Politics

Nearly 100 Measures Passed By Congress Were Enacted In 2017

Congress passed 97 measures that made it into law in 2017, less than the 115 that passed in 2015.

Dr. Robert Browning, Executive Director of the C-SPAN Archives, calculated the end of the year congressional statistics that determined that number.

Although Republicans hold both the House and the Senate, the slim margin of votes between both parties in the upper chamber have made it difficult for any legislation passed by House Republicans to pass the Senate.

The Senate GOP falls  short of a 60-vote majority to end debate on legislation. Therefore, Republicans either need Democratic support to begin passage or measures must adhere to certain parliamentary rules so a 60-vote majority to end debate is not required before a final simple majority vote.

Additionally, President Trump, according to Dr. Browning, issued fewer nominations to the Senate and the upper chamber approved fewer nominees than prior first term presidents.

Trump had 58 percent of his nominees confirmed while George H.W. Bush in 1989 had 84 percent approved. The 1993 Senate gave Bill Clinton 67 percent of his nominees and George W. Bush, in 2001, received approval of  76 percent of his nominees. Finally, during President Barack Obama’s first year, 69 percent of his nominees were approved by the Senate.

The Senate returned the nomination of former New York Republican Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle to head up the Consumer Product Safety Commission to President Trump last week.

The rejection was one of almost 100 nominees the upper chamber made because of an objection by at least one member of the Senate. Buerkle was first nominated to the commission in 2013 by President Barack Obama to fill one of the two Republican posts on the panel.

Additionally, although the House was in session more days than the Senate, the number of hours both chambers were in session is on a continuous decline.

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