TagU.S. Senate

Former U.S. Senators Enzi, Levin die

Two former U.S. Senators died during the past week.

Former U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) died on July 26 after a biking accident after being hospitalized following the accident on July 25. He was first elected to the Senate in 1996 and was re-elected in 2002, 2008, and 2014. Enzi did not run for re-election in 2020.

Before serving in the U.S. Senate, Enzi was the mayor of Gillette, Wyoming, and had been a member of both the Wyoming House of Representatives and the Wyoming State Senate. Before entering politics, he was a small business owner and accountant.

Former U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich) died on July 29. Levin served In the U.S. Congress from 1978 to his retirement in 2014. Before being elected to the Senate, Levin served on the Detroit City Council.

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Sen. Ron Johnson temporarily suspended from YouTube for violating platform’s medical misinformation policy

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) was suspended from YouTube for seven days on June 11, 2021, for promoting hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 during a virtual event hosted by the Milwaukee Press Club.

A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement, “We removed the video in accordance with our COVID-19 medical misinformation policies, which don’t allow content that encourages people to use Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus.”

Johnson responded: “Big Tech and mainstream media believe they are smarter than medical doctors who have devoted their lives to science and use their skills to save lives. They have decided there is only one medical viewpoint allowed and it is the viewpoint dictated by government agencies.”

Ballotpedia has tracked five federal and state officials suspended or banned from social media platforms while in office since 2019.



Val Demings announces she’s running for U.S. Senate from Florida

U.S. Rep. Val Demings (D) officially announced her candidacy for the U.S. Senate on June 9. Demings currently represents Florida’s 10th Congressional District. Marco Rubio (R) is Florida’s incumbent U.S. Senator who is up for election in 2022. He was first elected to the Senate in 2010.

Demings announced she was running in a three-minute video in which she discussed how her upbringing and experiences had given her “tireless faith that things can always get better.” Demings said in the video, “I have never tired of representing Florida. Not for one single moment.”

Before her time in Congress, Demings served as chief of police for Orlando, Florida. Demings first ran for Florida’s 10th Congressional District seat in 2012, losing to incumbent Daniel Webster (R), 51% to 48%. She didn’t run for the U.S. House in 2014 but ran again in 2016 to represent District 10 after Webster decided to run in the 11th District. Demings defeated Thuy Lowe (R), 65% to 35% in 2016. She was re-elected in 2018 and 2020.

Demings is the 12th member of the House of Representatives to announce they are retiring or seeking another office. Six of those are Democrats, and six are Republicans. Demings is one of four members who are seeking a seat in the U.S. Senate.

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Comparing 2020 presidential and senatorial vote share by party

Image of donkey and elephant to symbolize the Democratic and Republican parties.

Ballotpedia compared the performance of Joe Biden (D) and Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 presidential election to Democratic and Republican Senate candidates in each state.

Thirty-five U.S. Senate elections were held in the general election. Biden outperformed Chris Janicek (D) in Nebraska, Sara Gideon (D) in Maine, and the cumulative vote total for Democratic Senate candidates in Louisiana by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 27.0%, 22.5%, and 15.8%, respectively.

Biden underperformed Steve Bullock (D) in Montana, Doug Jones (D) in Alabama, and Mike Espy (D) in Mississippi by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 10.7%, 8.0%, and 7.0%, respectively.

The following map shows the percentage difference between Biden and Democratic Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Biden overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Biden underperformed. 

Trump outperformed Allen Water (R) in Rhode Island, Bryant Messer (R) in New Hampshire, and Lauren Witzke (R) in Delaware, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 19.2%, 11.4%, and 7.5%, respectively.

Trump underperformed Susan Collins (R) in Maine, Mike Rounds (R) in South Dakota, and Ben Sasse (R) in Nebraska, by the largest margins with a percentage difference of 14.6%, 5.7%, and 4.7%, respectively.

The following map shows the percentage difference between Trump and Republican Senate candidates in all states that held Senate elections. Positive numbers indicate Trump overperformed. Negative numbers indicate Trump underperformed.

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U.S. Senate approves resolution to reverse Trump-era rule about how banking laws apply to certain loans

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on May 11 to block a rule made by the U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in Oct. 2020. 

The final vote was 52-47, with three Republicans, Susan Collins (Maine), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), and Marco Rubio (Fla.), voting in favor of the resolution. 47 Democrats and the two independent senators, Angus King (Maine) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.), voted in favor of the resolution. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) did not vote.

The rule, published in the _Federal Register_ on October 30, 2020, aims to clarify when banks are the true lender in situations where banks provide the money for third-party organizations to extend credit to borrowers.

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the OCC rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the more than 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

The OCC rule went into effect on Dec. 29, 2020. According to the _Congressional Record_, Congress has 60 days from Feb. 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after Aug. 21, 2020, fall within the CRA lookback window.

U.S. Representative Jesús “Chuy” García (D-Ill.) introduced a companion resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 26, 2021. 

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act (CRA), see here:

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Link to the U.S. Senate Resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/15

Link to the OCC rule:

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/10/30/2020-24134/national-banks-and-federal-savings-associations-as-lenders



U.S. Senate approves resolution to reverse Trump-era methane rule and restore standards set by Obama administration

The U.S. Senate passed a resolution under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on April 28 to block a rule made by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Sept. 2020. 

The final vote was 52-42, with three Republicans, Susan Collins (Maine), Lindsay Graham (S.C.), and Rob Portman (Ohio), voting in favor of the resolution. 49 Democrats voted in favor of the resolution. The following 6 senators did not vote: Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.). 

The Congressional Review Act gives Congress a chance to review and reject any new regulatory rules created by federal administrative agencies. Both houses of Congress have to pass a resolution disapproving the EPA rule and President Biden would then have to sign that resolution into law to block the rule. Since the law’s creation in 1996, Congress has used the CRA to repeal 17 out of the more than 90,767 rules published in the Federal Register during that time.

The EPA rule went into effect on Sept. 14, 2020. According to the _Congressional Record_, Congress has 60 days from Feb. 3, 2021, to use the CRA to block regulatory activity taken near the end of the Trump administration. Rules published by the Trump administration after Aug. 21, 2020 fall within the CRA lookback window.

U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) introduced a companion resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 26, 2021. 

To learn more about the Congressional Review Act (CRA), see here: https://ballotpedia.org/Congressional_Review_Act

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Link to the U.S. Senate Resolution:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-joint-resolution/14?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22heinrich+S.j.%22%5D%7D&s=1&r=1



Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) will not seek re-election in 2022

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) announced on March 8 that he would not run for re-election in 2022. First elected to the Senate in 2010, Blunt is the top Republican on the Committee on Rules and Administration and one of 20 members of Congress to sit on the Select Committee on Intelligence. He was last elected in 2016, defeating challenger Jason Kander (D), 49% to 46%.

Blunt is the fifth U.S. Senator to announce that he would not run for re-election in 2022, joining Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Pat Toomey (R-Penn.), and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.). Four U.S. Senators did not run for re-election in 2020—three Republicans and one Democrat. Three Republican U.S. Senators did not run for re-election in 2018.

Thirty-four U.S. Senate seats will be up for election next year. Republicans currently hold 20 of those seats, and Democrats hold 14.

The Senate is split 50-50, with 50 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and two independents who caucus with Democrats. Vice President Kamala Harris (D) has the tie-breaking vote, giving Democrats effective control of the chamber.

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Former Sen. David Perdue (Geo.) will not run for U.S. Senate in 2022

Former Sen. David Perdue (R), who lost to Jon Ossoff (D) in the January runoff election for Senate in Georgia, announced he will not run for the state’s other Senate seat in 2022. Raphael Warnock (D), who defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler (R) in the special runoff election in January, currently holds the seat. 

Georgia is one of eight 2022 Senate states that none of three independent race raters consider to be safely Democratic or Republican. Thirty-four seats are up for election next year. Georgia’s seat is one of four that flipped the last time these seats were up for election. 

Warnock defeated Loeffler by 2.1 percentage points in January. Prior to the runoff, 20 candidates were on the special November election ballot. Warnock received 33% of the vote to Loeffler’s 26%. Doug Collins (R) placed third with 20% of the vote. The six Republican candidates combined received 49.4% of the vote to the eight Democratic candidates’ combined 48.4% in the November election. 

Both Loeffler and Collins are considering running for Senate again in 2022.

Other potential battlegrounds in 2022 are Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Republicans and Democrats each currently hold four battleground seats. In Pennsylvania and North Carolina, Republican incumbents are not seeking re-election. Along with Georgia’s Senate seat, Democrats flipped New Hampshire’s and Nevada’s seats the last time they were up for election.

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Senate expected to confirm at least two Biden Cabinet nominees this week

Senate confirmation votes are expected this week for two of President Joe Biden’s (D) Cabinet nominees: Tom Vilsack for secretary of agriculture on Feb. 23 and Linda Thomas-Greenfield for ambassador to the United Nations by Feb. 24.

Vilsack previously served as the secretary of agriculture for eight years in the Obama administration. He was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in 2009.

Thomas-Greenfield is a veteran diplomat who served in the U.S. Foreign Service for three decades. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee advanced her nomination by a vote of 18-4.

Seven members Biden’s 23 member Cabinet have been confirmed:

  • Tony Blinken, secretary of state
  • Janet Yellen, secretary of the Treasury
  • Lloyd Austin, secretary of defense
  • Pete Buttigieg, secretary of transportation
  • Alejandro Mayorkas, secretary of homeland security
  • Denis McDonough, secretary of veterans affairs
  • Avril Haines, director of national intelligence

The following chart compares the pace of Senate confirmations for the main Cabinet members—the 15 agency heads in the presidential line of succession—following the inaugurations of President Donald Trump (R) and Biden. It does not include Cabinet-rank officials that vary by administration.

Nearly five weeks after their respective inaugurations, nine of Trump’s secretaries had been confirmed compared to six for Biden.



Analyzing partisan splits in states holding U.S. Senate elections in 2022

Thirty-four Senate seats are up for election on November 8, 2022. Republicans currently hold 20 and Democrats hold 14. 

For seats up for election next year, we look at party differences between the current Senate incumbent and their state’s other senator, their state’s governor, and their state’s 2020 presidential winner.

Split Senate delegations

Seven states have senators from different parties in the 117th Senate: Maine, Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. This is the fewest number of states with split Senate delegations in history, according to Eric Ostermeier of the University of Minnesota.

Four of the seven states with split delegations in 2021 have Senate seats up for election in 2022. Vermont has one Democratic senator and one independent senator who caucuses with Democrats, so three states with seats up for election have senators in different caucuses: Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. In all three, the seats up for election in 2022 are currently held by Republicans.

Senator’s vs. governor’s party

Eleven seats up for election are currently held by a senator of a different party than the state’s governor. Six seats held by Republican senators in states with Democratic governors are up. Five seats held by Democratic senators in states with Republican governors are up.

States won by presidential candidate of a different party

Democrats are not defending any Senate seats in states Donald Trump won in the 2020 presidential election. Republicans are defending two Senate seats in states Joe Biden won: Pennsylvania (held by Sen. Pat Toomey) and Wisconsin (held by Sen. Ron Johnson).

• In Pennsylvania, Biden defeated Trump (R) 50.0%-48.8%.

• In Wisconsin, Biden defeated Trump 49.5%-48.8%.

For additional information on the 2022 Senate elections, including outside race ratings and a full list of seats up for election, click below.

https://ballotpedia.org/United_States_Senate_elections,_2022

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