May 23, 2022

Democrats lost voting majority in the Senate: Here’s why that matters

Sen. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) suffered a stroke and underwent brain surgery which has him currently recovering in a hospital in Albuquerque where he will remain for some time. 

According to PJ Media, that stay could extend to up to six weeks, according to current projections, which allows Republicans to have the voting majority in the Senate.

The Senate, which is frequently referred to as a 50/50 split was only TECHNICALLY a majority for Democrats since Republicans held more seats. 

Currently, there are 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and two Independents who caucus with Democrats. So, because it’s an even number, the majority went to the party who was in control of the White House, in order for business to move forward with the administration’s agenda. 

Lujan’s sidelining medical condition makes the Democratic majority a majority no longer, since there are now (able to vote) 50 Republicans, 47 Democrats and two independents. 

According to analysis, and good old-fashioned math, a united GOP could block Democrats’ agenda without any recourse for Democrats. 

Up till now, Democrats have leaned on the ability of the vice president to break ties as their primary way of passing contentious legislation through the upper house of Congress. 

“This is actually a big deal. In addition to blocking the Democrats’ legislative agenda, Luján’s absence could potentially impact Joe Biden’s Supreme Court nomination,” PJ Media pointed out. 

The president plans to nominate a Supreme Court candidate by the end of the current month, and the average for a nomination to move through the Senate is around two months. The Senate Majority Leader has promised to attempt to get that done in one month, so if Lujan’s return to the U.S. Senate is delayed in any way, it could change the timeline or the outcome of Biden’s Supreme Court nomination.

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