Author Topic: Senate Bills - How many votes to pass?  (Read 5446 times)

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Offline centexan

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Senate Bills - How many votes to pass?
« on: June 27, 2009, 08:41:13 pm »
I'm now officially confused on something I always took for granted.  For a bill to pass in the U.S. senate, it needs a simple majority, right?  Maybe something's changed this session, I don't know, but I found 3 takes on the voting issue:

From the senate.gov website.  Things like run-of-the-mill votes take a simple 50% + 1:

All questions are to be decided on the Senate floor by simple majority vote unless a constitutional provision or Senate rule or precedent provides otherwise. A simple majority vote is defined as at least 50% plus one of the Senators voting, provided that a quorum is present.
The Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the Senate to:

• expel a Senator,
• override a presidential veto,
• adopt a proposed constitutional amendment,
• convict upon impeachment,
• give the Senate’s advice and consent to ratification of a treaty,
• determine that a president remains disabled, and
• remove political disabilities (now obsolete)

http://www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid=%26%2A2D4QLO9%0A

But then there's this, from WikiAnswers.com:

Q - How many votes are needed to pass a bill in the senate?
A - The Senate needs to have a 2/3 vote to pass a bill

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_many_votes_are_needed_to_pass_a_bill_in_the_senate

And then there's Senator Inhofe's comment on the coming Cap and Trade vote in the senate.  He says:

“It will pass in the House, in the Senate it will not pass,” Inhofe continued. “And her latest vote and she won’t admit this, but it’s 34 votes and it takes 60 votes in the Senate. Maybe the people who wrote our constitution knew what they were talking about.”

So the senate rules seem to say 50% + 1, Wikianswers says 2/3rd's, and Inhofe says...what?  It takes 60 votes to pass?  My question is how many votes would it take to pass a bill like the Cap and Trade thing in the senate?  It's still 50% + 1, right?

Offline SeasOfEuropa

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Re: Senate Bills - How many votes to pass?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 09:36:27 pm »
Majority vote to pass, 60 for a fillibuster, and 2/3rds to override a veto

Offline centexan

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Re: Senate Bills - How many votes to pass?
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2009, 08:04:57 pm »
Yeah, thanks.  I figured I would've heard about a change THAT drastic.

I guess Inhofe is gearing up for a filibuster and was talking about the vote needed to override that.

As far as wikianswers...I find that "answer" pretty disturbing.  Say you were starting to get fired up to call your senator and then saw that on WikiAnswers.  Maybe you'd think "Oh, they'll never get 2/3rd's to pass that piece of trash" and just forget about it.  Yet another reason to never, ever trust the Wiki people.