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Old 12th January 2021, 08:10 PM   #1
Athyrio
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Who Determines Majority Leader in a Split Senate?

We are about to have a 50-50 split Senate and everything I read says McConnell will become the minority leader because Harris is a Democrat. But what if she suddenly went ape feces and declared herself to be an Independent or anything else, and said she would vote whateverthehell way she wanted to? We’ve seen a POTUS go nuts, why not a Veep? I doubt Harris would do so and I look forward to her Presidency should I live long enough, but what if another similar scenario developed?

Would it be proper for the Senate to designate who the majority/minority is in a 50-50 split with a deranged or independently enlightened VP or should they drop the terms temporarily until voting outcome becomes more certain?

https://www.wqad.com/mobile/article/...a-f942d1994683

This was the best article I could find that discussed the subject. Apparently there are no written rules.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:18 PM   #2
JoeMorgue
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"Majority Leader" isn't a position like Speaker of the House or President of the Senate, it's just a ceremonial (albeit massively influential and powerful) position voted on by members of the party.

Technically the Republicans could argue they are still the Majority Party since the Democratic Caucus includes 2 independents and 48 Democrats, but I don't see that happening since it doesn't really matter for any practical purposes.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:28 PM   #3
acbytesla
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There are elections. The Senators vote on positions. The Vice President HAS to cast a vote in a tie situation. It is the only Constitutional mandated duty a Vice President has. She could flip sides flipping the Senate if she desired. But she must vote.
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Last edited by acbytesla; 12th January 2021 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:31 PM   #4
acbytesla
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Majority Leader" isn't a position like Speaker of the House or President of the Senate, it's just a ceremonial (albeit massively influential and powerful) position voted on by members of the party.

Technically the Republicans could argue they are still the Majority Party since the Democratic Caucus includes 2 independents and 48 Democrats, but I don't see that happening since it doesn't really matter for any practical purposes.
This is not true Joe. McConnell prevented bills from even being considered by the Senate.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:48 PM   #5
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Majority Leader" isn't a position like Speaker of the House or President of the Senate, it's just a ceremonial (albeit massively influential and powerful) position voted on by members of the party.
Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
This is not true Joe. McConnell prevented bills from even being considered by the Senate.
Given that a common dictionary definition of ceremonial is "having no real power or influence" I have to assume Joe was joking?

But he is right about it not being defined in the Constitution. Senators could wipe the position out any time they choose to. It's existed less than a century I believe.

Last edited by RecoveringYuppy; 12th January 2021 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Given that a common dictionary definition of ceremonial is "having no real power or influence" I have to assume Joe was joking?

But he is right about it not being defined in the Constitution. Senators could wipe the position out any time they choose to. It's existed less than a century I believe.
The Constitution says very little about the rules of either branch of the legislature. The rules of the Senate and the House are passed before every session usually changing little.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:57 PM   #7
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Majority Leader" isn't a position like Speaker of the House or President of the Senate, it's just a ceremonial (albeit massively influential and powerful) position voted on by members of the party.

Technically the Republicans could argue they are still the Majority Party since the Democratic Caucus includes 2 independents and 48 Democrats, but I don't see that happening since it doesn't really matter for any practical purposes.
No, just no.

The 2 independents are Sanders and Angus King of Maine, both caucus with the Democrats making them count as Democrats for purposes of assigning Majority Leader.

The VP breaks the tie and it is critically important because the Majority Leader sets the calendar. Nothing can come up for a vote unless the Majority Leader allows it.

That's how McConnell blocked Merrick Garland's appointment to the SCOTUS.

Last edited by Skeptic Ginger; 12th January 2021 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:58 PM   #8
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The Constitution says very little about the rules of either branch of the legislature. The rules of the Senate and the House are passed before every session usually changing little.
yep.
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Old 12th January 2021, 08:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post


The VP breaks the tie
Yep.

Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
and it is critically important because the Majority leader sets the calendar. Nothing can come up for a vote unless the majority leader allows it.
Nope. That can be changed any time the Senate decides to change it.
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:05 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Yep.


Nope. That can be changed any time the Senate decides to change it.
1) There's zero chance of that happening.
2) So for all intents and purposes, it is what I said.
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:09 PM   #11
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
1) There's zero chance of that happening.
2) So for all intents and purposes, it is what I said.
Then you've identified the wrong thing as being critically important.
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:23 PM   #12
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The Majority Leader does control the schedule. This is because, assuming caucus solidarity, if push came to shove and there was cloture on every step of every bill, that person is essentially controlling the schedule anyways.

Most procedures go along on unanimous consent (nobody objecting) and the floor leader is essentially crafting those agreements out in advance as much as possible. When that person doesn't want something to move, it is usually something that wouldn't move anyways or has been horse-traded for something else to move, etc.

ETA: The Senate has a Republican Majority until Kamala Harris takes office and becomes President of the Senate (and her seat is filled?).

Last edited by Delphic Oracle; 12th January 2021 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:29 PM   #13
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Then you've identified the wrong thing as being critically important.
Setting the calendar isn't the critically important thing?
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:37 PM   #14
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Setting the calendar isn't the critically important thing?
Are you now identifying that as the critical thing? That isn't what you said earlier.
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:39 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
ETA: The Senate has a Republican Majority until Kamala Harris takes office and becomes President of the Senate (and her seat is filled?).
Alex Padilla will fill her seat on January 20th.
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Last edited by acbytesla; 12th January 2021 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 12th January 2021, 09:44 PM   #16
Delphic Oracle
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Alex Padilla will fill her seat on January 20th.
I figured something was lined up.
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Old 12th January 2021, 11:22 PM   #17
Skeptic Ginger
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Are you now identifying that as the critical thing? That isn't what you said earlier.
Yes it is.

"it is critically important because the Majority leader sets the calendar"
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Old 12th January 2021, 11:24 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
I figured something was lined up.
Georgia has until the 22nd to seat its 2 Senators. Technically until they are seated, Loeffler is still the Senator for one of the seats.

Hopefully GA will certify its Senators sooner.
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Old 12th January 2021, 11:33 PM   #19
RecoveringYuppy
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Yes it is.

"it is critically important because the Majority leader sets the calendar"
You've now just told me that "Setting the calendar is critically important because the Majority leader sets the calendar".

Start over. See the simple.
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