US Senate

  • The Balance of Power in 2021 Rests with Two Senators

    by Michael Landis

    The actions of pro-slavery northern "doughfaces" in Congress, led by Stephen Douglas of Illinois, helped to protect the expansion of slavery even as a national majority grew to oppose it. Today, Joe Manchin and Jon Tester will have to consider home state elections, their own conservative tendencies, and the fate of the Biden administration's policy agenda and act accordingly.

  • If Senators Won’t Kill the Filibuster, They Should at Least Sweat for It

    by Elie Mystal

    The Nation's law and politics columnist Elie Mystal examines the changes in Senate rules that have made the filibuster a low-effort, low-cost, and high-frequency event since the 1970s. Democrats can get more freedom to legislate without abolishing the filibuster if they change the rules. 

  • All the Lies They Told Us About the Filibuster

    Columnist Jonathan Chait considers the politics of the Senate filibuster and Adam Jentleson's new book "Kill Switch," concluding that much of the mythology of the filibuster as a check on knee-jerk legislation is bogus. 

  • Make the Filibuster Difficult Again

    by Burt Neuborne and Erwin Chemerinsky

    Two law professors argue that there's no need to remove the Senate filibuster. Insisting that Senators actually talk through the filibuster and that no other Senate business could be conducted during one would return to Senate rules that made the filibuster rare, rather than a routine procedure. 

  • Democrats are getting Chuck Grassleyed

    The Senate negotiations over the Affordable Care Act and the 2009 Recovery Act are not ancient history. It remains to be seen if Senate Democrats can learn from them. 

  • American Democracy Was Never Supposed to Work

    by Richard Kreitner

    "Merely ousting Trump is not enough without addressing more fundamental weaknesses in our political system, especially an outdated Constitution that continues to serve a minority of wealthy and white citizens and to curb any movements that might threaten their wealth and power."