landslide margins. The President’s approval numbers in those states are dismal, forcing Democrats to


Who Will Lead the Senate?

November 4 is right around the corner and speculation about which party will control the Senate and by how many seats has reached a frenzied pitch. Elections forecasters place the odds of a Republican takeover at about 70 percent. The odds shift, of course, whenever new polls, fundraising numbers, and campaign ads are released.


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