TagU.S. Senate

So far this year, 19 members of Congress have announced their retirement, on par with recent odd-numbered years

So far this year, nineteen members of Congress have announced they will not run for re-election in 2022, in line with the average number in other recent odd-numbered years.

The 19 members who have said so far they will not seek re-election include three members of the U.S. Senate and sixteen members of the U.S. House. All three senators and eight of the 16 House members are Republicans and the other eight House members are Democrats. This figure does not include two Republican senators who announced their upcoming retirements before this year.

Ten of the U.S. House members are running for other public office, including seven who are running for the U.S. Senate, two running for governor, and one running for secretary of state. The remaining members are retiring from public office.

Seventeen members of Congress had announced retirements at the end of August 2013 and August 2017. Eighteen members had announced retirements at the end of August 2015 and August 2019. At the end of August 2011, the last Congressional election cycle to take place during ongoing redistricting, 27 members had announced retirements.

March and November are the months with the most congressional retirement announcements in recent odd-numbered years. Since 2011, there have been a total of 24 retirement announcements across odd-numbered years in both months (this includes retirements from March 2021).

When both odd- and even-numbered years are included, January leads in Congressional retirement announcements. Since 2011, 46 members of Congress have announced their retirements in January. June had the fewest retirement announcements during the same period with 10.

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Reps. Billy Long, Conor Lamb announce they will run for Senate next year

U.S. Representatives Conor Lamb (D-Penn.) and Billy Long (R-Mo.) both announced last week that they would run for the U.S. Senate in 2022. Lamb will run for the seat currently held by Sen. Pat Toomey (R). Long will run for the seat currently held by Sen. Roy Blunt (R). Toomey and Blunt are both retiring.

Lamb was first elected in a special election in 2018 and was last re-elected with 51% of the vote to Republican challenger Sean Parnell’s 49%. Long was first elected to the House in 2010 and most recently won re-election with 69% of the vote to Democratic challenger Teresa Montseny’s 27%.

Long and Lamb are the fourteenth and fifteenth members of the House to announce that they will not run for re-election next year. The 15 members of the House who are not running include eight Republicans and seven Democrats. Five members of the U.S. Senate, all Republicans, have announced they will not run for re-election.

Thirty-six members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election in 2020—26 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one Libertarian. In 2018, 52 members of the U.S. House did not run for re-election, including 34 Republicans and 18 Democrats.

All 435 U.S. House seats will be up for election next year. Democrats currently have a 220-212 majority with three vacant seats.

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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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