Republicans Introduce 253 Bills To Restrict Voting Rights In States Across The Us
Republican lawmakers in 43 states have introduced a total of 253 bills aimed at restricting access to the ballot box for tens of millions of people. Republican-controlled states, including Southern states that employed lynch law terror to block African Americans from voting during the decades-long period of Jim Crow segregation, are flooding their legislatures with measures to effectively disenfranchise working class, poor and minority voters.
The laws largely focus on tightening voter ID requirements, purging voter rolls and restricting absentee and mail-in ballots.
In the United States, state governments have the authority to oversee elections and determine election procedures and rules, including for national elections. Within each state, individual counties have a great deal of latitude in the conduct of elections.
Republicans control both the lower and upper legislative houses in 36 of the 50 states, and both the legislatures and governorships in 23 states, making it very possible for far-reaching barriers to the ballot box to be imposed across much of the country.
Despite opening the door for a return to restrictive and discriminatory voting practices, the 2013 ruling met with little resistance on the part of the Democratic Party. Neither the Obama White House nor the congressional Democrats mounted any serious effort to reverse the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act by enacting new legislation in the years since the reactionary Shelby ruling.
Biden Administration: Here’s 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 administration’s agenda, calls to eliminate the filibuster will increase.
Democrats Take Control Of Senate With Twin Georgia Victories
Democrats will have a narrow control of the U.S. Senate. The chamber will be split 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris having a tiebreaking vote. Patrick Semansky/APhide caption
Democrats will have a narrow control of the U.S. Senate. The chamber will be split 50-50, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris having a tiebreaking vote.
Democrats took exceedingly narrow control of the Senate on Wednesday after winning both runoff elections in Georgia, granting them control of Congress and the White House for the first time since 2011.
Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue, according to The Associated Press, making him the youngest member of the U.S. Senate and the first Jewish senator from Georgia. Earlier Raphael Warnock, a pastor from Atlanta, defeated GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler after a bitter campaign. Warnock becomes the first Black Democrat elected to the Senate from a Southern state.
The Senate will now be split 50-50 between the two parties, giving Vice President-elect Kamala Harris the tiebreaking vote.
Ossoff had a narrow lead Wednesday morning when he declared victory.
âIt is with humility that I thank the people of Georgia for electing me to serve you in the United States Senate,â he said.
Perdue has not conceded.
Impact on Biden agenda
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Changes To House Rules
After Democrats took control of the House in the 116th Congress, they voted to change some rules from the previous session of Congress when Republicans were in control. Some of the changes appear below.
- PAYGO: Democrats approved PAYGO, a provision that requires legislation that would increase the deficit to be offset by spending cuts or revenue increases.
- Ethics: Democrats made changes to House ethics rules that required all House members to take ethics training, not just new members. The rules also required members to reimburse taxpayers for settlements that that result from a members discrimination of someone based on race, religion, sex, national origin, or disability, among other things. Lawmakers were also prohibited from sitting on corporate boards.
- Climate change committee: Democrats created a new climate change committee to address the issue. The committee was not given subpoena power or the ability to bring bills to the floor.
A full explanation of the rules changes can be viewed here.
Voter Registration And State Political Control
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The state Democratic or Republican Party controls the governorship, the state legislative houses, and U.S. Senate representation. Nebraskas legislature is unicameral, i.e., it has only one legislative house and is officially non-partisan, though party affiliation still has an unofficial influence on the legislative process.
The simplest measure of party strength in a state voting population is the affiliation totals from voter registration for the 30 states and the District of Columbia as of 2019 that allow registered voters to indicate a party preference when registering to vote. 20 states do not include party preference with voter registration: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The party affiliations in the party control table are obtained from state party registration figures where indicated. Only Wyoming has a majority of registered voters identifying themselves as Republicans; two states have a majority of registered voters identifying themselves as Democrats: and Kentucky .
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The Prospect Of Ditching The Filibuster
In theory, Senate Democrats could change the cloture ruleand, with it, the need for 60 votes. They could, in other words, kill the filibuster.
There are two ways that Democrats could do that. The first is by holding a vote to change the Senates standing rules. The only problem is that a vote to change the rules requires a two-thirds majority. So, as has happened many times in the past, Senators can simply filibuster the attempt to eliminate the filibuster.
The second way to kill the filibuster is known as the nuclear option. That would mean that Senate Democrats vote to establish a new precedent in the chamber, which can require only a simple majority: the 50 Democrats plus Harris. The nuclear option has been employed twice in the past decadeonce in 2013 by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and then once in 2017 by McConnellto make it easier to confirm executive and judicial nominations.
In recent months, Democrats have been clamoring to eliminate the filibuster. Former President Barack Obama called it a Jim Crow relic and President-elect Biden said hed consider eliminating it, depending on how obstreperous become. But Democrats are hardly in lock step over the issue. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia has has said he will not support such a vote.
Balance Of Power: 2022 Senate Races
If Democrats want to win the Senate again, they need to win the four competitive seats they currently hold Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire. That or augment any loss with a gain in any of their three competitive targets Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, or North Carolina.
This Senate preview still holds up, but the shorter version is Democrats are easily favored in Arizona, Georgia, and Nevada. They should also win New Hampshire if Chris Sununu doesnt run .
The thing is, theyre also favored to win in Pennsylvania, where they have a strong field of primary candidates and where Joe Biden won.
They have to be no worse than, and admittedly probably better than, a tossup in Wisconsin, where Republicans have candidate issues and Democrats have a strong likely nominee.
So even if New Hampshire goes Republican because of some local candidate factors, Democrats are in a good spot to win the Senate again.
That means if youre trying to make a bet, you can essentially box out two of four combinations where the GOP wins the Senate, and focus your attention on the two remaining options, if youre looking for the values.
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How Long Has The Senate Been Controlled By Republicans
Senators elected to regular terms in 2008 were in the last two years of those terms during this Congress. The Senate had a Democratic majority, while the House had a Republican majority. As of 2019, this is the last Congress in which Democrats controlled the Senate.
Secondly, which party controlled the Senate before elections? Republicans, having won a majority of seats in the Senate in 2014, held the Senate majority with 54 seats before this election. Although Democrats made a net gain of two seats and did not lose any of their seats, Republicans retained control of the Senate for the 115th United States Congress.
Then, which party controls the Senate 2019?
|116th United States Congress|
|1st: January 3, 2019 January 3, 2020 2nd: January 3, 2020 present|
Which party has had control of Congress the most?
However, after the Democratic Party again won back control in the elections of 1954, it was the majority party in both houses of Congress for most of the next forty years.
What The Midterms Mean For President Obama And 2016
Only one in three voters in exit polls said the country was on the right track, and one in five said the government in Washington could never be trusted to do whats right. Two-thirds said the economic system is unfair.
The Republican swing fit a historical pattern: The last three two-term presidents Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush all served their last two years with the opposing party controlling both houses of Congress.
And the party controlling the White House has lost seats in the House in the midterm election every time but twice since World War II.
In the Senate, Democrat Mark Pryor of Arkansas was ousted by Rep. Tom Cotton, and Mark Udall of Colorado was bounced by Rep. Cory Gardner. Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan lost her seat to Thom Tillis.
Democrat Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire held off a furious challenge by ex-Sen. Scott Brown.
Republicans Joni Ernst in Iowa, Steve Daines in Montana, Mike Rounds in South Dakota and Shelley Moore Capito in West Virginia all captured seats held by retiring Democrats.
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Y Divisions Of United States Congresses
Party divisions of United States Congresses have played a central role in the organization and operations of both chambers of the United States Congressthe Senate and the House of Representativessince its establishment as the bicameral legislature of the Federal government of the United States in 1789. Political parties had not been anticipated when the U.S. Constitution was drafted in 1787, nor did they exist at the time the first Senate elections and House elections occurred in 1788 and 1789. Organized political parties developed in the U.S. in the 1790s, but political factionsfrom which organized parties evolvedbegan to appear almost immediately after the 1st Congress convened. Those who supported the Washington administration were referred to as “pro-administration” and would eventually form the Federalist Party, while those in opposition joined the emerging Democratic-Republican Party.
Gubernatorial And Legislative Party Control Of State Government
- Top 10 Closest Primaries: January to June 2020
- Wave elections
Gubernatorial and legislative party control of state government refers to the role of political parties in the power dynamic between state legislatures and executives. Below, we examine the partisan affiliation of the 1,972 state senators, 5,411 state representatives, and 50 state governors across the United States.
Partisan breakdown of state governments
Below, Ballotpedia presents our information on the partisan breakdown of state senators, state representatives, and governors as well as the state legislature and state executive branch as a whole. We also examine state government trifectas, which occur when the state house, the state senate, and the office of the governor are each controlled by one political party. Trifectas are important to highlight since unified partisan affiliation between the branches of state government can impact a states legislative process.
The following maps display current state government trifectas as well as historical trifectas leading up to the 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 elections. Use the buttons below to select a map.
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Democrats Managed To Hold Onto Nevada But Only Picked Up One Seat From Republicans
- Nevada, a Democratic open-seat contest where Rep. Joe Heck ran against former state Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto was called in Cortez Mastos favor. Prior to the release of the 2005 tape where Trump bragged about sexual assault, Heck had led Cortez Masto in the polls, but after Heck renounced his support for Trump , Cortez Masto was able to earn enough votes to allow Democrats to hang onto Nevada.
- Illinois, where Kirk lost the seat to Duckworth, tipped to Democrats. Throughout the Illinois race, Duckworth led Kirk in the polls, but only in recent weeks did her lead break double digits. Duckworths victory gave Democrats one of five seats they needed to pick up to regain control in the Senate.
The General Assembly of North Carolina is the state legislature of North Carolina. The General Assembly is a bicameral legislature, consisting of the North Carolina House of Representatives and the North Carolina State Senate. The House has 120 members, while the Senate has 50.
The General Assembly is referred to as both the North Carolina General Assembly and the General Assembly of North Carolina, with no official precedent. Both names are used throughout the North Carolina General Statutes. Article II Section 21 of the North Carolina Constitution states that acts must use the phrase âthe General Assembly of North Carolina enacts.â
Opinionhow Can Democrats Fight The Gop Power Grab On Congressional Seats You Wont Like It
Facing mounting pressure from within the party, Senate Democrats finally hinted Tuesday that an emboldened Schumer may bring the For the People Act back for a second attempt at passage. But with no hope of GOP support for any voting or redistricting reforms and Republicans Senate numbers strong enough to require any vote to cross the 60-vote filibuster threshold, Schumers effort will almost certainly fail.
Senate Democrats are running out of time to protect Americas blue cities, and the cost of inaction could be a permanent Democratic minority in the House. Without resorting to nuclear filibuster reform tactics, Biden, Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be presiding over a devastating loss of Democrats most reliable electoral fortresses.
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Democrats Officially Control The Senate After Final Members Are Sworn In
Kamala Harris will break any ties amid a 50-50 split.
01/20/2021 06:26 PM EST
Democrats are now officially in charge of the Senate, capping the best day for the party in 12 years.
Chuck Schumer became majority leader late Wednesday afternoon, following the swearing in of Democratic Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock of Georgia and Alex Padilla of California by Vice President Kamala Harris.
The Senate “will turn to Democratic control under the first New York-born majority leader in American history, a kid from Brooklyn, the son of an exterminator and a housewife, descendents of victims of the Holocaust,” Schumer said in his maiden speech as majority leader. “That I should be leader of this new Senate majority is an awesome responsibility.”
Schumer, who was minority leader for four years, will be also be the first Jewish majority leader. And Ossoff and Warnock are the first Jewish and Black senators, respectively, to represent Georgia, which hasnt sent a Democrat to the Senate in 20 years. Meanwhile, Padilla, who will replace Harris in the Senate, is the first Latino to represent California in the upper chamber.
Ossoff was accompanied by Sen. Cory Booker , Padilla by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Warnock by Sen. Tim Kaine .
Wednesday marked the first time in six years that Democrats have held the Senate majority and cemented full Democratic control of Washington for the first time in a decade.
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Visual Guide: The Balance Of Power Between Congress And The Presidency
Which party controls Congress? Which, the White House? The answer reveals the balance of power in the two branches of government that have elected officials .
Americans seem to prefer that the checks-and-balances envisioned by the founders be facilitated by having different parties control Congress and the White House.
- Contrary to popular belief, most of the time Congress and the President are at odds; that is, most of the time the same political party does not control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.
- Congress has usually been controlled by the same party; with the odd man out being,;literally, the President. Only 16 times since 1945 have both branches of Congress and the Presidency been controlled by the same party; the Democrats have held this advantage more often than Republicans . However, it has happened four times since 2003, making this seem more common that it has been, historically . Prior to WWII, having House, Senate and White House controlled by the same party was the norm.
- Since 1945, the House and Senate have been controlled by different parties only six;times . The first three were under Reagan . The other three have been since the 2000 elections, which makes this seem more normal to us than it is, historically.;From 1901-1945, this happened only twice.
And there have been only two complete turn-overs of Congress since 1949: one in 1995 and the other in 2007.
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