Schumer, McConnell working out how to handle 50-50 Senate, but Democrats have most control

 Schumer, McConnell working out how to handle 50-50 Senate, but Democrats have most control

Adam Jentleson, former deputy chief of staff to Harry Reid and procedure guru tweeted: “it’s fine. If Dems control the floor and gavels, and ties in committees advance bills or nominations to the floor, those are the powers that come with majority control.” It’s inconceivable that Schumer gives that away, and it would go against the 2001 precedent. “The functional reality of the Senate will not be noticeably different under this than it’d be if Democrats had a bigger majority,” Jentleson continued. The two leaders, Schumer and McConnell, will hash out the organizing resolution that determines all this. It will require 60 votes to pass and could be subject to filibuster if someone really wants to raise hell—presumably Rand Paul or Ted Cruz.

There are other outstanding questions about things like subpoena power, but those things will be determined by the committees and the power-sharing agreements worked out by them, which can also change as the committee moves along depending on how much the committee chair wants it. At Judiciary in the past couple of years, Sen. Lindsey Graham was happy to ignore committee rules or change them on the fly to shove through Trump nominees.

There will be complications because Republicans are awful, and Mitch McConnell. The even split gives the so-called moderates—Democrat Joe Manchin and Republicans Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins—outsized power. There is, however, always the threat that Democrats will get so frustrated with obstruction that even Manchin will get to the point of nuking the last vestiges of the filibuster. Both Schumer and McConnell are going to be counting on 100% loyalty among their members, and they’re going to be counting on 100% attendance to succeed with their agendas, and neither can probably expect it. But as it stands now, the arrangement shaping up between the leaders is standard and not yet anything to get worked up over.

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