Senate

Senate sets new voting record with Iran war measure

The Senate set a new record for the longest vote in modern history Friday as the chamber votes on restricting President Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran without congressional approval. 
 
The Senate is normally out of town on Friday, but stuck around to give 2020 Democratic candidates a chance to vote on the amendment, from Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), that would block Trump from using funding to take military action against Iran without congressional approval. 
 
The vote clocked in at 10 hours when it wrapped up just after 3 p.m.
 
{mosads}In an effort to balance the 2020 demands and senators who had already planned trips, the Senate came into session at 5 a.m., several hours earlier than a normal week day. 
 
Several senators voted within minutes of the vote opening, including Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). 
 
Other senators trickled in throughout the morning. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) jokingly asked Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) as they ran into each other in Capitol hallways, “Mike, did you sleep here?” 
 
Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) were overheard talking about their flight times as they exited the Capitol. 
 
And Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), spotting reporters as he entered the Capitol, quipped, “You’ve got to be kidding me? Six a.m., really?” 
 
The previous record for the longest vote in modern history was in December, when senators kept a vote open for more than five hours as they made a failed attempt to avoid a partial government shutdown. 
 
Friday’s early voting, and long hours, wasn’t without unusual moments. 
 
At odds with the generally buttoned up Senate decorum, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) headed toward the chamber around 5:30 a.m. in jeans and a green polo shirt. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was spotted voting from the cloakroom in shorts and a T-shirt. 
 
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) tried to inject some humor into the proceedings five hours into the Senate session by asking a largely empty chamber if “any senator wanted to vote or change their vote.” 
 
After roughly six hours of Republicans presiding over the GOP-controlled chamber, they took an unusual step of letting Democrats preside, with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) taking over.  
 
By the time the Senate left for the day, Democratic Sens. Kaine, Udall and Jack Reed (D-R.I.) had also presided over the chamber.
 
There was talk amongst senators that there wouldn’t be enough Republican senators in Washington with the start of the Fourth of July recess for them to preside over the Senate for an hours-long last-minute session. 
 
Normally when the Senate is in session one Republican senator presides over the chamber, with the responsibility rotating amongst lawmakers throughout the day. 
 

Tester told reporters on Thursday that Democrats were being lined up to help preside over the chamber, adding, “I never saw it happen when we were in the majority.”  

Tags Charles Schumer Dan Sullivan Dick Durbin Donald Trump Government shutdown Jack Reed Joe Manchin Jon Tester Josh Hawley Lamar Alexander Lindsey Graham Martha McSally Mike Lee Patty Murray Ron Wyden Tim Kaine Tom Udall

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