Will the Democrats Truly Have Control of the 50-50 Senate?
Democrats prevailed in both Georgia Senate runoff elections this week. Once those election results are certified, there will be 50 Senators caucusing with each party in the Senate (as two independents—Sens. Sanders and King—caucus with the Democrats). This has happened before—most recently in 2001—but it is quite unusual.
The general presumption is that a 50-50 Senate will give Democrats effective control of the Senate once Kamala Harris is sworn in as Vice President on January 20. Under Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, the Vice President serves as President of the Senate, with the authority to cast the tie-breaking vote when the Senate is “equally divided.”
Vice President Harris will certainly be able to cast the deciding vote when the Senate splits along party lines, but will the Democrats actually have control of the Senate? As it turns out, that is a bit more complicated.
50 1 is greater than 50, but it’s not quite the same as 51-49 split. Numerically, there is less margin for error, and operationally it can be difficult to maintain control. When Vice President Harris is present, the Democrats will have a majority, but she will not always be present. (She will have a day job to attend to, even when not attending the funerals of foreign dignitaries.) And, as a practical matter, the 50-50 split creates a real possibility that Republicans could have a temporary majority of those physically present at any given point, with the opportunity to create mischief, including as
Article from Latest – Reason.com