U.S. Senate | KERA News

U.S. Senate

This is how the Senate changes — not with a bang, but with a motion to overturn the ruling of the chair.

By a simple majority vote, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., set a new precedent in the Senate that will ease the confirmation for President Trump's Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Friday, after 30 more hours of debate on the floor.

"This will be the first, and last, partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court justice," said McConnell in a closing floor speech.

Thursday is the day the judicial filibuster in the Senate is scheduled to die. There hasn't been much of an effort to save it, but there have been a lot of lamentations for the slow demise of the World's Greatest Deliberative Body (WGDB), otherwise known as the U.S. Senate.

Here are five insights into what the death of the judicial filibuster means:

1. The winners and losers

Texas Tribune

It’s been smooth sailing so far for Texas Republican John Cornyn in his bid for a third term in the U.S. Senate.

His wide lead and enormous war chest have given him the luxury of waging a non-traditional campaign that includes an effort to draw minority voters into the Republican fold.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Senator Ted Cruz is unapologetic for leading the fight that has brought the federal government close to defaulting on its debt payments.

The Senate approved a sweeping immigration bill Thursday, endorsing a bill that would put millions of immigrants who illegally entered the United States on a path to citizenship. The final vote tally on the bill was 68 in favor, with 32 opposed.

The bill also includes measures that would punish employers who take advantage of immigrant workers, as well as providing billions in spending to employ fences and high-tech tools to help secure the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

All 52 Democratic senators voted for the bill, along with 14 Republicans and two independents.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

  Freshman Texan Ted Cruz made his first formal speech from the floor of the U.S. Senate today, offering an amendment to defund the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. (He did speak last week during Sen. Rand Paul's marathon filibuster protesting U.S. drone policy, but did not offer legislation for discussion.)

The Senate began debate on the proposal to pull funding for the health care law this afternoon, but the solid Democratic majority ensures that Cruz's amendment has almost no chance of passing.

After 20 years in the Senate, Texas Republican Kay Bailey Hutchison bid farewell to colleagues in an emotional speech that urged more bipartisan cooperation.

Sen.-elect Ted Cruz has come out of his victory over Paul Sadler swinging. In a speech to the Federalist Society on Friday, he joked, "I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama."

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Texas Senator Wendy Davis says her top legislative priority is education funding. The newly re-elected lawmaker who beat Republican Mark Shelton says she is not just for public schools, but also for higher education.

At the top of the Texas ticket, Republican Mitt Romney is expected to win and claim the state’s 38 electoral votes.

District 10 is one of the most expensive state senate races in Texas history, and in Tarrant County it’s coming down to the wire as Republican Rep. Mark Shelton battles to unseat Democratic State Sen. Wendy Davis.

Bill Zeeble / KERA News

Republican senate hopeful Ted Cruz campaigned today in north Dallas with both of the state’s Republican U.S. Senators. 

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Paul Sadler has little money and faces an uphill battle. But during a stop in Dallas Wednesday he said voters shouldn’t count him out, even though he's trailing in the polls by double digits. In the last week, he has finally had enough money to launch a TV ad against Republican opponent Ted Cruz.

Courtney Collins / KERA News

In the home stretch of his campaign, Republican Senate Candidate Ted Cruz is stumping for himself and fellow GOP candidates.

L.M. Otero / Associated Press

As early voting begins across Texas today, U.S. Senate candidates Paul Sadler and Ted Cruz are entering the home stretch of a long campaign. During their last debate Friday at KERA studios, Democrat Sadler and Republican Cruz presented sharp differences on many issues -- especially taxes.

Cruz vs. Sadler: The Live Blog

Oct 19, 2012
L.M. Otero / Associated Press

Democrat Paul Sadler and Republican Ted Cruz squared off Friday night at KERA’s Dallas studio in the final debate of their campaign to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

U.S. Senate candidates Ted Cruz and Paul Sadler are trying to position themselves as defenders of a great Texas tradition: gun ownership. 

Dallas Morning News

Beyond some clear differences on important policy issues, one of the things we learned early during the first debate between Democrat Paul Sadler and Republican Ted Cruz is that both trial attorney-candidates love to argue.  

Dallas Morning News

Accusations and insults flew last night as Democratic Senate Candidate Paul Sadler tried to narrow the double-digit lead held by Republican Ted Cruz. 

Final details have been locked down for KERA’s Oct. 19 debate between Republican Ted Cruz and Democrat Paul Sadler, who are running to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate.

Michael Stravato / Texas Tribune

Attorney Ted Cruz credits a grassroots movement with his defeat of Lt. Governor David Dewhurst for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination.  

KC Ivey / Flickr Creative Commons

Stark choices await Texas voters in Tuesday's runoff elections as tea party-backed candidates face establishment Republicans while new leaders emerge among Democrats.

Governor Rick Perry joined former Senate candidates Craig James and past Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert at a phone bank to back Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. 

Dallas County reports two more West Nile virus deaths. That brings the total to five this year, surpassing the 2006 record of four deaths. 

The brand new Congressional District 33 runoff race is one of the hottest in North Texas. Early voter turnout is already higher than predicted. Fort Worth’s Marc Veasey and Domingo Garcia, from Dallas, have honed their messages to win as many Democratic votes as possible. 

Janine Khammash / KERA

Early voting begins today for Texas runoff elections. Nowhere are the candidates campaigning harder and spending more money than in the Republican U.S. Senate race. On Saturday Ted Cruz headlined three Tea Party rallies beginning in Garland, where he fired up a crowd of about 100.

Todd Gillman / Dallas Morning News

Former Dallas mayor Tom Leppert upstaged a televised debate between Republican senate candidates David Dewhurst and Ted Cruz Tuesday night when he appeared with Dewhurst and endorsed him. 

Former Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert finished third in the Republican primary behind Dewhurst and Cruz, both of whom sought his support.

Leppert said his decision on who to endorse came down to the question of who could create jobs.  He said Dewhurst has proven he can do that by building a successful energy business. 

Less than three weeks before Election Day an independent poll shows Ted Cruz overtaking David Dewhurst in the Republican race for the U.S. Senate.  It comes in the midst of news that previous Dewhurst speeches have been removed from the Internet. 

Sparks flew in recent meetings between former Dallas State Representative Domingo Garcia and Fort Worth State House member Marc Veasey. Tonight, fireworks may flare again in KERA’s runoff debate between the two Democrats.

The Democratic candidates in the runoff for US Senate talked about health care, border security, gay marriage and marijuana in their first televised debate hosted by KERA. BJ Austin reports.

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