Talk:110th United States Congress

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Specific members[edit]

Mark R. Warner[edit]

Mark R. Warner, Senator from Virginia, is a Democrat, not a Republican as was noted.

2600:1003:B003:F396:9503:156B:4825:EFE2 (talk) 11:35, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Lieberman's party[edit]

Lieberman's official party is really a bit unclear. First, he's not Independent. The party he ran on is 'Connecticut for Lieberman'. Second, he's still a member of the Democratic Party, which is a different position than Sanders, who is not. I think, for now, let's mark him as CfL, and see how it plays out.Simon12 16:10, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

I think we should just mark him down as an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. Also, I am not so sure that membership in a political party is what defines someone as an Independent or not in terms of holding office. Nor would I say that the campaign committee "Connecticut for Lieberman" can rightly be considered a political party as it is not registered as a political party but as a personal campaign committee. Every member of the Senate and House including Sanders had or has a personal campaign committee but we would not list "Friends of Sanders" or whatever he calls his committee as a political party. Let's stick with what we do know. That Lieberman did not run as a Democrat, or a Republican, or as a Libertarian, etc but ran under his own name and therefore that makes him an Independent. Edward Lalone 01:51, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
"Connecticut for Lieberman" was not (just) a campaign committee. It was the party he was listed on on the Connecticut ballot[3]. He was as a member of the "Connecticut for Lieberman" party, an official party in Connecticut under Connecticut law. This is what we know. And I've provided the source for it.Simon12 02:45, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
It's really more technically correct to identify him as CFL than Independent; even though there's no one else in the CFL party, it is legally a party, and, by definition, he's not independent if he's affiliated with a party. It really is just a technical distinction, but in an encyclopedia, we have to be technical. Rowsdower45 04:31, 10 November 2006
Now what we need to watch going forward is what Lieberman calls himself in the future. On the Senate web site, he's currently listed as a Democrat, as expected. It will be interesting to see what he is shown as in January. Unlike Sanders, who I'm sure will be shown as an Independent, I would actually expect Lieberman to continue to officially call himself a Democrat. If that's the case in Jaunary, I think we should move him to a D then.Simon12 05:11, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps the mention should say that Lieberman has announced his intention to join the Democratic caucus (which he did during the election). We can't anticipate that he will actually go through with his pledge, although I would have thought it's pretty much certain. Sanders made no such pledge and it's reasonable to let him remain as Independent. Fys. “Ta fys aym”. 13:02, 10 November 2006 (UTC)
The article was already updated, but to close out this discussion, Lieberman said today he will be in the Senate as a Democrat, not an CfLer or Independent.[4]Simon12 23:32, 11 November 2006 (UTC)
No, Lieberman said today he will be in the Senate as an "Independent Democrat", according to his interview on Meet the Press Sunday, November 12, 2006. ("I'm going to be an independent, because that is how and why I returned to the Senate. I was elected as an independent. I was elected, I believe, because I said to my constituents in Connecticut I'm as fed up with the partisanship in Washington as you are ... I am now an Independent Democrat, capital-I, capital-D.") I think it best to mark him down as an "I" (or "ID") as that's how he was elected to the Senate. Jake 09:00, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
According to[5], Leiberman's office has announced he will officially be listed in Congress as an ID, Independent Democrat. That's how he should be referred to.Simon12 17:16, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

Lieberman was defeated in the Democratic primary, and was not the Democratic candidate for senator. He may now be claiming to be a Democrat, but he proved he was not when he chose to run against the Democratic candidate, winning the election only with strong Republican support. Since he won as an I, he should be listed as an I. MajorRogers 01:00, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

When the 110th Congress opens, Lieberman will be either a Democrat (D) or an "Independent Democrat" (ID) as he has requested, but he will not be listed as a Connecticut for Lieberman (CFL) since that was only a party for the purpose of the campaign and the election. Once he was elected, that party no longer has any reason to exist. I suggest that the party affiliation in the chart be changed to refer to him as a "Independent Democrat", not "Connecticut for Lieberman". user:mnw2000 01:30, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

As I wrote above, Lieberman's office has announced he will be officially listed as "ID".[6]. Not "I", not "D", and not "CfL". It's his choice, and since that's what Congress is going to show him as, that's what we should show him as. The party he ran on in the election is no longer relevant. It should read "ID", and we shouldn't change it back without a newer, verifable, reference.Simon12 01:44, 16 November 2006 (UTC)
It can remain a generic "Independent who caucuses with Democrats" until an official government/Senate source (not Lieberman on a television show) demonstrates otherwise; Lieberman can claim that he will appear as a "Green Eggs and Ham Democrat" if he likes, but this cannot be verified until the rolls come out, and the only neutral way to list him 'til then is as a generic independent. Also, linking "Independent Democrat" as "Independent Democratic Party (United States)" is incredibly POV. Please, compromise to consensus, and avoid revert warring over this. 12:42, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

People are assuming that Political Parties exist in an official capacity. They don't. Lieberman could call himself a member of whatever party he wants and be a member of that party. Senators are citizens and citizens can choice whatever party they want. StayinAnon 08:04, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

Is there any way to reach consensus on this? Qqqqqq 01:46, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Consensus will (hopefully) be reached around Jan 4 when the official Senate website is updated with the 2007 membership, including their parties. Simon12 02:27, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps editing should be restricted for a while then? Carpet9 02:32, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I have requested page protection. 03:14, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Regarding a recent edit, I've seen no promise from Lieberman to return as an "Official Democrat Member". If the editor has a source for that, please provide it. What Lieberman has said is that he will caucus with the Democrats, which is a very different thing. The picture that's under reversion shows party membership, not caucus membership. Lieberman has stated (reference in the current article) that he will be listed as an Independent Democrat. Others have stated that he should be shown as just an Independent. I'm willing to put that debate off until Jan 4. Either way, he shouldn't be shown as a Democrat in any picture of party membership for the 100th Congress, unless there is a source stating otherwise. Simon12 03:21, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Some new information. Lieberman has a news release up on his website which refers to himself as "Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT)".[7] That's a clear indication of what he is officialy going to call himself in the 100th Congress.

That Sen. Lieberman has a pet name and pet acronym for his Independent status does not change that he is an independent (not affiliated with a party). Listing him "Independent Democrat" implies membership in an Independent Democratic Party, which does not exist. If he is not affiliated with a party, he should be listed as an "Independent." 03:37, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Comporises Indepedent until January 4. Carpet9 04:06, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Lieberman is free to go by "Independent Democrat" without implying that a party by the name has been created. Per the article on this subject, it is "a term occasionally adopted by Members of Congress in the United States to refer to their party affiliation" and has precedent, with at least 2 Members of Congress previously adopting this label. Qqqqqq 04:41, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

And the only modern example of that term, Sen. Byrd, left the Democratic Party in order to adopt the label; he, too, was an independent (no longer a Democratic Party (United States)-Democrat. Lieberman is free to "go by that" as a reference to his independent status all he likes, yes. He is not free (and neither are you, User:Qqqqqq) to pretend that he is still a Democratic Party (United States)-Democrat. 15:51, 26 December 2006 (UTC)~
Sigh. I'm not going to bother with this until the Secretary of the Senate recognizes the new Congress in early January. Then the label on Senate documentation should be used. Qqqqqq 19:35, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Lieberman officially an ID[edit]

Lieberman is officially an "ID" in the US Senate. [8] Simon12 03:25, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Lieberman, an independent, is listed as an "ID." It does not change that he is an independent where party affiliation is concerned. If you're speaking of "Party Affiliation" in his article (or elsewhere), ID is not appropriate. It's simply his pet name for his independent status, not a party affiliation. 04:57, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
The US Senate lists his Party Affiliation as "Independent Democrat". I believe that's how Wikipedia should refer to his party going forward. You disagree. I'd like to see what others think so we can reach a consensus. Simon12 05:23, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
The Secretary of the Senate is the official charged with recognizing Senators' partisan affiliation. To deviate from this official list seems, simply, revisionist. Qqqqqq 09:49, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
So you now seem, simply revisionist. Or will you admit that your previous rhetoric was over the top? 02:02, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
I followed your link just a few minutes before the timestamp on this message, and Lieberman is listed as "I", not "ID". Have they changed his page already? --Heath 22:41, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Ha. Let it be noted that this same dispute is apparently going on at the .gov sources, too. For now, the .gov sources (including the one you linked) all list Lieberman as "(I-CT)." 00:47, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, it did say ID last night, but it no longer does. I agree on now calling him (I-CT) officially, with the right to revisit this if the official web site changes again. I would also propose that the brief paragraph on him in the summary section be removed. What party he ran on in November is not really relevant to this reference-style article, and then he's no different than Sanders, an I, caucusing with the Dems. Simon12 03:34, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Sounds good. Whatever the Senate website lists him as should, obviously, be what Wikipedia goes with as well. Qqqqqq 08:22, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The Senate now lists Lieberman as (ID-CT) both on the list of senators page and in the official Senate calendar listing of senators. I recommend references be switched back to Independent Democrat in all references to Lieberman. Discussion?

"Independent Democrat" is not a political party or party affiliation.[edit]

And to list it as such, especially linking Democratic Party (United States) within the phrase "Independent Democrat," is inaccurate. My compromise is to list Lieberman's party affiliation as Independent (which is true, he is a unpartied independent senator), but note that he caucuses with the Democratic Party, and is lists himself for official purposes under the "ID" name. 05:03, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Why not link Independent Democrat to Independent Democrat? Qqqqqq 09:45, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Independent Democrat is a party affiliation where the Senate is concerned. There have been several senators who have used the "Independent Democrat" identifier in past congresses, and the official Senate historical webpage outlining the party affilation of past congresses identifies "Independent Democrat" as a party. Visit the offial Senate page on party affilation and scroll down to the 30th Congress, 84th Congress, and 110th Congress. (Note that the Senate site itself is in error, in that it says Lieberman is from Vermont.) Party Division in the Senate, 1789-Present

30th Congress (1847-1849)
Majority Party: Democrat (38 seats)
Minority Party: Whig (21 seats)
Other Parties: 1 Independent Democrat
Total Seats: 60
84th Congress (1955-1957)
Majority Party: Democrat (48 seats)
Minority Party: Republican (47 seats)
Other Parties: 1 Independent
Total Seats: 96
Note: Strom Thurmond (SC) was an Independent Democrat during this Congress until his resignation on April 4, 1956. In November of that year he was elected as a Democrat to fill the vacancy created by his resignation. The Independent member listed above was Wayne Morse (OR), who changed from an Independent to a Democrat on February 17, 1955.
110th Congress (2007-2009)
Majority Party: Democrat (50 seats)
Minority Party: Republican (49 seats)
Other Parties: Independent (1 seat)
Total Seats: 100
Note: Senator Joseph Lieberman of Vermont, an Independent Democrat, is counted in the majority party statistics for the 110th Congress.

I believe that Lieberman needs to be listed as an Indpendent Democrat in this article both as (ID) and is the Senate party affiliation table. That is how his party is listed on the Joe Lieberman page on Wikipedia, so it should be the same here. We can avoid POV issues as long as he it is linked to Independent Democrat and not Independent Democrat.

I suggest we either have a separate entry for Indpendent Democrat is the Senate party affiliation table or follow the Official Senate party breakdown for the 110th Congress and include Liberman in the Democratic totals, with a note that he is an Indpendent Democrat.Dcmacnut 03:20, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Disagree. Also, Lieberman's listing at his article is also disputed; using Wikipedia in self-reference for such purposes is moot. So far as other independent senators using the phrase "Independent Democrat" go, they should be used on a case-by-case basis, as they do not speak for one another or any "Independent Democratic Party." Lieberman is not a sitting Democratic Party Senator, and calling him one is both inaccurate and POV. Listing "Independent Democrat" within fields labeled "party" is also inaccurate. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 17:26, 4 January 2007 (UTC).
The U.S. Senate considers Indpendent Democrat a valid "party" for terms of party idendification. News media also refer to Lieberman as Independent Democrat. Under normal circumstances, that would be sufficient for inclusion on Wikipedia since it is verifiable. However, I'd be willing to accept the current version of the article listing 2 independents, with a clear note that Lieberman is officially an Independent Democrat. Dcmacnut 23:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dcmacnut (talkcontribs) 17:47, 4 January 2007 (UTC).
"Independent" is obviously not a "party" either (there is no "Independent Party") - so to say that there must be an "Independent Democrat(ic)" Party in order for that to be Lieberman's "party" seems inaccurate to me. Qqqqqq 21:35, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
"Independent" indicates a lack of party affiliation in political discourse. This is widely-accepted and understood, you're simply trying to play semantics, Qqqqqq. What's wrong, still sore that your attempts at changing Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons content to deliberately misrepresent Lieberman [9][10] [11] as an official Democratic Party (United States)-Democrat in the 110th Congress didn't work out? 01:04, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
The official Senate phone directory lists Lieberman as (I-CT), not ID. I will conceede the point and say that he should probably be listed as such (I-CT) in all references since that is how the Senate references him. If the Senate changes thins to include (ID-CT), then wikipedia should be updated to reflect that. However, it is still appropriate to include an asterisk to point out that Lieberman self-identifies as an "Independent Democrat."Dcmacnut 23:38, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. And interestingly, last night and earlier today, these sites said "ID" and were changed some time during the day today to just "I". Qqqqqq 01:16, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

The final word on Lieberman[edit]

I have requested from the OFFICIAL listing for Joe Lieberman. One web site (a PDF dated 1/3) says it is I-CT and another web site (an dynamic page) says it is ID-CT. Let's wait for the response. user:mnw2000 02:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

I have received the following reply:

Senator Lieberman's official listing is ID-CT (Independent Democrat). The pdf you list below only allowed for one letter parties. This problem is being corrected, and when the new phone list is generated in about a week Senator Lieberman's party will be listed as ID. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

Best Wishes, Liz Horrell, On behalf of the Senate Webmaster

I guess the case is closed on this one for now. user:mnw2000 01:32, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Yep, it's Joe Lieberman (Independant Democrat). GoodDay 20:48, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, that solves that problem. - Patricknoddy 5:20pm, January 12, 2007 (EST)

Reid committee assignments[edit]

Why isn't Reid listed as having any committee assignments? In the 109th he was on Appropriations, having for some reason given up all his other committee assignments (Aging, EPW, Ethics, Indian Affairs). Has he given that up as well now? Why would he do this? john k 16:33, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

It's rare for the Senate Majority Leader to serve on more than one or two Senate committees, and if they do, they rarely serve as chairman. I was also suprised Reid gave up his committee assignments. Only Reid knows for sure, but there are 9 new Democrats in this this new Congress, so room had to be made for them on the committees. I know that Bill Frist kept his seats on Finance, Labor, and Rules committeesas Majority Leader. Senator Daschle served on Finance, Agriculture, and Indian Affairs and a few other committees prior to becoming Minority Leader in 1995, but kept only Finance, Ag, and Rules in his later years of service to make room for other senators.
Reid did keep his chairmanship of the Energy Appropriations subcommittee after he took over as Minority Leader from Daschle. I speculate it had something to do with his opposition to funding for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste project in Nevada, and wanting a seat at the table. Reid could have kept his seats (though probably not serve as chairman) in this new Congress, but I bet he had a lot of requests from current and new senators and wanted to spread the wealth. As Majority Leader you basically run the show, so there's nothing wrong with not having a committee assignment.Dcmacnut 22:51, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
Except that no other majority leader has had no committee assignments. I know that they generally don't have a lot of committees, and can't be chairmen, but they can't certainly serve on committees. It's rather odd that he would give up his place on appropriations. john k 04:13, 22 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree that it is odd. Only Senator Reid knows his reasons, but I still think it plausible that with 9 new Democratic senators he wanted to reward them with as many committee seats as he could. No freshman was appointed to Approprations, but Jack Reed, Ben Nelson, and Frank Lautenberg all got seats. If Reid had kept his seat, Nelson wouldn't have been able to serve and still keep the required 28 committee members and a one seat Democratic majority on the committee.Dcmacnut 15:27, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

Tim Johnson situation[edit]

Although discussion of the replacement of Tim Johnson is speculative, so is discussion of Democratic control over the chamber. Given the crystal ball nature of this article overall, mention of Senate Democratic control should be tempered with the possibility it may not occur if Johnson is replaced. Lexicom 21:10, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Just a note: Johnson can't be replaced, unless he resigns or dies (in office). GoodDay
As reflected in the changes I made to the second paragraph of the intro (later reverted) --
The Democrats will control a majority in both chambers for the first time since the 103rd Congress in 1993-1995.
The Democrats will likely control a majority in both chambers, which would be the the first time this will have occured since the 103rd Congress in 1993-1995. However, should Democratic U.S. Senator Tim Johnson, who suffered stroke-like bleeding in the brain caused by a congenital malformation known as arteriovenous malformation,[1] die or otherwise cause his office to become "vacant",[2] South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds will be free to name a Republican replacement. This would cause the U.S. Senate to have equal Republican and Democratic membership. Should these events occur prior to January 4, 2007, the 103rd Congress will remain as the most recent one in which Democrats controlled both chambers.


  1. ^ Associated Press [Los Angeles Times], Senator's Illness a Lifelong Condition, December 14, 2006[1]
  2. ^ The meaning of the term "vacancy" in South Dakota law is the subject of various interpretations by constitutional law experts. Jonathan Ellis, S.D. governor would name person to fill Johnson vacancy, Argus Leader [USA Today], December 14, 2006[2]

Lexicom 21:30, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Perfect, 'Lexicom'. That's what I like, accuracy. PS-you should become a registered user, Wikipedia benefits from participation by accurate editors (like you). GoodDay 21:45, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
GoodDay -- the problem is that my edit (consisting of the paragraph above) was reverted by user Markles. Also, user Simon12 reverted another user's mention of the Johnson situation. So, I'm trying to develop a concensus (see my initial comment in this section). On both of their talk pages, I've asked them to view this thread. Lexicom 23:06, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't see why we need a detailed discussion of the Johnson issue now. Why not just leave it at "the Democrats will likely have a majority"?

Given it some thought. Though it's stings me, think it might be best to leave it at the Democrats will likely have a majority. This situation (Democrats to take control of Senate), hasn't changed (Johnson is still alive, hasn't resigned). Perhaps it's best to wait & see. GoodDay 23:52, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
That sounds right to me. john k 01:59, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, I never saw anything on my talk page, but here's my 2 cents, based on what I've seen in many articles, and I think it follows Wiki policy. It's OK to say that something will happen in the future if it's verifiable and it's likely to happen. Likely is debatable, but caveats are not usually put in unless there is a reasonable chance it can happen. I've seen this all over the 2008 presidential articles - whether Bush would die, whether the Constitution would be changed, etc. Consensus seems to be: reflect what is likely to happen, and change the text if you need to in the future. Especially since an incapacitated Senator can not be replaced unless he resigns, and Johnson does not seem to be on his deathbed, any text about Johnson leaving the Senate is "not-likely" speculation, and does not belong in the article. As for "the Democrats will likely have a majority", that's too wishy-washy. How about just saying "The results of the elections will give the Democrats a majority in both chambers for the first time...". It's then based on the "results of the elections". If it then turns out that something changes in the composition of the Senate between now and Jan 4, we can update the article at that time. Simon12 03:29, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
The first comment of this thread certainly sums up all I have to say. It is definitely notable! There is possibility for him to be replaced. Yes, sources indicate that he is "getting better," but the so called sources are family members and members of the Dem. party, who would obviously want to think he's getting better (not to say I wouldn't...). So a small blurb in the opening should mention that the composition is not set in stone, and situations like the one we may deal with could give quick control of the senate to the Repubs. It's a must-add comment, by all means! JARED(t)  21:02, 20 December 2006 (UTC)
IF Johnson is still ill (when the 110th) new Congress assumes office, then mention it in the article. Johnson illness should only be mentioned in the (current) 109th Congress. GoodDay 00:15, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
If he's only ill, it doesn't need to be mentioned in either article, as no other member's illness's are mentioned. Simon12 01:17, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
Great point Simon12, I agree. GoodDay 02:11, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Charlie Norwood[edit]

This article needs some revision, due to the death of Represenative Charlie Norwood (R-Georgia), on Feb 13 ,2007. GoodDay 19:18, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

Roland Burris[edit]

Roland Burris was appointed on December 31, 2008. The Senate refused to seat him on January 6, 2009. The Senate agreed to seat him on January 12, 2009. He was sworn-in on January 15, 2009.

My question: was he a member of the 110th Congress?—Markles 15:34, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

That is the $25,000 question isn't it. The 110th didn't adjourn sine die until January 3, so he could be. Burris claims he's been a senator since December. However, his official bioguide at indicates his service starting in 2009, being appointed December 30, 2008. So he probably isn't part of the 110th Congress. Appointments only go into affect on the day they are issued if Congress is adjourned sine die (Riddicks) a la Roger Wicker. We will have to see official word from the Secretary of the Senate on just when his senority starts. It all depends on whether he's Senator number 1898 (before Mark Udall), Senator 1904 (before Kay Hagan), or Senator 1907 (before Ted Kaufman). The fact that the Senate refused to seat him that may have some bearing on the issue as well, but there wasn't a formal vote in the Senate or other official denial other than the Secreatary of the Senate saying his "creditials weren't in order." It could be something for Senate historians and parliamentarians to decide, rather than Wikipedia editors.DCmacnut<> 16:18, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
  • (Let's skip the seniority debate for this discussion.) So we currently say on the 111th page that he was a Senator from at least the start (1/3/09). So should we put him in at all on the 110th page?? As with many of these things, I'm leaning towards putting him in, but with a clear explanatory note.—Markles 22:03, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
    • How about we do it like this:


-Rrius (talk) 22:27, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

      • Again with oath? Let's make the distinction about being seated, because that's what matters. We don't care about oaths anymore than we care about other very important parts of the Senator's job, such as first paycheck and office space.—Markles 22:36, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
        • The reason I prefer mentioning the oath is that "seated" presents the impression that he didn't become a senator until the latter date. I think discussing the oath is more neutral about when he became a senator. It is entirely possible I am being ridiculous. Dealing with this Burris and Franken stuff in WP and the real world, especially as an Illinoisan whose best friend lives in Minnesota, has caused skull fissures from my brain trying to explode. In any event, I will acquiesce here an in the other place or places about oath v. "seated". -Rrius (talk) 09:01, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I did go back and think about this some more. It is possible to be a senator appointed or elected and still not be a member of a specific Congress. The oath is very important to the Senate (required by Rule 3 and the U.S. Constitution) and per Senate rules you cannot be a part of the Senate until you take the oath (their rules, not mine). That doesn't affect their terms off office, however, and several Senators have served without taking the oath. Gladys_Pyle, for example, was elected to a special election in South Dakota. However, her term started November 9, 1938 to finish out the term of Peter Norbeck. This is after 2 U.S.C. § 36 was enacted in 1935, which is the statute that dictates when the terms of office for elected and appointed senators begin. Riddick's Senate Procedure describes Pyle as "senators not sworn," meaning she was a senator, received salary and office space (per 2 USC 36) but since Congress had adjourned sine die, she did not take the oath in open session. So technically, she was not a member of the 75th_Congress, which adjourned in June 1938, but was a senator by virtue of her election and 2 USC 36. (Side note, Rebecca Felton was appointed a senator in October 1921, but Congress wasn't in session. She did not become a senator until taking the oath in November. This predates 2 USC 36, which was enacted for the explicit purpose of eliminating any confusion regarding when a senator's term starts).

Burris was appointed during the 110th Congress, but never participated in it. His term starts from Dec. 31, but technically he wouldn't be a voting member of the 110th Congress because since the Senate was in pro forma sessions only, it was a defacto adjournment and he couldn't take the oath in open session (even if Reid would have let him). This is all inside baseball, however. We list Gladys Pyle as being a member of the 75th Congress, even though was elected months after it ended and never participated in a single senate debate or vote. Therefore, it is appropriate to list Roland Burris as part of the 110th Congress. It is also completely appropriate to include a note that he did not take the oath until the 111th Congress, since that is how bioguide handles all situations where a senator is elected or appointed and take the oath on a different date (Huey Long, Jay Rockefeller, Rush Holt, etc.) The oath is a very important aspect of being a senator, and while I now accept that the oath should not and does not affect when a term starts, to we simply cannot ignore it outright, particularly when there are notable circumstances to why there is a delay in taking office and taking the oath.DCmacnut<> 02:05, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Senate majority[edit]

This article is technically incorrect. The Democrats will not hold a majority in the Senate. They would only have control of the Senate if both Independent members caucus with them.

The Democrats will hold a majority in both chambers for the first time since 1995. I'm not sure how to change this sentence and preserve the reference to the historical shift in power.Wabe 14:36, 13 November 2006 (UTC)Wabe

Both Sanders and Lieberman have publicly committed to caucusing with the Democrats (which is a separate issue from what party Lieberman calls himself a member of). So unless/until there is some change in that commitment, or some other change in party membership, its correct to say the Democrats will be the Majority party in the Senate. Simon12 14:50, 13 November 2006 (UTC)
I agree with you Simon12 that it is correct to say the Democrats will be the majority party in the Senate notwithstanding the political reasons others would want that changed. Edward Lalone 21:59, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

The Democratic Caucuses hold the majority, but not the Democrats. I changed Democrats to Democratic caucuses. That should do it. Wabe 14:52, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Democrats do in fact hold the majority. Any member who does not Caucus does not serve on Committees and the moment they cease Caucusing with a specific party they lose their Committee assignments, etc. You were incorrect to change Democrats to Democratic caucuses because the Democratic Caucus is nothing more than Democrats of the House or Senate and they have no official role as a part of the Senate or House and therefore the Democrats will hold the majority if both of those who did not run as Democrats choose to caucus as Democrats.
Prior to this time independents have been listed as either Democrat or Republican when it comes to determining which party is in the majority based on which party they caucus with. There is no reason to change this now. Nor has there been a time where the Caucuses have been elevated to the governing body of the Senate and House or considered to be a majority caucus. This is not their role, and they are not in the majority. They are simply Democrats meeting as Democrats to conduct Democratic business or Republicans meeting as Republicans to conduct Republican business. The Independents could caucus together if they choose to do so.
It is the Democrats who caucus as Democrats who are in the majority and this would include the independents if they choose to be Democrats in the Senate. If those who did not run as Democrats were to caucus with the Democrats then they would in the sense of the House and Senate be Democrats even if they were elected as Republicans. It is incorrect to say the formal organization of Democrats is in the majority of the House and Senate. Prior to this time there has no been no attempt to re-define the majority party to reflect its Caucus. In 2004 it did not read that the Republican caucuses controlled the House and Senate and it seems to me that the only reason anyone would want this changed is political in nature. Edward Lalone 21:59, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Another thing - the Senate map does not indicate that Connecticut will have an Independent senator Wabe 16:36, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Vermont should be listed as purple, as it will be a split state in terms of its Senators not being of the same party. We should not change the standards simply for the political benefit of those who hope to gain from such a change. Edward Lalone 21:59, 13 November 2006 (UTC)

Actually, it should read that the Democrats hold a 50 seat majority, as Lieberman has declared that he will be a Democrat, something that any citizen is free to do. It has nothing to do with what ticket that was held on. Senator-elect Sanders from Vermont is an Independent and has not declared his membership to any party, but participates in the Democratic caucus. StayinAnon 08:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

No, Lieberman has stated he will be an "Independent Democrat", not a "Democrat", and that he will be part of the Democratic caucus. So he is really no different than Sanders. We do agree that this is not related to what party he ran on.

IMHO the article is accurate and unbiased currently. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:49, 10 October 2008 (UTC) It really is a very useful and cool thing to have all the hyperlinks on our government leaders in one place. Kudos to the wiki communinity for gathering all this useful info in one place. In the end it does read like an encyclopedia. This formalism on style is good for quality IMHO —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:54, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Opening day: Jan 3rd or 4th[edit]

Most sources seem to indicate that the new Congress will start on January 3, 2007, but this release[12] from Pelosi's office clearly says Congress will start on January 4, 2007. Does anyone have a source that is clearly definitive? Simon12 04:34, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

The House has adopted H.J. Res. 101, which provides "[t]hat the first regular session of the One Hundred Tenth Congress shall begin at noon on Thursday, January 4, 2007." It's pending in the Senate and since the leadership consults on these things, I assume it will be adopted, but it hasn't been yet. Newyorkbrad 04:54, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks. Once it gets passed, we can update the article.Simon12 05:03, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
The Senate passed the bill today. Simon12 21:47, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
I was watching C-SPAN 2 last night, and the Senators said the new Congress will begin on the 4th. Valadius 22:02, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution specifies the "Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall begin at noon on the 3d day of January." The Constitution gives Congress discretion to select a different day, so if H.J. Res 101 is enacted and signed by the President, since it would be a public law, January 4 is likely to be the official start date. Of course Congress could change its mind.Dcmacnut 15:26, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Beginning of Congress[edit]

Shouldn't the article state that the 110th Congress runs from January 3, 2007 to January 3, 2009, even though the Congress will not meet in its first session until January 4, 2007?—Markles 15:08, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

I would think that the 110th Congress starts when it first meets - it probably needs to be gaveled into existence or something. The Jan 3 date is not "written in stone", it's "written in the consititution", which also says it can be changed by law. If the law is passed, then the 110th would start on Jan 4, which actually probably means that the 109th continues until Jan 4, not Jan 3.Simon12 17:09, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Agree with the below comments on end date.Simon12 02:49, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Regardless of the beginning date of the 110th, I'm very sure the 109th ends on January 3.—Markles 18:30, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Correct. The 20th amendment states that the terms of senators and representatives (and that Congress) ends at noon on January 3 in odd numbered years. Congress cannot alter those end dates, though they are permitted to establish a different start date by law if they choose. Traditionally, the date a congress adjourns "sine die" determines the technical end of a congressional session, since they rarely reconvene after that date, even though officially Congresses run until January 3.Dcmacnut 18:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Why the 4th[edit]

Beyond the when is the why. Why start on the 4th, and not the 3rd? I'd understand if the 3rd was a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. I presume that Members could travel on the 2nd and still make it on time. Anyone have a source on why the 110th Congress would start on the 4th?—Markles 15:08, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

It's just a matter of the date that was selected. The 109th Congress started January 4, 2005, so they likely just kept that date. The 108th started on Jaunary 7, 2003; the 107th on Jan. 3, 2001; 106th on Jan. 6, 1999; 105th on January 7, 1997, and 104th on Jan. 4, 1995. It's a matter or picking the most practical start date after January 3. Source is from a CRS report on first day proceedings in the Senate. If you look at the recent congresses, the start date has been during the first full week of January, either on a Monday or a Wednesday (the Thursday start date of the 110th being the exception). There's no hard fast rule over what day they pick, though accomodating the holiday travels of members is usually a key consideration.Dcmacnut 18:54, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

Summary of changes[edit]

I threw together a table summarizing all of the changes in membership between the 109th and the 110th at User:Wknight94/2006 Election Changes. Does anyone think this would be useful in this article? I see it's not standard and I know there are a lot of folks doing a great job keeping things uniform for the articles of this type... —Wknight94 (talk) 17:20, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

This does look very useful, although perhaps it belongs either as a separate article or as part of the 2006 election article. A minor quibble - the party color row seems wider than it should be. GabrielF 05:05, 25 November 2006 (UTC)
Yes, now I see some of these articles need to be split up and reorganized, etc. (Maybe not this article but others for sure). I'll investigate that avenue first. —Wknight94 (talk) 15:10, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Senate committee list move[edit]

Is there any particular reason to move the senate committee tables to Talk:List of United States Senate committees? I know they take up a lot of space here, but they are useful and there's no reason to bury them in a talk page until January. GabrielF 05:09, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

Year elected[edit]

It'd be nice if year elected could be added. Both for reps and senators. Jack Daw 22:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

House Map Wrong[edit]

Connecticut is the wrong color on the House percentages images. I'd fix it, but I don't have software that saves out png images. Thanks, MarcusGraly 19:58, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

Connecticut is the color of 60-69% Democrat but should be 80%-99% considering there is only one Republican from New England and if CT was 60%-69% there would be 2 Republicans from CT alone.

There are not 2 Republicans from CT, nor are there two Democrats. Lieberman is now technically an Independent. JnB987 05:10, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
That comment refers to Connecticut's House delegation, which is now 4D-1R. But now that you mention CT's Senators, the Senate website now lists Lieberman as an "ID" or Independent Democrat. Qqqqqq 07:12, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

101 Senators, now?[edit]

Unless we're counting the VP, which we shouldn't be, there should only be 100 senators. I see 101 on the first chart, but I can't change it since I don't know which party would be getting the cut (Republicans, if they truly lost the Senate.) -01:30, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

49D + 49R + 2I = 100 Senators. Is that the chart you mean? Qqqqqq 01:41, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Import Wikitable from US House Current Members[edit]

I'd like to import the wikitable someone created for the List of current members of the United States House of Representatives and import it to the Congressional roster of the 110th Congress. The graphics I think make for a better read, although it does extend out the article a bit more. The other option is to link the table from a seperate article to the 110th. I'd also like to create the same wikitable for the U.S. Senators over the next few weeks. It does address the comment above about years in office, as well as adding a bit more info. Any strong thoughts either way. No comments I'd interpret as to go forward............ Pmeleski 12:22, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

The table from Current List of House members was originally on this page, but moved out since it didn't fit with the standard wikipedia template for Ordinal congresses (Wikipedia:WikiProject_U.S._Congress/Ordinal_congresses). I would suggest leaving them as separate pages. The year in office info is available on that other page if people want it. This page should proabably as a general summary of the 110th Congress, and not a comprehensive listing of all facts and figures.Dcmacnut 18:54, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
  • I think all that information is excessive on the 110th Congress page, and should remain only on the "List of Current…" pages.—Markles 22:56, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm making a sortable list now at User:Just H/110th Congressional Table. Just H 21:36, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
All looks OK to me now. The current US Rep list that has been reformatted looks much better and easier to follow. ........Oh, any chance the US Senate delegatons table for the 110th can be seperated by state? I think it would be easier to follow, but I'm OK if it is left as is..........Just offering a suggestion.Pmeleski 01:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

notable senators[edit]

at the start of the article it mentions notable senators (first muslim, first budhists etc..) perhaps bernie sanders should be listed here as the first (self-described) socialist to serve in the US senate. what do you think?

Sure3thought 20:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)


Do we need to remind the casual reader that GOP (diagram near top) refers to the Republicans?3thought 20:35, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

We need to, for the unfamilliar readers. GoodDay 20:44, 11 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry about that, if I hadn't I "compressed" the name it wouldn't have fit in the graph. Habbit 21:23, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Doesn't The Northern Mariana Islands now have a Resident Commissioner (from CMMI)[edit]

Isn't Republican Pedro Agulto Tenorio a non-voting member of Congress? Or is he still working on his recognition? LILVOKA 21:54, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

The Northern Mariana Islands elects a "Resident Representative to the United States" (see, Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Art. V), but as of yet, this official has not been granted the right to sit in the House of Representatives as have the Resident Commissioner from Puerto Rico and the territorial delegates. Proposals to create the position of Delegate or Resident Commissioner from the Northern Mariana Islands have been under consideration but have not been enacted as of this time. See Delegate (United States Congress) and footnote to List of U.S. states by population. Newyorkbrad 22:02, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Removal of citations[edit]

I don't understand what is behind the recent removal of many citations. Nothing should be assumed to be "common knowledge". Contributers obviously put in considerable effort to cite sources for facts as they were added, which produces a valuable encyclopedic resource. They shouldn't be indiscriminately deleted. --Appraiser 21:54, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

  • Sorry. I removed them. Back before the Congress started, demographics and the names of party leaders were greatly speculative and then based on newspaper accounts. Since the Congress began, however, they are easily found on Congress's websites. We don't have citations for who the members are, and I figured it wasn't necessary to list citations anymore for the leaders. I DID, however, change "External links" to "External links and sources" to emphasize that you could get your sources there.—Markles 22:44, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
  • OK. I think many of the facts can get by with a non-specific citation. I'm accustomed to the "negotiations" that have taken place regarding the Keith Ellison (politician) article. Talk about citations! Basically, every single statement added needs a source or it will get deleted by one of many passionate editors. I've had educators tell me that Wikipedia is worthless because of the absence of verified information. I respond by explaining that all facts are supposed to be cited with reliable sources. (Of course that statement is an unrealized goal.) I'll add a few {{Fact}}s in this article where I believe we should have specific sources. Hopefully they won't be hard to find. --Appraiser 00:12, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

List(s) of legislation[edit]

I strongly believe that this list should be short. Not every statute or bill should be listed.

If we want to create a separate article with lots of such bills and statutes we could put it at Legislation of the 110th United States Congress. Until then, we need a good statute for inclusion here.

This should include articles

  • that are historically significant and/or
  • which are blue-linked.


  • House Page Board Revision Act of 2007: The statute itself is not blue-lined. It should be included, however, beacuse it's historic: it was part of the reason the Dems took over Congress.
  • "Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008" is not blue-linked. It should be omitted.
  • "Clean Energy Act of 2007" is blue linked. It should be included.

See also, List of United States federal legislation, which should duplicate only the blue-lined statutes of the "enacted" section. —Markles 19:37, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree with this assessment. Committee consideration does not necessarily make a bill a "major law." Look at all of the post office naming bills and technical corrections that have become public law so far this year. I added the bulk of the new bills because they were considered "major" by the U.S. Senate and were undergoing current consideration, and to illustrate just how hard it is to decide what to include. Bills like authorization bills and approrpiations probably don't need to be included. However, some bills aren't necessarily blue linked (yet), like Ethics Reform, so should probably be included due to their historic nature or press coverage. However, I think we need some standard on what makes a bill notable enough for inclusion in Wikipedia as an article other than it has a blue link. Some bills probably don't deserve an article of their own just because the Washington Post wrote an article about it or the President made some comment for or against the bill. For example, how about linking bills based on general subject matter. That's what I did with the U.S. Attorney bill, linking it to the Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy article. The same could be done with the DC voting rights bill District of Columbia Vote in House of Representatives. The DC voting rights bill from 2006 redirects the general voting rights article. Thoughts?Dcmacnut 20:49, 25 May 2007 (UTC)


I'm not sure we should list Water Resources Development Act of 2007 as "Veto Overridden". On this page (110th Congress) we don't really need to say the legislative history of an Act, do we. Isn't it enough to say that it was enacted and let the reader read the Act's article to learn more. I know we list other vetoed bills under pending/failed, but I really feel strongly that I don't want this article (110th congress) to get too bulky with detailed information that could be learned elsewhere. —Markles 16:36, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I disagree since his veto's are so rare and since the overridden veto's even more rare I think its important especially looking back on this congress Gang14 00:17, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Pending legislation[edit]

Just a comment or question on the section on "pending legislation." How are we to decide what is included in this list. Several of the bills, while important, may not qualify as "key" issues to some people, and may provide an incomplete picture of legislation introduced or pending in the House and Senate. As the 110th Congress proceeds, there will be many more bills introduced, and the list could get quite lengthy without some sort of vetting process.

May I suggest that we use the Senate's Active legislation list as an intitial guide. Other bills could be still be added, but perhaps just with people and other articles some test of "notability" be applied. Barbara Boxer's S. 24 dealing with perchlorate contamination in drinking water is listed, but she has also introduced S. 150 dealing with the same subject and accomplishing much of the same goals. Which one is worthy of inclusion? There are at least six different bills related to global warming that have been introduced, more than 60 dealing with renewable energy. A "notability test" would ensure bills that are either getting at least some or extensive coverage in the news or blogosphere are included, while leaving out bills like H.R. 335 a bill to "designate the United States Postal Service located at 152 North 5th Street in Laramie, Wyoming, as the 'Gale W. McGee Post Office'. That bill has meaning to someone, but probably doesn't belong on Wikipedia.

I'm open to any suggestions or we can simply leave the list as is an have editors add bills they feel are noteworthy.Dcmacnut 03:52, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't have any to add, but I think Rangel's Universal Service Bill should be dropped from the list. I'm not aware of a single commitee hearing on it either in this term or in any of the last several terms in which he's introduced a similar bill. I think proposed legislation should at the very least have passed a commitee in the House or Senate to be considered on this list. Jon 19:30, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree we need a better standard on what to include under pending. I like the idea of using committee consideration as a standard. However, Rangel's Unversal Service Bill may be an exception. It will never get serious consideration by any committee, because it deals with reinstating the military draft. However, I would offer that it is major legislation worth including because it has received a lot of coverage in the media and is tied to the larger debate over the war in Iraq.Dcmacnut 22:11, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
The very lack of serious consideration by a commitee makes it no different than hundreds of other bills that get introduced and refered to commitee and die at the end of each congress due to lack of support by leadership and the reavlent committee(s). Even without a link here, articles dealing with military draft in the US would still link to that article. Commitee support is key, with it, a proposed bill can and often is attached to another bill. Jon 13:31, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Two additional bills insufficently advanced to be included. The bills Barack introduced linked here have not cleared a commitee a comitee in either the house or senate. (DPVIPA and Iraq-DEA). At the moment these bills are just like several hundred other bills this section introduced and refered to commitee. With several current US Senators running for President we don't want to cluter up of the pending legislation section with every single bill they introduce. Jon 15:19, 29 May 2007 (UTC)
With the recent increase in articles to the list, I've cut the red links. The list is definately long enough now and it's now August so there have been plenty of time for a noteworthy sugested article to have been created by now. In fact, going thru the list, it looks to me like about five the current blue links should be cut here because they appear unlikely to ever get serious consideration. Jon 21:04, 1 August 2007 (UTC)

Add note?[edit]

In the section on legislation, shouldn't it be made more clear what bills have failed and what bills are pending? After all, there's quite a difference between failed and pending. For pending, it would be interesting to know why a bill is pending, which may be for numerous reasons. Jack Daw 17:51, 23 March 2007 (UTC)

Most of the linked articles have passed the House and have been refered to the Senate committee(s) that deal with legislation in that proposed area. As I recall, the house senate compromise on the Minimum Wage bill was incorporated into the vetoed suplemential apporation. I don't know if the new version of the suplemential being drafted will include this or if instead another vechicle will be found for it. Jon 19:37, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

I would like to disagree with the House Page Board bill being important. I was a House Page for 10 months, from September 2006 to June 2007, and honestly it was no big deal, it will have no affect. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Formerhousepage (talkcontribs) 00:41, August 24, 2007 (UTC).

Should the vetoed legislation be moved into its own category?[edit]

I'm thinking that by the October - November timeframe there are going to be a lot of them. Jon 15:15, 27 June 2007 (UTC)

I had brought this up before and I believe there should be a seperate section atleast when he hits 5. Gang14 16:22, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
  • Ok. 5 is a good number. It should be part of the not-enacted group, however. —Markles 16:58, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Like a mini section Gang14 22:58, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
Agreed with Markles & Gang14. Jon 15:31, 28 June 2007 (UTC)


What ever happened to it I personally think especially with this president this is important seeing as he has had 2 vetos so far Gang14 19:36, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

  • My fault. Bush signed the so-called "clean" bill. Then someone consolidated a bunch of bills. Then I cleaned them all up. I suppose you could put it back- but I think that it belongs instead in articles about George W. Bush or George W. Bush administration.—Markles 02:19, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I would have to disagree I think that because of how rare his vetos are that it is very note worthy Gang14 06:30, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Alright. Put it in.—Markles 10:33, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

(Note: What a civil debate! I wish mine ended like this! Haha.) Jaredt  11:05, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Update: I've added it.—Markles 15:14, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Thank you Gang14 15:20, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Pocket Veto?[edit]

Should we or shouldn't we? Gang14 (talk) 03:58, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

  • Weak support. I suppose so. Let's put it under the veto section and mark it as a pocket veto. Let's not, however, put too much in here.—Markles 15:34, 30 December 2007 (UTC)
    Thats really all I was thinking Gang14 (talk) 16:26, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Resume of Congressional Activity[edit]

Is there a way to have a generic link so it doesn't have to be updated every month?—Markles 17:11, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

SCHIP is now both vetoed and pending[edit]

Recently the US House passed a bill that was similar to the preivously vetoed and substained SCHIP one. In fact, I think it even has the same title (but a different bill number). How do we want to categorize this? Jon 13:39, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Done Gang14 15:32, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
I've moved it down a little bit so that the "HR" labelled bills are at the end. The program was funded at status quo ante levels through a continuing resolution, Pub.L. 110–92 (H.J.Res. 52).

Iraq War section needs updated to present[edit]

Specifically, in the second paragraph, the first version was indeed vetoed in large part for the reason mentioned. And an entirely new paragraph needs adds since the second version (without the timetable) was passed late last week and signed. Any other major differences between the two bills should also be mentioned as well. Jon 14:54, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Nomination for "Featured" status[edit]

I'm considering nominating this article for "Featured" status, but I don't know if it should be counted as a "Featured Article" or "Featured List." Or do you think this really isn't good enough for featured status? Your suggestions?—Markles 20:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Personaly I think it just needs the "failed or pending list" trimed down a bit. One example of something to remove for not being newsworthy is The HHS approat. bill. There's an HHS bill introduced every year, if it doesn't get approved on it's own merits (often the case) it ends up being wrapped into the omnibus spending bill. One example of something to remove for no chance of ever getting any serious attention by this Congress is Rangel's bill to reintroduce the draft. He does this every session, it gets refered to the approative commitee and dies a quiet death, in most years without a hearing on the subject. Jon 21:23, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree. Why didn't you remove it? Be bold! And why did you intend to put your comment here in this section (Nomination for "Featured" status)?—Markles 23:06, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Well, you did end your first sentence with "Your sugestions?" Will trim the list down on the article. Jon 19:18, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, I see, you wanted that over in another subpage specially about nominations for featured status or article, I just now became aware of. Jon 19:22, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Senate Republicans blocking of Democratic leglistation[edit]

I've restored this sentence. I don't think this fact is POV as the Republicans are actually proud of this, naturally, and the tactic was the topic of an entire NYT article. -- Kendrick7talk 22:47, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

  • I know I know. I'm sorry for POV'ing it, but I couldn't think of what else to say. The fact is, political maneuvering like this goes on with every Congress. Why is this so historically significant that it is relevant to this article?—Markles 23:13, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Seems to be a general theme and describes the nature of the political maneuvering which is particular to this congress, e.g. [13] "Coming on the last day of the first session of the 110th Congress, the failure to offset the cost of the tax measure was simply the latest example of how difficult it has been for the Democratic leadership to get what it wants in the 'first Democratic-led Congress in a dozen years,' says the Washington Post in its lead story."[14] -- Kendrick7talk 18:28, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Are the articles on the last several Republican Congresses mentioning the Senate Democratic blocking of Republican legislation? It seems to me that the most important thing be that the articles are consistent about this. I would also lean towards not including such langague in any of the articles about sessions of congress because the minority party so often filibusters legislation predominately supported by the majority. Jon (talk) 21:39, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Filibuster record?[edit]

I've seen various dubious sources assert that this congress has set a record so far so filibusters. Might be worthy of mention if true. -- Kendrick7talk 09:51, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

The current source in the article appears to be another dubious source. That article's title alone is heavily biased. And the domain name of it looks more like how a blog would be named instead of a newspaper. Jon (talk) 19:00, 11 February 2008 (UTC)

11 second long session[edit]

Another news tidbit -- this congress had what's being called the shortest Senate session ever at 11 seconds for the sole purpose of preventing a Presidential recess appointment. Don't have a ref handy. -- Kendrick7talk 04:07, 30 December 2007 (UTC)

Miscellaneous facts sections[edit]

Served non-continuous terms[edit]

Yesterday, one editor added Ron Paul to the list of members who 110th United States Congress#Served non-continuous terms. Another editor then removed Paul, stating in the Edit Summary that "we already discussed this and its only for those who restarted their terms in this congress."

  • Question 1: When/where did we discuss this?—Markles 15:05, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Question 2: Do we agree with including only members who restarted their terms in this Congress?—Markles 15:05, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Answers. 1) I don't recall this ever being discussed, and 2) Any member of congress who served noncontinuous terms that is currently a member of the 110th congress should be listed, even if they did not "restart" their term with the 110th Congress. The way the subheading is written, leaving out other members like Ron Paul or Brian Bilbray (who also served non-continous terms) implies that the ones listed are the only ones with non-continuous terms. I'm all for simplicity and leaving extraneous material out, but we can't have a "facts about members" section that arbitrarily leaves some facts out.Dcmacnut (talk) 18:07, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Markles either you have the worst memory ever or someone used you name because you and i were the one who discussed this and you were the one who removed it all and I put the ones that occured in this congress that was how we discussed it Gang14 (talk) 19:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • The correct answer is A) the worst memory ever. In my defense, however, I wasn't saying I didn't remember it, I just wanted to refer back to the discussion so that we could revisit it here. So here it is, from my edit summary of 2007-09-26: I "removed entire section because none of these events occured during this Congress." Nonetheless, I now think we need some consensus on the topic. The old code was:
===Served non-continuous terms===
* [[Frank Lautenberg]] (D-NJ): 1983–2001, 2003–

====House of Representatives====
* [[Neil Abercrombie]] (D-HI): 1986–1987, 1991–
* [[Brian Bilbray]] (R-CA): 1995–2001, June 2006–
* [[Jim Cooper]] (D-TN): 1983–1995, 2003–
* [[Jane Harman]] (D-CA): 1993–1999, 2001–
* [[Baron Hill]] (D-IN): 1999–2005, 2007–
* [[Bob Inglis]] (R-SC): 1993–1999, 2005–
* [[Jay Inslee]] (D-WA): 1993–1995, 1999–
* [[Nick Lampson]] (D-TX): 1997–2005, 2007–
* [[Dan Lungren]] (R-CA): 1979–1989, 2005–
* [[Ron Paul]] (R-TX): 1976–1977, 1979–1985, 1997–
* [[David Price (American politician)|David Price]] (D-NC): 1987–1995, 1997–
* [[Ciro Rodriguez]] (D-TX): 1997–2005, 2007–

Markles 21:44, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I say we start voting:

Keep the way it is currently on the page not they way it is approve Gang14 (talk) 21:52, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Netural But make whichever decsision is made here consistent which the pages of past congresses. Jon (talk) 21:44, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Comment: Unless someone already did it before me, I'm the editor in question who added Paul (and Price). The phrase "Members of the 110th Congress who served non-consecutive terms" includes anyone who ever served non-consecutive terms. If the consensus is that only returning members Hill, Lampson and Rodriguez should be mentioned, then the section should be retitled. "Returning Members Who Previously Served" or something to that effect. I have no strong feelings as to whether or not to have an all-inclusive list, but if the list is not all-inclusive, the title should be more specific. JTRH (talk) 23:23, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Comment: Never mind. Based on the discussion below, the entire section ought to be left out.—Markles 23:34, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Remove sections altogether[edit]

I deleted the miscellaneous facts sections from the 110th Congress & 109th Congress. It's been bothering me for months. Then I found Wikipedia:Trivia section.—Markles 18:35, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Fine with me. The list of those who'd served non-consecutive terms was woefully incomplete (and therefore inaccurate), and it's not all that relevant outside a specific discussion of seniority, anyway. JTRH (talk) 19:24, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
FYI... that info is more or less available at List of current members of the United States House of Representatives by seniority.--Dr who1975 (talk) 20:13, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Years in the bill titles in the pending and failed sections[edit]

Whichever bills in this that are still active need to have the title of their years changed from "2007" to "2008" while the ones already effectively dead should retain the "2007" year. I'm not sure which ones of these still have a reasonable shot at passing and which don't and in any case don't have a reliable source on hand about the status of these bills. Jon (talk) 21:42, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

  • Well… it's not up to Wikipedia to name the bills. They are called what the Congress calls them. Some bills change names as they progress through Congress. Some enacted Acts actually have had the year of the prior year in the title because they were worked on during year X but signed into law in year X+1. For example, the Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950 was enacted on January 12, 1951, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 was enacted on January 11970, and the Trade Act of 1974 was enacted on January 3, 1975. —Markles 22:10, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
    • Normally Congress uses the year in which it passed congress in the final version, which is why the above bills signed in early January have the prior year in their title. Jon (talk) 19:04, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
      • Right. And then there are the appropriations Acts which typically have the name of the year for which the funds are appropriated - typically the next year.—Markles
        • Any bill that is "XX Act of 2007" that is still pending still uses "2007" as the official title. Once a bill is enacted, Congress may or may not change the name of the bill (as Markles indicated above). A few years ago, Congress passed an annual Defense Authorization Bill and changes its name in honor of Senator Strom Thurmond prior to enactment. We cannot change the titles until Congress does so. It is not uncommon for Congress to leave "Year X" in place even if the bill passes well into the following year.Dcmacnut (talk) 20:51, 11 February 2008 (UTC)


The list of members lists dates on which those who won special elections in the current Congress were "installed." That's not the term used in the United States - it should be "sworn in" or "took office." This appears to be done by an automatic template of some kind - is there any way to fix that? Thanks. JTRH (talk) 21:44, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Quite hilarious, indeed. I wonder whether politicians can be uninstalled through the "Add and remove programs" wizard :D Habbit (talk) 22:00, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
No term is necessary at all on the listing section... they simply need to say Month "DD, YYYY - Present" as they do now. As for the descriptive paragraphs... it's simply semantics... installed is just as good as sworn in.--Dr who1975 (talk) 22:31, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
If one term is commonly used in the US, and the other isn't, then it's not just semantics. It's a matter of accuracy. JTRH (talk) 10:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
  • "Swearing in" does not start a person's term. That is not the relevant factor. —Markles 10:44, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it does. The person becomes a voting member of Congress when he or she takes the oath of office. JTRH (talk) 14:10, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Is that specific to congress? I mean, a president doesn't have to be sworn in to be president... --Golbez (talk) 14:22, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Article VI of the Constitution: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution. Swearing in = taking the oath of office. Legally, you're not recognized as occupying the office until you've been sworn in. Even though, for example, LBJ actually became President the instant JFK died, he took the oath of office as soon as possible thereafter, and before he did anything as simple as giving the order for Air Force One to leave dallas. JTRH (talk) 14:35, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
    • What does? The codified start-of-term would seem to be the main one, but that doesn't apply to midterm replacements... in this case, would it be when their credentials are accepted by the congress? --Golbez (talk) 12:42, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
      • Another source of confusion is the Congressional Directory at For midterm replacements, such as Jackie Speier, the bioguide lists their starts as the day of their elections.—Markles 13:34, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The Clerk of the House [15] calls you a "representative-elect" until you take the oath, and that date is considered the start of your service by the House itself. I'm not sure why the Bioguide (published, as far as I know, by the Library of Congress) lists it as the day of the election. In any case, I was raising a concern about the terminology rather than debating the start of service. "Installed" is simply not the recognized term. JTRH (talk) 14:44, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
As most of you know, I sent an e-mail about this...I'll let you know what they say.--Dr who1975 (talk) 01:30, 7 May 2008 (UTC)


The Congress currently has an approval rate hovering around 15%-20%. There is a wide range of criticism for the Congress, probably enough to fill a section. Currently the words "criticism" and "approval rate" do not appear in the article. Anyone agree? US471776 (talk) 00:02, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

This is simple fact-based article about a specific session of Congress listing members, states, and party affiliations. Any criticisms, such as approval ratings, or other information about Congress in general would be more appropriate at the United States Congress article.Dcmacnut (talk) 00:33, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
Gotta say I disagree. It is a fact that this specific session of Congress has a very low approval rating. This is not true of the idea of the Congress; it is related specifically to the current 110th Congress. Here's a reference if you want one (not sure if it would be usable, but it makes the point) [16]. US471776 (talk) 12:00, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
A lot of specific congresses have had low approval ratings in the past. Several have had high approval ratings. None of the US Congress articles list praises or criticism. 55th United States Congress does not include criticisms or approval ratings. This is an historical list of the specifics about how the 110th Congress was formulated and its legislative actions, not a regular article. For example, it lists legislation considered by Congress, but any discussion of how Congress debated that legislation is posted on the legislation's page, not here. Polls and approval ratings also fluctuate throughout a congressional term, so how would you decide which numbers or which polls to use? There is also a History of the United States Congress article, which could be appropriate to discuss congressional approval ratings over time, including the current Congress. Also, as a listing of facts, the article is neutral. To add a "criticism" section, you'd have to also balance that with other viewpoints to continue meeting WP:NPOV, which could make the article unwieldy from the article in my opinion. If you really feel that strongly about it, I suggest you post your idea at Wikiproject U.S. Congress and see what other project particpants think.Dcmacnut (talk) 14:51, 21 June 2008 (UTC)
I agree with inclusion IF AND ONLY IF it can be listed as NPOV. Perhaps a section on "approval ratings" could be added. It's fine to include this information if it's intended to be included extensively across many Congresses (even if it's not executed thusly). —Markles 20:58, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

GOP House protest[edit]

Why isn't there a section or an article about the protest going on? That seems pretty important. Argo117 (talk) 17:30, 5 August 2008 (UTC)Argo117

  • I disagree. Not every political event should be covered in this article. You're welcome to write a new article and if it's Wiki-worthy, then it might be worth including here.—Markles 19:52, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


I think it is misleading to say that the Democrats control a majority in the Senate, as the party technically does not, the caucus does, and many readers will not know this distinction. I propose the following rewording of the line in the lede: While the Democratic party does not technically hold a majority of the Senate seats, having forty-nine, the two Independent senators — Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut — caucus with the Democrats, giving the Democrats and effective majority of Congress. I think this is a neutral and valid assessment of the situation. A further question would be if addressing Lieberman's Republican leanings and the fact that he was previously a Democrat would be appropriate in the lede, or anywhere else in the article. I welcome comment. seresin ( ¡? ) 03:29, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

This has already been discussed above at #Senate majority. The two independents are considered Democrats for purposes of organizing the Senate, regardless of their party affiliation. It is the 51-49 split that determines majority/minority status. The only way we could refer to it as 49-49-2 would be if Sanders and Lieberman opted not to caucus with either party. I don't think a rewrite to the lede is needed, since we do address the 2 Democratic-leaning independents later in the article.DCmacnut<> 16:30, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I am aware that it was discussed before; it was two years ago, and so consensus can clearly change. As for your statement that the independents are considered Democrats for the purpose of organizing the Senate, please provide a source. And I really fail to see why there is any reason not to clarify this fact. The line as currently written is misleading; clarification and precision is always good. seresin ( ¡? ) 22:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
  • The relevant point for this article is that although the Democrats are not a majority, they control a majority. They elected the majority leader, they control majorities on committees.12:38, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
  • I don't see any reason not to change it how I proposed above. Absolutely nothing is taken away from the article, and this wording clarifies it. I plan to modify it in the next few days. seresin ( ¡? )  05:30, 17 September 2008 (UTC)
I have no objection to expanding on the two independents caucusing with the Democrats, but I do object to the statement that "Democrats do not technically hold a majority." The two independents are Democrats for purposes of organizing the Senate. Party affiliation is irrelevant in this case. They could be registered Republicans, Libertarians, or what have you. If they chose to caucus with the Democrats, they'd be considered Democrats for purposes of organizing the Senate. The Democrats have the majority in the Senate, plain and simple.
This debate is also generally moot, considering the upcoming election, where most predictions indicate 3 to 4 additional seats being held by Democrats.DCmacnut<> 19:21, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
  • I generally agree that the Democrats control a majority. The caucus has a majority and the party controls the caucus. This debate is not moot because the election will affect the 111th Congress.—Markles 20:51, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Possible change?[edit]

Obama resigning his Senate seat made it 50-49 for the Democrats (counting Sanders and Lieberman). If Biden resigns his seat before January 3, the composition becomes 49-49, and since the Republicans still have the Presidency and Cheney is the tie-breaking vote, does that mean that (briefly) the GOP becomes the majority party in the Senate once again until the 111th Congress is sworn in? CrazyC83 (talk) 16:44, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

No. For a change in majority to occur, the full Senate would need to pass a new organizing resolution establishing Republicans as committee chairs. That resolution would be subject to a 60-vote filibuster, and it is unlikely that Democrats would support such a move. When the majority flipped from Republican to Democratic in 2001 the original organizing resolution that addressed GOP control in a 50-50 Senate had a provision nullifying the resolution and requiring a new one be approved if either party gained an outright 51-49 majority. The resolution for the 110th Congress contained no such provision. I highly doubt this would become an issue, though, since the 110th Congress is likely to adjourned sine die before December 31, officially ending the 110th Congress. Even if Biden resigned prior to his current term expiring on January 3, there would be no Congressional session in place for the majority to switch. My guess is Biden will resign on or after January 6 at the start of the 111th Congress.DCmacnut<> 17:41, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Since Biden was reelected to the Senate, the assumption is that he would not resign before Jan 6, since he would just have to resign again on Jan 6. But there are a number of media reports saying he will resign shortly, and there's really no reason why he couldn't resign now, and then resign again on Jan 6. Simon12 (talk) 05:03, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
A concurring precedent: in November 2002, the Republicans re-obtained a majority (50), but did not get majority party control. -- (talk) 02:56, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Furthermore, Obama's seat could be filled quickly as could Biden's. The length of the 49-49 split would be short or non-existent.—Markles 18:31, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Another possible change is if Lieberman leaves the Democratic caucus (or if the Democrats expel him) before January 3; that would give the Republicans a majority for what is left of the term. But again, for the reasons stated above, the Senate is unlikely to be reorganized. -- (talk) 02:56, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Approval Ratings?[edit]

Well, I think it's a well known fact that this Congress has the lowest approval ratings of any Congress in the history of the United States, but it says this nowhere in the article. I think it deserves mention. (talk) 21:47, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

The first thing to do would to find reliable external sources backing up this claim. Qqqqqq (talk) 22:35, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's a very important piece of information for this article. I'll see if I can dig something up. Fdssdf (talk) 06:33, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Disagree strongly. This is an encyclopedia article and a list of facts. Opinions, no matter their source, are pointless in this article.—Markles 11:36, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
Just to continue the debate, there are numerous article which include polling data as sources, including almost every article regarding a congressional race. I see no harm if it is from a reputable news source and VERY well cited. --Daysleeper47 (talk) 14:42, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Do they opinion polls really matter? The majority party gained seats in both houses I don't see that as disapproval of Congress. In fact its kind of an approval isn't it? Gang14 (talk) 16:02, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
    • I think this deserves mention. Congress has a lower approval rating than President Bush, who has almost an entire paragraph in the lead of his article talking about his approval ratings. »S0CO(talk|contribs) 07:09, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

VA-11's vacancy[edit]

Markles edited the article to claim that Rep. Tom Davis's (R-VA) seat "will remain vacant until the next Congress". I don't think this is an appropriate statement. While the current Congress is out of session, special elections have happened while Congress has adjourned in the past. Here are two examples. In 2002 Patsy Mink died during the 2002 election. In Nov 02 a special election for the short term was held (see the NY Times for details). Congress was out of session during this time. A week ago a special election was held in Ohio after the death of Stephanie Tubbs-Jones; (see CQPolitics for details) as the Hawaii example, Congress is out of session. Due to these examples, I don't we can say a special election won't be held. VA state law states that 30 days has to pass before a special election is held; see WaPo. This means that the latest day an election could be held is Dec. 24. While I personally doubt an election will be held, we can't say for sure until someone else does. - Thanks, Hoshie 23:21, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

  • You're right - I was wrong. I really didn't put enough thought into it, which is my fault. I suggest you edit it to correct what I wrote. Thanks.—Markles 23:47, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Its OK; I made the change after I posted my message. I checked the VA Governor's website and found the only special election called was for seats in House of Delegates, not Congress. Majority Leader Hoyer has said the lame duck session could go into December; see MarketWatch. This could mean a special election could be held, but I doubt it due to the window being too short. - Thanks, Hoshie 07:16, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Image location[edit]

I'm the editor who put the images above the section heading. Then they hang down but don't break up the columns. In some cases, the images had been overlapping/covering text in the right column. So I moved them up a bit. It didn't seem like such a problem, but if the MOS is strict about images being in the precise section, then we'd need a workaround.—Markles 23:44, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Before & After[edit]

I added before and after data in the party summary sections. What do you think?—Markles 01:27, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Dead link[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external links were found to be unavailable. Please check if the links are in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 02:08, 1 June 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No consensus and stale discussion. -- Alan Liefting (talk - contribs) 03:46, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

I propose that Special elections to the 110th United States Congress be merged into 110th United States Congress. The information in the former article essentially duplicates that in the latter. - Presidentman talk · contribs Random Picture of the Day (Talkback) 22:25, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.