Senate rules

Leahy tears up committee rulebook after Graham pushes immigration vote
‘Tear them up,’ the Vermont Democrat says

Sen. Patrick Leahy tears up a copy of the Senate Judiciary Committee's rules of procedure as ranking member Dianne Feinstein and Chairman Lindsey Graham look on during a markup of the Secure and Protect Act of 2019 on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham pushed forward a committee vote Thursday on an immigration bill, despite protests from the panel’s Democrats that he was breaking the rules.

Here’s why the Senate went nuclear for district judge nominations
Senate Republicans cut debate limits on nominees from 30 hours to two

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says Senate Democrats are engaging in obstructionism, making rules changes necessary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate voted last week to change the body's debate rules and further speed up the confirmation of the president's picks for district court judges.

Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell cited what he called the Democrats’ “systematic obstruction” of the president's nominees as the reason for the change. Previously, district court nominees had taken a backseat as Senate Republicans pushed to get President Donald Trump’s circuit court picks through.

House and Senate building superintendents placed on administrative leave
The high ranking Architect of the Capitol employees are under investigation

The House and Senate building superintendents, who work under acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdron, picture here, have been put on leave, pending an investigation into inappropriate emails. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Two high ranking Architect of the Capitol employees charged with leading all operations of the House and Senate office buildings have been placed on administrative leave, an AOC spokesperson confirmed Thursday.

House Building Superintendent Bill Weidemeyer and Senate Building Superintendent Takis Tzamaras were placed on leave pending an investigation into inappropriate emails. Weidemeyer and Tzamaras both report to acting Architect of the Capitol Christine Merdon, who took the helm of the agency in late November 2018 after Stephen T. Ayers retired.

Ready to manage a world-famous building and grapple with a billion-dollar backlog? This job’s for you
Hunt for new Architect of the Capitol underway

The search for a new Architect of the Capitol is underway, led by executive search firm JDG Associates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Do you like historic buildings? Are you undaunted by the prospect of working with tenants who are also your bosses and can’t seem to agree on much of anything? 

Then this job is for you.

Capitol Ink | Senate Diner

Capitol-Ink-07-27-17

How Senate Republicans Will Likely Invoke the Nuclear Option
 

With 41 senators having announced they will vote against cloture on the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans will need to change Senate procedure in order to ensure the Colorado appeals court judge makes it to the high court. Here’s how the historic rules overhaul will likely go down when the cloture vote takes place — slated for this Thursday.

LBJ Civil Rights Gambit Set Stage for Modern Maneuver
Play shows how a key legislative move helped pass the Civil Right Act

Jack Willis as LBJ and Bowman Wright as Martin Luther King in "All the Way." (Photo courtesy of Arena Stage)

It was a moment in history, a moment when President Lyndon B. Johnson needed to get the Civil Rights Act of 1964 past a segregationist committee chairman and onto a more receptive Senate floor.  

The solution he came up within 1964 has become one of the most common maneuvers in the Senate chamber, invoking a rule that allows the majority leader to bypass committee consideration.  

Senate Seeks Bipartisanship in Rules Overhaul

Sen. Patty Murray, from left, Schumer and Reid after the Democratic policy luncheon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Charles E. Schumer is upbeat that the Senate's rules will be tweaked by the time he's expected to become Democratic leader in 2017 — regardless of which leadership job that becomes.  

But for any rules change plan to advance, the New York Democrat says it will have to be bipartisan and need a two-thirds vote. Both sides agree the "nuclear option" won't be used to implement adjustments in how the Senate takes up legislation.