Exclusive — Empirical Vote Data Shows Democrats Still Control US Senate, Harry Reid’s Office Rejoices

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP

Senate Democrats still control the U.S. Senate, election results last November aside, an analysis of all the votes taken since Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took over as Majority Leader shows.

In fact, with two minor exceptions, every single vote that has passed the U.S. Senate since the beginning of this Congress in January has passed with at least—usually more than—93 percent of support from Democrats.

“While Republicans have done nothing to create jobs and help the middle class, on other topics like passing clean funding for Homeland Security and confirming Loretta Lynch, Senator McConnell has done the right thing by bringing bills and nominations to the floor that Democrats can support,” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman Adam Jentleson told Breitbart News. “Democrats hope this trend will continue.”

Since January, according to the U.S. Senate vote count website, there have been 10 nominations confirmed. Each one has seen unanimous support from Democrats who voted, but varying levels of Republican support.

Seven nominations—George C. Hanks, Jr., to be a U.S. district Judge for the Southern District of Texas, Alfred H. Bennett to be a U.S. district Judge for the Southern District of Texas, William P. Doyle to be a Federal Maritime Commissioner, Carlos A. Monje, Jr., to be Assistant Transportation Secretary, Christopher A. Hart to be National Transportation Safety Board chairman, Daniel Henry Marti to be Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and Michael P. Botticelli to be Director of National Drug Control Policy—passed the Senate unanimously. That means all senators who voted on the nominations voted in favor, with no GOP opposition.

On the nomination of Russell C. Deyo to be Under Secretary for Management for the Department of Homeland Security, only two Republicans voted against it: Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and David Vitter (R-LA). On Ash Carter’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense, just five Republicans—Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Jim Risch (R-ID)—voted no.

The nomination of Loretta Lynch to be Attorney General, replacing Eric Holder—the most recent confirmation, passing on Thursday afternoon—saw all Democrats vote in favor joined by 10 Republicans. They are: McConnell and Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Rob Portman (R-OH).

McConnell broke a pre-election promise that no attorney general nominee would be considered in his Senate if that nominee supported Obama’s executive amnesty, something that Lynch testified she supports.

In addition to those nominations that all passed with unanimous support from Reid’s Democratic conference in 2015, there have been eight pieces of legislation that passed the U.S. Senate so far this Congress—almost all with unanimous Democratic Party support.

The first bill to pass in 2015, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015, passed the U.S. Senate 93-4. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—an independent who caucuses with Democrats—were the only Democrats to vote against it. The only other vote against was from Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Republican who’s currently seeking the GOP nomination for the presidency but at the time was still mulling a run. Since two of the three senators not voting were Democrats—Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Reid himself—that means that 41 Democrats voted for it. This was the worst vote for Democrats all Congress, with a whopping 93 percent of their conference that voted on the bill voting for it and just 7 percent voting against it.

Of the other seven pieces of legislation that passed the U.S. Senate so far this Congress, three—a Veterans Affairs bill dealing with mental health of veterans, an anti-child pornography bill, and the recent anti-human trafficking bill that paved the way for Lynch’s nomination vote—passed unanimously with no opposition from Republicans or Democrats. A fourth, the so-called “doc fix” which raised the national debt by nearly $200 billion without offsetting cuts to pay doctors who accept Medicare more, passed with unanimous Democratic support and only eight Republicans voting against it. Those eight Republicans were: Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Richard Shelby (R-AL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Lee (R-UT), David Perdue (R-GA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ben Sasse (R-NE), and Tim Scott (R-SC).

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) bill that funds President Obama’s executive amnesty despite pre-election promises from Republicans they would do no such thing—the other bill that passed thanks to Democratic support—saw no Democrats vote against it. Only Republicans—31 of them—opposed the measure to fund Obama’s amnesty, and McConnell got it passed with a coalition of 45 Democrats and 23 Republicans.

There are only two measures—both bills—which passed the U.S. Senate this Congress without the at least 93 percent but usually unanimous support from Democrats: a bill blocking Obama’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ambush elections rule and a bill that would have approved the Keystone XL pipeline. The NLRB vote passed on purely partisan lines, with 53 Republicans voting for it and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) actually joining all 45 Democrats voting to oppose it.

The Keystone pipeline bill saw all Republicans who were voting—Rubio didn’t vote—vote in favor, joined by 9 Democrats: Sens. Mark Bennet (D-CO), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (R-PA), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-SD), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Jon Tester (D-MT).

It’s worth noting that President Obama vetoed both the NLRB bill and the Keystone bill. While Republicans tried to override Obama’s Keystone veto, they failed.

What’s perhaps most interesting about all this data is that there are 54—a majority—Republicans in the U.S. Senate and just 46 Democrats. The GOP majority is because of the midterm elections last November, which saw a nine-seat swing in favor of Republicans—one of the biggest in history. But it’s quite clear from the empirical data that nothing has changed, and Reid’s office is clearly quite happy about it. It’s as if he’s still the Senate Majority Leader.

McConnell on the other hand is getting beat all over the place. Whether it’s by choice or by accident, either way he currently has no defense for his failures as a leader. Offered the opportunity to comment on this story before publication, McConnell’s office did not respond by press time.


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