Senate

What To Watch Today

Featured image Two events are worth watching today—one a small detail that may morph into a significant detail, and the second a new angle on Gov. Cuomo’s mounting political troubles that may yet force his resignation or ouster from office. First, the Senate. Some time today—perhaps by the time this item goes live—the Senate will get a ruling from the Senate parliamentarian, Elizabeth MacDonough, on whether the $15 minimum wage proposal can »

Democrats play the race card on behalf of Tanden and Becerra [UPDATED: AOC chimes in]

Featured image One side benefit of the defeat of Neera Tanden’s nomination (if that’s what ends up happening) is the enjoyment of watching identity politics bean-counters explode in anger, making fools of themselves in the process. Rep. Judy Chu, head of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and her colleague Rep. Grace Meng claim to detect a double standard in the opposition to Tanden (who is Asian, but not Asian Pacific, for »

Manchin says he’ll oppose Tanden nomination

Featured image Sen. Joe Manchin has announced his opposition to Joe Biden’s choice of Neera Tanden to lead the White House Office of Management and Budget. Manchin cited her personal attacks on lawmakers. Manchin’s opposition means that Tanden can only be confirmed if she gains support from a Republican Senator. Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski are inclined to confirm all presidential picks for key jobs. However, with Manchin on record as »

Richard Burr puts “Senate precedent” above the Constitution

Featured image Today, Sen. Richard Burr joined six other Republicans in voting to convict President Trump of an impeachable offense. I understand the vote of the other six and consider it defensible, though not how I would have voted. Unlike the other six, however, Burr previously voted that the trial should not proceed because it is unconstitutional to impeach a president who is no longer in office. But now, Burr has voted »

Where have you gone?

Featured image (Former) President Trump left office in due course, yet the Senate is set to take up his second impeachment trial this afternoon at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). The first item on the trial schedule is debate over the constitutionality of trial of a former president. Byron York reviewed the issue of constitutionality in his Daily Memo yesterday. The correct answer is “no.” After the arguments, the Senate will vote on whether »

Fourth GOP Senator says he’ll leave after 2022

Featured image Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama has announced that he will retire when his term expires at the end of 2022. Shelby is 86 and has been in Congress since 1979. I don’t think Shelby has been a bad Senator, and he has long been popular with those who count most — his Alabama constituents. But if Washington is a “swamp,” then Shelby is one of its creatures. A lobbyist I »

Rand rules

Featured image Chief Justice John Roberts will not preside over the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump: the text of the Constitution only requires the Chief Justice to preside over the trial of “the President.” The text of the Constitution only requires the Chief Justice to preside over a Senate impeachment trial of “the President.” Trump is no longer “the President.” Roberts’s presence is therefore not called for. Will private citizen Trump »

Sinema is a hard “no” on ending the filibuster [UPDATED]

Featured image Many of Joe Biden’s plans, and those of the leftists for whom he fronts, cannot be implemented in the next two years as long as the Senate filibuster remains in place. That’s why so many Democrats want to put an end to the filibustering of legislation. With the Democrats holding 50 Senate seats plus the vice presidency, the possibility of ending the filibuster exists. But even one holdout Dem would »

Roberts rules

Featured image Today comes word via Senator Rand Paul that Chief Justice Roberts will not preside over any Senate impeachment trial of President Trump: the text of the Constitution only requires the Chief Justice to preside over the trial of “the President.” Trump is no longer “the President.” Roberts’s presence is therefore not called for. Trump is of course a private citizen at this point. The constitutional text does not appear to »

Who will preside over the Senate trial?

Featured image The effort by Democrats to impeach and convict President Trump is raising questions that, in a well-functioning society, would be reserved for law school exams. In such a society, Trump wouldn’t have acted as he did during his final days and Democrats would be content with the fact that those were his final days. One question raised is whether a president can be impeached after he leaves office. A second »

Few GOP Senators likely to vote for convicting Trump

Featured image On Election Day 1964, I handed out pro-Lyndon Johnson leaflets to voters at Connecticut Park Elementary school in Wheaton, Maryland. My friend Bruce stood nearby handing out pro-Barry Goldwater material. As he offered his literature, Bruce’s would say, “Good afternoon, sir (or ma’am), vote for Senator Goldwater.” The sirs and ma’ams seemed disinclined to follow Bruce’s advice. Most were stone faced. Some pushed back. “You’ve got to be kidding” and »

McConnell’s statement

Featured image Mitch McConnell remains the Senate Majority Leader until the new administration takes office next week. Following the impeachment of President Trump yesterday, Senator McConnell issued the following statement regarding the Senate schedule: The House of Representatives has voted to impeach the President. The Senate process will now begin at our first regular meeting following receipt of the article from the House. Given the rules, procedures, and Senate precedents that govern »

The Cotton statement

Featured image I said what I had to say about yesterday’s events at the Capitol while they were still unfolding yesterday afternoon. Caught on the inside of the proceedings, Senator Tom Cotton released this statement last night. I yield the floor to Senator Cotton: Last summer, as insurrection gripped the streets, I called to send in the troops if necessary to restore order. Today, insurrectionists occupied our Capitol. Fortunately, the Capitol Police »

Whipsawed in Georgia

Featured image There will be plenty of commentary about what looks to be the Democrats’ sweep of the Georgia runoff elections. Scott has already provided an insightful take. However, I think the most concise analysis came a week before the election from my Georgia source, a well-placed Republican in that state. He told me: In a 50/50 state where some percentage of Republicans are refusing to vote because they think their vote »

After last night

Featured image As I write at 6:00 a.m. (Central) this morning, Raphael Warnock’s race against Kelly Loeffler has been called for Warnock. While Jon Ossoff’s race against David Perdue has yet to be called, Ossoff leads and his lead is likely to widen when the remaining votes are counted. Democrats will thus take control of the Senate on a 50-50 split with Kamala Harris presiding as Vice President. Here are a few »

The Georgia runoffs [Updated]

Featured image At the moment, both Republican Senators are slightly ahead in the Georgia runoffs. However, most of the uncounted vote appears to be from heavily Democratic counties. Kelly Loeffler’s lead over Raphael Warnock is slight enough (about 40,000 votes) that Warnock looks like a good bet to win. David Perdue’s lead over Jon Ossoff is larger (about 65,000 votes), so maybe he will hang on. I wouldn’t bet on it, though. »

The Gridlock Election

Featured image “Respectable opinion” holds that gridlock in Washington is a terrible thing, because it means Washington “can’t get anything done.” To the contrary, gridlock is the next best thing to having constitutional government! Put a little more seriously, gridlock has replaced the separation of powers as a chief constraint on the impetuosity of central government, and it is precisely the separation of powers embedded in the logic of the Constitution that »