2021 is gonna be complicated from the start


Mitch McConnell’s plans go boom.

Our pals over at Electoral-Vote have a great, insider-baseball-y, the-process-is-important post up:

The Senate Will Be Plunged into Uncertainty for Weeks Next Year

We’ve talked before about how the calendar could be our friend (and the rules of succession), and this article tells us how the Senate Rules could grind to a complete stop, too:

Normally, the first thing a new Senate does is approve an organizing resolution, which specifies how many Democrats and how many Republicans are on each committee and who is the chair. Since it is not yet known which party will control the chamber—and that might not be known until mid-January—the Senate will be paralyzed for weeks. In practice, that means the committees will stay in their current form way beyond Jan. 3. This creates a problem, because three of the chairmen are retiring from the Senate. Consequently, those committees (Agriculture, Budget, and HELP) cannot meet or function in any way.

…and that means Cabinet nominees in these areas might be delayed; but it also means that other nominees cannot go before the full Senate:

…Early approval is especially important for national security positions. In an extreme example, if the United States is attacked at noon on Jan. 20 the new president might decide to respond with nuclear weapons. In that case, the military officer holding the nuclear football would unquestionably hand it to the new president, who would open it to get the nuclear codes. He would then issue the attack order to the secretary of defense, who would then relay the order to the Joint Chiefs. But what if there is no secretary of defense? Ooops.

But wait! There’s more!

To make things more complicated, the Republicans have a rule that rotates chairs/ranking members every 6 years. Nine committees will get a new top Republican next year, which will set off a game of musical chairs. For example, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will leave the Finance Committee to take over the top Republican slot at the Judiciary Committee, displacing Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), who will take over for the retiring Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) on the Budget Committee. None of that can even begin until there is an organizing resolution. There are also implications for which staffers go where. In short, things could be chaotic until the Georgia runoffs are settled.

Things to think about as Georgeduh Senate will no-doubt go into recounts and litigation. It’s not just the usual dick-waving from Republicans, there are real-world implications if the Senate cannot come to order to approve nominees, or legislation.

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4 Responses to 2021 is gonna be complicated from the start

  1. sos says:

    Also, too:
    FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Will Step Down on January 20
    Good riddance to bad garbage.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. THEY DON’T CARE if the US grinds to a halt or no nominees get approved.

    They’ll just blame the Dims and half the fucking country will believe them outright, and half of the other half will intone on and on about how turrible the “Partisanship” is and really, DIms, tire rims, anthrax and barbed wire is a perfectly cromulent dinner idea and why don’t we just *try it in the interest of comity Tip-n-Ronnie style…*

    Because Republicans are always sui generis and it is up to the Democrats in Disarray to compromise ever onward to the Right.

    It’s like they’ve decided that the Indianapolis Speedway is the perfect metaphor for this country: nothing but right turns…and you never actually get anywhere…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dennis Cole says:

      BDR – the Indy 500 metaphor is an apt one, except that the cars are going widdershins, which means they’re always turning left because they’re forced to, but they never arrive at a Librul OR a progressive location.

      They constantly end up in the pits.


  3. Pingback: The Senate Will Get Complicated | personnelente

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