Personnel Mail And Office Expenses
House members are eligible for a Members Representational Allowance to support them in their official and representational duties to their district. The MRA is calculated based on three components: one for personnel, one for official office expenses and one for official or franked mail. The personnel allowance is the same for all members; the office and mail allowances vary based on the members districts distance from Washington, D.C., the cost of office space in the members district, and the number of non-business addresses in their district. These three components are used to calculate a single MRA that can fund any expenseâeven though each component is calculated individually, the franking allowance can be used to pay for personnel expenses if the member so chooses. In 2011 this allowance averaged $1.4 million per member, and ranged from $1.35 to $1.67 million.
The Personnel allowance was $944,671 per member in 2010. Each member may employ no more than 18 permanent employees. Members employees salary is capped at $168,411 as of 2009.
Biden Administration: Heres Who Has Been Named So Far
Return of the bipartisan gangs
After months of stalemate over the size and scope of a coronavirus relief package in the closing weeks of the last Congress, a group of centrists from both parties, led by Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, unveiled a $900 billion compromise plan that became the basis for the legislation that ultimately was approved by the House and Senate and signed by President Trump.
Manchin has said he hopes that model can translate into efforts in 2021.
Other Republican moderates such as Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska who helped on the COVID-19 aid package could also serve as powerful players if they decide to work across the aisle.
Progressives push for Senate rule changes
Liberal Democrats have pressed to get rid of the legislative filibuster so that they can pass major health care or environmental bills with a simple majority.
Biden has sidestepped questions about whether he supports doing away with keeping the 60-vote threshold, but several top Senate Democrats have signaled they back changing a rule that many of them once insisted was essential to the institution. There will be intense pressure on Biden and Democratic leaders to show they can pass some bills with GOP support, but if Senate Republicans stay largely unified to thwart the new administrations agenda, calls to eliminate the filibuster will increase.
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Democrat Jon Ossoff Claims Victory Over David Perdue In Georgia Runoff
Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is expected to replace GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell as majority leader and will determine which bills come to the floor for votes.
The ambitious proposals addressing climate change and health care and other domestic priorities touted by Biden and Harris will be difficult, if impossible, to advance with more moderate Democrats especially those facing competitive 2022 midterm reelection campaigns reluctant to sign onto partisan proposals. The much smaller-than-anticipated House Democratic majority compounds the challenge for the party.
Instead, Biden will need to consider which domestic priorities can get bipartisan support since Senate rules now require anything to get 60 votes to advance. The president-elect has already indicated that additional coronavirus relief will be his first priority, but he has also said he plans to unveil an infrastructure plan that could get support from Republicans.
In a statement Wednesday, Biden said that “Georgia’s voters delivered a resounding message yesterday: they want action on the crises we face and they want it right now. On COVID-19, on economic relief, on climate, on racial justice, on voting rights and so much more. They want us to move, but move together.”
The president-elect also spoke to Democrats’ potential total control of Washington.
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Trump’s Former Physician Wins House Seat
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician who served under both Presidents Trump and Obama, has won his race in Texas’ 13th Congressional District. Jackson rose to prominence in 2018 when he gave a glowing press conference about Mr. Trump’s health.
Mr. Trump nominated Jackson to be Veterans Affairs secretary last year, but Jackson withdrew amid allegations that he drank on the job and over-prescribed medications. In his House race, Jackson has closely aligned himself with Mr. Trump. He has downplayed the coronavirus pandemic and criticized mask-wearing requirements. He has also promoted baseless claims about Biden’s mental health.
Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw also won reelection. Crenshaw is a conservative firebrand and a rising GOP star in the House.
Are Senators Chosen By Popular Vote
Beginning with the 1914 general election, all U.S. senators have been chosen by direct popular election. The Seventeenth Amendment also provided for the appointment of senators to fill vacancies. There have been many landmark contests, such as the election of Hiram Revels, the first African American senator, in 1870.
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Do The Parties Have To Negotiate On The Rules
No. With Harris vote, Democrats could threaten to ram through a Democratic-written organizational plan that severely disadvantages the Republicans.
But Democrats may prefer negotiation to a solely Democratic plan because they may not be able to keep their own caucus in line to enact that option. Theres a long history of bipartisan gangs of institutional-minded senators who sought to play a role in shaping how the chambers rules are formed, and those senators would not support a Democratic-only plan.
Before there can be a vote No. 51, there must be votes 50, 49 and 48, said Richard Cohen, chief author of the Almanac of American Politics and a longtime congressional correspondent. Democratic senators who might have reservations about supporting the most liberal proposals, such as Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly of Arizona, wont want to be taken for granted by others in the Democratic conference.
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States That Gained Seats
The three most populous states to gain seats are Texas, Florida and North Carolina, and in each, Republicans will control the redistricting process. For the first time in decades, they wont have to seek preclearance from the Justice Department either before implementing their maps thanks to the 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down part of the Voting Rights Act. That, in turn, could open the door for more extreme gerrymandering in these states, which historically disenfranchised voters of color.;
For instance, Republicans will at least try to draw Texass two new districts to be as safe as possible for Republicans. But they also face the challenge that Texass suburbs its fastest-growing areas are rapidly becoming more Democratic, which threatened to blow up their 2011 gerrymander. According to Daily Kos Elections, Biden came within 3 percentage points of carrying 22 out of Texass current 36 districts in the 2020 election. So in an effort to shore up Republican incumbents in some areas, the Texas legislature may be forced to create safe new districts for Democrats in places like Austin, Dallas or Houston. But even if one or both of the new seats are blue, Texass map will still likely benefit Republicans overall , muddying the question of which party truly benefits from reapportionment here.
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Democrats May Have Control At The Federal Level But Republicans Are Pushing Back Through States
30 state legislatures are now controlled by Republicans, while only 18 are controlled by Democrats.
Though the hotly anticipated Blue Wave did not sweep over the country as thoroughly as some analysts had predicted in the weeks and months leading up to the American election on November 3, 2020, theres no denying that Democrats notched major victories in both the Senate and the White House, despite losing several seats in the House of Representatives.
But that victory is beginning to be undercut by the majority of state legislatures, which are Republican-controlled, as they begin to enact stricter voting laws, pass state sovereignty bills and push through highly conservative legislation to push back against Democratic ideologies in Washington.
Many Republicans Mobilizing Against Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
The bipartisan group of senators who crafted the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act is preparing to take a victory lap as the Senate moves toward passing the bill in the coming days.
But a large number of Republicans are mobilizing against the bill that includes $1.2 trillion of spending and $550 billion in new spending on hard infrastructure projects, such as rail, ports, electric vehicle charging stations, and broadband.
Right after the group of bipartisan senators introduced the bills text on Sunday night, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee gave a long floor speech in opposition to the legislation, arguing that the Constitution does not give Congress to go out and spend money on anything that we deem appropriate and that the price tag is too high.
Shame on us for making poor and middle-class Americans poorer so that we can bring praise and adulation to ourselves and more money to a small handful of wealthy, well-connected interests in America, Lee said.
Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley said that he would vote against the bill, sharing an article that called it an epic binge of green subsidies and more handouts for states and localities.
Several Republicans in the House are also stating their opposition to the bill.
No one should support something that will serve as a trojan horse for the Democrats reconciliation package, which the White House wants to use to pass massive amnesty, the RSC memo read.
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Are Canadian Senators Appointed For Life
Unlike the Members of Parliament in the House of Commons, the 105 senators are appointed by the Governor General on the advice of the prime minister. Senators originally held their seats for life; however, under the British North America Act, 1965, members may not sit in the Senate after reaching the age of 75.
‘your Way Is Failing’: Tapper Pushes Back On Gop Governor For Covid
Ask any national Republican who their best candidate is to beat freshman Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly in 2022 and the name that you’ll likely hear the most is Doug Ducey.
“Good news! RINO Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona has restated the fact that he is not running for the United States Senate. It would not matter, however, because he could not get the nomination after failing to perform on the Voter Fraud in Arizona. Also, there is no way he would get my endorsement, which means, his aspirations would be permanently put to rest anyway. Again, thank you to our brave Republicans in the Arizona State Senate for their bravery in putting forward the Forensic Audit. Everybody is anxiously awaiting the result!”
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Seats Without Major Party Opposition
- See also: Major party candidates with major party competition in the November 2020 state legislative elections
In 2020, 2,067 state legislative seats, 35.2% of all seats up for election, did not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either the Democratic or Republican parties runs for a state legislative seat, the seat is all but guaranteed to be won by that party.
- Democrats contested 82.7% of all state legislative seats. 1,019 state legislative seats did not feature a Democratic candidate and were likely to be won by a Republican.
- Republicans contested 82.4% of all state legislative seats. 1,032 seats did not feature a Republican candidate and were likely to be won by a Democrat.
- In 11 states, more than half of all seats did not have major party competition.
- In four states, more than 90% of all candidates had major party competition.
The five states with the most major party competition in the general election were:
The five states with the least major party competition in the general election were:
|Seats without major party competition, 2020|
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Here Are The Republicans Calling For Biden’s Removal Amid Afghanistan Fallout
The fall of Kabul on Sunday and the resultant emergency evacuation of U.S. citizens from Afghanistan have triggered a wave of outrage among lawmakers, with numerous Republicans going beyond mere criticism of the Biden administration’s drawdown of U.S. troops to say that the president ought to vacate office.
The invocation of the 25th Amendment, resignation, and impeachment have all been promoted in recent days as possible solutions by a growing number of Republican officials, who say Biden’s actions since Afghanistan fell to the Taliban call into question the president’s fitness to serve.
Here are the GOP members who have called on Biden to leave or be removed from the Oval Office so far.
Multiple lawmakers have said the use of the 25th Amendment may be in order.
Sen. Rick Scott: “After the disastrous events in Afghanistan, we must confront a serious question: Is Joe Biden capable of discharging the duties of his office or has time come to exercise the provisions of the 25th Amendment?” Scott wrote in a tweet Monday.
Rep. Claudia Tenney: Tenney, who serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was less equivocal, saying it is “clear” Biden is failing to perform his duties.
Raskin, a Maryland Democrat, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought during the previous Congress to establish a commission within the body to participate in 25th Amendment proceedings during the waning days of President Donald Trump’s administration.
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How Many Senators Will Vote To Convict Donald Trump
Now that Donald Trump has been impeached for an historic second time, attention turns to the Senate where, according to the Constitution, a trial will begin. The big question isunlike last year when only one Republican Senator voted to convict Trump on charges resulting from his phone call with the President of Ukrainewill there be 17 Republican senators willing to vote to convict Trump?
Lets start with what we know. Senator Ben Sasse is the only senator who has said clearly that he is open to convicting Trump. Senator Mitt Romney voted to convict last year when Trump was impeached over his phone call with the Ukrainian president. The charges in this impeachment are equally if not more serious, so it seems likely that he too may vote to convict. Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Patrick Toomey have also made statements signaling that theyve had enough of Trump. Murkowski just wants him out, saying He has caused enough damage, and Toomey thinks he committed impeachable offenses but is unsure whether impeachment makes sense this close to the end of the Trump presidency.
Pelosi Says It Doesn’t Matter Right Now If She’ll Seek Another Term As Speaker Beyond 2022
;In a press call, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi shot down a question about whether this upcoming term would be her last as speaker, calling it the “least important question you could ask today.” She added that “the fate of our nation, the soul of the nation” is at stake in the election.
“Elections are about the future,” Pelosi said. “One of these days I’ll let you know what my plans are, when it is appropriate and when it matters. It doesn’t matter right now.”
After the 2018 election, Pelosi agreed to term limits on Democratic leaders that would prevent her from serving as speaker beyond 2022.
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Election Results : Veto
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Two state legislatures saw changes in their veto-proof majority statusâtypically when one party controls either three-fifths or two-thirds of both chambersâas a result of the 2020 elections. Democrats gained veto-proof majorities in Delaware and New York, bringing the number of state legislatures with a veto-proof majority in both chambers to 24: 16 held by Republicans and eight held by Democrats.
Forty-four states held regularly-scheduled state legislative elections on November 3. Heading into the election, there were 22 state legislatures where one party had a veto-proof majority in both chambers; 16 held by Republicans and six held by Democrats. Twenty of those states held legislative elections in 2020.
The veto override power can play a role in conflicts between state legislatures and governors. Conflict can occur when legislatures vote to override gubernatorial vetoes or in court cases related to vetoes and the override power.
Although it has the potential to create conflict, the veto override power is rarely used. According to political scientists Peverill Squire and Gary Moncrief in 2010, only about five percent of vetoes are overridden.
|Changes in state legislative veto-proof majorites|
The laws largely focus on tightening voter ID requirements, purging voter rolls and restricting absentee and mail-in ballots.
Chart: Actually Most Of The Diversity In Congress Comes From Democrats
The 114th Congress being sworn in on Tuesday is being hailed as the most diverse Congress in history with more women and minorities than ever before. But thats not thanks to the new Republican majorities in the House and the Senate.
Although the new Congress is 80 percent white, an equal amount male, and 92 percent Christian, the majority of non-white and women lawmakers are Democrats. In other words, even though these paltry numbers make up the most diverse Congress in existence, its thanks largely to Democrats that its this way.
There are a total of 81 minorities that are Democrats in both houses combined and 16 that are Republicans, according to data from CQ. The 114th Congress also has 79 Democratic women and 29 Republican women, also according to CQ.
Of the 188 Democrats in the newly sworn-in House of Representatives, 78 are minorities, according to CQ. Despite the rise of new stars like Rep. Mia Love just 12 of the 246 Republicans in the House majority are minorities. In the Senate, percentages are slightly better for Republicans. There are four Republican senators who are racial minorities and 3 Democrats who are racial minorities.
Among specific minorities, there is one Asian Senate Democrat and 10 Asian House Democrats. There are no Asian Republican lawmakers in the House or Senate in the 114th Congress.
There are also two members who identify as Native Americans in the House, both Republican. There are none in the Senate.
Chart: Christine Frapech.
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