Senate Organization in the 107th Congress: Agreements Reached in a Closely Divided Senate

Senate Organization in the 107 Congress:
Agreements Reached in a Closely Divided Senate
December 20, 2006
Elizabeth Rybicki
Analyst in American National Government
Government and Finance Division

Senate Organization in the 107 Congress:
Agreements Reached in a Closely Divided Senate
The 2000 elections resulted in a Senate composed of 50 Republicans and 50
Democrats. Not since the Senate of 1881 (37 Republicans, 37 Democrats, and two
Independents) had the two major parties been equally represented. An historic
powersharing agreement, worked out by the party floor leaders in consultation with
their party colleagues, was presented to the Senate (S.Res. 8) on January 5, 2001 and
agreed to the same day. The agreement was clarified by a leadership colloquy on
January 8, 2001.
In May of 2001, Senator James Jeffords of Vermont decided to leave the
Republican party, to become an Independent, and to support the Democratic
conference on organizational issues. Control of the Senate shifted to the Democratic
party. The power shift annulled major portions of the powersharing agreement. After
negotiations between the parties, a new organizing resolution, S.Res. 120, was agreed
to on June 29, 2001. The resolution provided for the appointment of a Democratic
majority on all Senate standing committees, and also covered such issues as staffing
and space assignments on Senate committees. Other issues connected to Senate
organization were addressed by letters signed by relevant committee chairs and
ranking members, entered into the Congressional Record of June 29, 2001. On July
10, the two Senate party conferences approved new committee assignments for
certain of their members. In late July and early August, new Senate administrative
and party officers were chosen.
This report describes the principal features of S.Res. 8 and S.Res. 120, as well
as supplementary agreements and understandings between the parties that operated
during the 107th Congress. The report will not be updated.

Background ..................................................1
107th Congress: Opening Day Actions..............................1
The Powersharing Agreement: S.Res. 8, January 5, 2001..............2
Supplemental Colloquy, January 8, 2001...........................4
“Filling the Amendment Tree”: Limits on Floor Leaders...........4
Minority Senators as Presiding Officers........................4
Party Access to Space in the Capitol...........................4
The Shift to Democratic Control, May-June 2001.....................5
S.Res. 120 and Other Organizational Issues.........................7
Disclosing “Blue-Slipped” Nominations........................8
Consideration of Supreme Court Nominees.....................8
Space Allocations..........................................9
Small Business Committee Renamed.........................10
Nomination Standing Order.................................10
Additional Issues.........................................11
Conclusion ..................................................11
Appendix A: S.Res. 8.............................................13
Appendix B: S.Res. 120...........................................17

Senate Organization in the 107Congress:
Agreements Reached in a Closely Divided
Twice during the 107th Congress, the Senate had to address fundamental
organizational questions. First, the 2000 senatorial elections produced a tied Senate,
necessitating the negotiation of a “powersharing agreement” to govern many aspects
of committee and floor activities. Then, the decision of Senator James Jeffords of
Vermont to change his party affiliation from Republican to Independent gave Senate
Democrats numerical control of the body. The shift in party strength caused a second
round of negotiations about the organization and operation of the Senate. This report
reviews these events and the agreements made by the Senate on organizational and
procedural issues.1
107th Congress: Opening Day Actions
The November 2000 elections caused the Senate to be tied with 50 Republicans
and 50 Democrats. Only once before, in 1881, had the two major parties been
equally represented in the Senate. Due to significant changes in Senate procedures,

1881 precedents had little relevance to the contemporary Senate.

The issue of Senate organization was further complicated by the election ofth
Richard B. Cheney as Vice President. When the 107 Congress convened on January
3, 2001, the incumbent Vice President, Albert Gore, Jr., presided until Vice
President-elect Cheney was sworn in on January 20. Although a titular Democratic
majority existed (because Vice President Gore was available to break tie votes) that
could have tried to organize the Senate, any such organizational proposals might well
have been blocked and, even if adopted, could have been reversed under Republican
auspices once Vice President Cheney was in the chair to break ties.
The Senate often negotiates formal and informal agreements to govern the
legislative agenda and its consideration of individual measures. Similar negotiations
about the organization of the Senate began informally in late November between the
Democratic leader, Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD), and the Republican leader, Senator
Trent Lott (R-MS). Talks continued after the Senate convened, and proposals under

1 This report was written in 2001 by Paul Rundquist, a specialist at the Congressional
Research Service. Dr. Rundquist has retired, but the listed author can respond to inquiries
on the subject.

consideration by the two leaders were discussed at meetings of the party
conferences. 2
When the 107th Congress first convened, Senator Daschle, recognized as
majority leader by Vice President Gore, who was presiding, made no attempt to
replace the incumbent Senate administrative officers with Democratic nominees. In
an unprecedented step, the Senate agreed to S.Res. 3, electing Senator Robert C. Byrd
(D-WV) President pro tempore upon the adoption of the resolution, and
simultaneously electing Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) President pro tempore, to
be effective at noon on January 20.
The Senate designated committee chairmen on opening day. Given that Senate
committees are continuing bodies, Senators who had served on panels as of the end
of the 106th Congress retained their positions and roles when the 107th Congress
convened. Several committee chairmen did not return to the 107th Congress,
however, and, for administrative reasons, it was necessary for the Senate, at a
minimum, to designate acting committee chairs to replace them, pending election of
the full committee slates. The Senate went further in adopting S.Res. 7, naming
Democratic committee chairs on all Senate committees to serve as such through
January 20, and naming Republican chairs to assume their posts at noon on that day.
The Powersharing Agreement: S.Res. 8, January 5, 2001
Two days later, on the afternoon of January 5, 2001, Senator Daschle presented to
the Senate S.Res. 8, a measure to provide the organizational basis for powersharing in
the Senate when the parties were equally divided. The resolution was agreed to later that
day.3 Its provisions applied for the duration of the 107th Congress, unless Senate party
strength changed. The key provisions of the resolution were:
!All Senate committees had equal numbers of Republicans and
!A full committee chair could discharge a subcommittee from further
consideration of a measure or matter, if it was not reported because
of a tie vote.
!Budgets and office space for all committees were equally divided,
with overall committee budgets to remain within “historic levels.”4

2 Mark Preston and Paul Kane, “Senate Strikes Historic Deal,” Roll Call, vol. 46, Jan. 8,

2001, pp. 1, 15.

3 The text of the resolution can be found in the Congressional Record, vol. 147, Jan. 5, 2001,
p. 88. Comments by Sens. Lott, Daschle and others appear on pp. 75-76, 78-90.
4 Several press stories discussed the challenges associated with implementing the equal staff
and space agreement. See, Andrew Taylor, “Senate Organization Settlement Leaves Much
to Be Worked Out,” CQ Weekly, vol. 59, Jan. 13, 2001, pp. 127-128.

!Equal ratios on committees were to remain for the duration of the
107th Congress, unless the Senate voting strength of the parties
changed, whereupon committee assignments and party ratios were
to be renegotiated.
Discharging Measures or Matters
!If a measure or nomination had not been reported because of a tie
vote in a committee, the majority or minority leader (after
consultation with committee leaders) could move to discharge the
committee from further consideration of that measure or
!This discharge motion was to be debatable for 4 hours, equally divided
and controlled by the majority and minority leaders. After the
expiration (or yielding back) of time, the Senate would vote on the
discharge motion, without any intervening action, motion, or debate.
!If the committee were discharged by majority vote, the measure or
matter would be placed on the appropriate Senate calendar to await
further parliamentary actions.
Agenda Control and Cloture
!The agreement prohibited a cloture motion from being filed on any
amendable item of business during the first 12 hours it was debated.
!The agreement required both party leaders “to seek to attain an equal
balance of the interests of the two parties” in scheduling and
considering Senate legislative and executive business.
!The agreement also noted that the motion to proceed to any calendar
item “shall continue to be considered the prerogative of the Majority
Leader,” although the resolution qualified this statement with the
observation that “Senate Rules do not prohibit the right of the
Democratic Leader, or any other Senator, to move to proceed to any

5 The Senate made use of this procedure to act on the nomination of Theodore B. Olson to
be Solicitor General of the United States. The motion to report his nomination favorably
from the Senate Judiciary Committee failed on a tie vote, 9-9. Audrey Hudson, “Senate
Panel at Impasse on Olson,” Washington Times, May 18, 2001, p. 1; Eric Lictbau, “Bush’s
Pick for Solicitor General Is Deadlocked,” Los Angeles Times, May 18, 2001, p. 1. On May
24, Sen. Lott offered a motion to discharge the Olson nomination. After extensive debate
under the provisions of S.Res. 8, the Senate agreed to the discharge motion by unanimous
consent and, later the same day, confirmed Olsen by a vote of 51-47. Congressional Record,
vol. 147, May 24, 2001, p. 9420.

Supplemental Colloquy, January 8, 2001
On January 8, 2001, the agreement was further clarified and other new
procedures were announced. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the assistant Democratic
floor leader, received unanimous consent to enter a printed colloquy between
Senators Daschle and Lott into the Congressional Record, and to direct that “the
permanent [Congressional] Record be corrected to provide for its inclusion with the
resolution when it passed the Senate last Friday.”6 In addition to summarizing the
provisions of S.Res. 8, the colloquy covered several more issues.
“Filling the Amendment Tree”: Limits on Floor Leaders. In perhaps
the most significant announcement, the two leaders pledged to refrain from using
their preferential rights of recognition to “fill the amendment tree” in an effort to7
block consideration of controversial issues.
Senator Lott, on behalf of both leaders, declared the policy in the written
... [I]t is our intention that the Senate have full and vigorous debates in this 107th
Congress, and that the right of all Senators to have their amendments considered
will be honored. We have therefore jointly agreed that neither leader, nor their
designees in the absence of the leader, will offer consecutive amendments to fill
the amendment tree so as to deprive either side of the right to offer an
amendment. We both agree that nothing in this resolution or colloquy limits the
majority leader’s right to amend a non-relevant amendment, nor does it limit the
sponsor of that nonrelevant amendment from responding with a further
amendment after the majority leader’s amendment or amendments are disposed8
Minority Senators as Presiding Officers. The party leaders agreed that
minority party Senators would be permitted to serve as presiding officers of the
Senate. This ended, during the powersharing period, the Senate practice of the past
2 decades under which only majority party Senators served as temporary presiding
Party Access to Space in the Capitol. The colloquy further specified that
both parties would “have equal access” to common space in the Capitol complex to

6 Sen. Reid, remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 147, Jan. 8, 2001, p. 144.
7 An amendment tree is a diagram showing the number and types of potential amendments
that may be pending to a measure at the same time under specified conditions. For example,
to an amendment proposing to insert text in a bill, both a second-degree substitute and a
second-degree perfecting amendment could be offered. If the perfecting amendment were
offered before the substitute, however, the substitute could not be offered until the
perfecting amendment was disposed of. Under this circumstance, the floor leaders pledged
not to offer a first-degree amendment and then immediately a second-degree amendment,
in order to block other Senators from offering their own second-degree amendments. For
a fuller description of Senate amendment trees and rules, see CRS Report 98-853, The
Amending Process in the Senate.
8 Sen. Lott, remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 147, Jan. 8, 2001, p. 145.

hold meetings, press conferences, and other events. This supplemented the provisions
in S.Res. 8 guaranteeing the minority equal committee office space.
The Shift to Democratic Control, May-June 2001
On May 24, 2001, Senator James Jeffords announced his intention to leave the
Republican party, to become an Independent, and to caucus with the Senate
Democrats. With Senator Jeffords’ announcement, the Democrats held a numerical
edge in the Senate. On June 5, 2001, Senator Jeffords met with Senate Democrats
at their weekly conference meeting. On June 6, the Senate convened with the
Democrats as the acknowledged Senate majority party.
When Senator Jeffords announced his intention to vote with the Democrats on
organizational questions, the two parties began talks about arrangements to be made
under the new party division. Senator Lott named Senators Pete Domenici (R-NM),
Phil Gramm (R-TX), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Arlen
Specter (R-PA) to take a lead role in negotiating with Democratic leaders about the
steps to be taken in the partisan transition. The Democrats named no comparable
negotiating team, and Senator Daschle met with the Republican team for the first
time on the evening of June 5.9 Discussions continued throughout the month of June.
As these negotiations were taking place, the Senate took (or prepared to take) some
actions not directly connected to the inter-party discussions.
!Election of a new President Pro Tempore. On June 6, the Senate
approved by voice vote, S.Res. 100, electing Senator Robert C. Byrd
as President pro tempore. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the acting
president pro tempore, immediately thereafter administered the
required oath to Senator Byrd. The Senate subsequently agreed by
voice vote to S.Res. 101 and S.Res. 102, formally notifying the
House and the President of the United States, respectively, of this
action. The Senate also agreed by voice vote to S.Res. 103,
expressing its thanks to Senator Thurmond for his service as
President pro tempore, and designating him President pro tempore10
emeritus, a new position in the Senate.
!Election of Party Secretaries. The majority and minority party
secretaries are elected by the Senate. They serve as strategy
consultants and communications links for senators in their party. On
June 6, by voice vote, the Senate agreed to S.Res. 104, electing
Martin P. Paone as secretary for the majority, and S.Res. 105,
electing Elizabeth Letchworth as secretary for the minority. Paone
and Letchworth held the opposite titles during the earlier period of

9 Dave Boyer and Audrey Hudson, “Republicans Speak Softly as Power Shifts,”
Washington Times, June 6, 2001, pp. A1, A12; Paul Kane, “GOP Plays Hardball on Panel
Resolution,” Roll Call, vol. 46, June 4, 2001, p. 1.
10 The Supplemental Appropriations Act, FY2001, contained a provision authorizing the
President pro tempore emeritus to employ a staff consultant. H.R. 2216, conference reportthst
H.Rept. 107-148, 107 Congress, 1 session, p. 31.

Republican control of the Senate. Subsequently, Elizabeth
Letchworth announced her intention to retire from the post, effective
July 31, 2001. On August 3, 2001, the Senate agreed to S.Res. 154,
commending Letchworth for her 25 years of service to the Senate,
and immediately thereafter agreed to S.Res. 155, electing David
Schiappa, formerly Assistant Secretary, to the post of Secretary for
the Minority.11
!Time for votes in the Senate. Majority Leader Daschle announced
his intention to conduct votes more expeditiously, beginning with
the Senate session on June 7, 2001. Except for extraordinary
circumstances, Senators would have no more than 20 minutes during
a roll call vote to come to the floor and record their position.
Senator Daschle explained on the floor:
Madam President, this has been a constant lament of both Senator Lott and
myself. He has attempted to address it on occasion. I have always been
supportive of the effort, to try to be as managerial with these votes as we can be.
He and I have talked about it as recently as just prior to the break. My intent ...
is to do all that we can to terminate the vote at the end of 20 minutes. I think that
is ample time. If we are going to be efficient in the use of our time, we cannot
allow these votes to drag on. This has been a source of increasing concern to me
personally. So we will do our utmostSin fact, I will ask that the votes be
terminated at the end of 20 minutes. I hope Senators can be made aware that
will be the policy and we will implement it. If there is an emergency, we can
accommodate that. But I also will attempt to impose some discipline with regard
to the votes. We will attempt to implement that beginning tomorrow. I put all12
Senators on notice in that regard.
Senator Daschle announced his intention to continue having Senators from both
parties share the duties of presiding over Senate sessions. This policy had been
contained in the powersharing agreement. During the week of July 16, 2001, Senate
Republicans informed the Democratic leadership that Republican Senators would no13
longer agree to preside over the Senate.

11 “Commending Elizabeth Letchworth,” remarks of Sens. Daschle and Lott in the Senate,
Congressional Record, vol. 147, July 17, 2001, pp. 13427-13429; Mark Preston and John
Bresnahan, “Lott Loses His Top Adviser on Senate Floor Strategy,” Roll Call, vol. 47, July

16, 2001, p. 1. “Commending Elizabeth Letchworth,” remarks of Sens. Lott and others,

Congressional Record, vol. 147, Aug. 3, 2001, pp. 16053-16055. “Electing David Schiappa
Secretary for the Minority,” remarks of Sen. Lott, Congressional Record, vol. 147, Aug. 3,

2001, pp. 16055-16056.

12 Remarks of Sen. Daschle in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 147, June 6, 2001,
p. 10077.
13 Mark Preston, “GOP Drops Chair Duties,” Roll Call, vol. 47, July 23, 2001, p. 1. The
article quotes one Republican Senator as saying, “There is not a lot of interest on our side
to do it,” and another saying, “Presiding takes time and it takes people away from their
other duties, and it is a little bit of a burden.” A Democratic leader is quoted as saying, “we
tried to be fair and share that, but they didn’t want it.”

After the switch in party control, the Senate took` steps to choose new
administrative officers. During the powersharing period, the incumbent Republican
Secretary of the Senate and Sergeant at Arms remained in their posts. After the
switch in party control, however, Gary Sisco, the Secretary of the Senate, tendered
his resignation. Jeri Thomson, who previously held the post of Executive Assistant
for the Minority in the office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms, was elected Secretary
of the Senate on July 12, 2001.14
On June 12, 2001, the Senate received the nomination of James Ziglar, the
incumbent Sergeant at Arms, to become Commissioner of the Immigration and
Naturalization Service. The Senate confirmed Ziglar’s nomination on August 1, 2001,
and also agreed to a resolution (S.Res. 144) commending him for his service as Sergeant
at Arms. Senator Daschle announced his intention to nominate retired Army Major
General Alfonso Lenhardt to the post. Lenhardt, since his retirement after 31 years of
military service, had served as the Chief Operating Officer for the Washington-based
Council on Foundations.15 On August 2, 2001, the Senate agreed to S.Res. 149, electing
Lenhardt Senate Sergeant at Arms, effective September 4, 2001.16
S.Res. 120 and Other Organizational Issues
An agreement on committees and related organizational issues was reached by
resolution just before the Senate adjourned for the Independence Day recess on June
29, 2001. Less formal assurances contained in “Dear Colleague” letters from the
chairs and ranking members of the appropriate committees were printed in the
Congressional Record to set procedures for the public disclosure of so-called “blue
slips” on nominees, for Senate action on future Supreme Court nominations, and
future decisions concerning the allocation of space.
S.Res. 120 of June 29, 2001 provided for Democratic majorities on all Senate
standing and select committees (except for the Select Committee on Ethics which
always has equal party representation). The resolution assured that “no Senator shall
lose his or her current committee assignments by virtue of this resolution.”17 Section

14 S.Res. 129, electing Jeri Thomson as secretary of the Senate, and S.Res. 130 and S.Res.
131, notifying the House and the President, respectively, of her election. Congressional
Record, vol. 147, July 12, 2001, pp. 13141-13142.
15 Mark Preston, “Daschle Picks a Sgt.-at-Arms to Replace Outgoing Ziglar,” Roll Call,
vol. 47, July 26, 2001, p. 1.
16 “Providing for the Election of Alfonso E. Lenhardt as Sergeant at Arms,” Congressional
Record, vol. 147, Aug. 2, 2001, p. 16006.
17 As one press report described the assignment problem before the Senate agreed to S.Res.

120, “[C]ommittees continue to be in a state of legislative limbo, officially organized as theyth

were at the end of the 106 Congress. Veteran Senators who received new committeeth
assignments at the start of the 107 Congress are not allowed to vote on their new panels,
and freshman Senators technically do not have any assignments. For the purposes of
holding hearings, those Senators have been “invited” to attend as unofficial committee
members, aides said.” Paul Kane, “Negotiations Over Senate Committee Resolution Hit
Snag,” Roll Call, vol. 46, June 14, 2001, p. 1. Technically, the only assignments Senators

3 of the resolution expressly provided that, regardless of any future shifts in party
strength in the Senate during the 107th Congress, existing agreements about the
allocation of committee staff and funds made by committee chairs and ranking
minority members would remain in effect, unless modified by them.
Disclosing “Blue-Slipped” Nominations. The tradition of “senatorial
courtesy” has a long history. Under this practice, the Senate often declined to
confirm a presidential nominee for an office in the state of a Senator of the
President’s party unless that Senator approved. The practice is a purely customary
one and not always followed by the Senate. The term “blue slip” derives from the
blue buckslip that the Senate Judiciary Committee uses to solicit Senators’ comments
on the suitability of nominees in their states. Customarily, Senators have been able
to block such nominees without their objections being made publicly known.
This largely private custom became more formal and more public under terms
of a Dear Colleague letter announced by Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin
Hatch, the chair and ranking minority member of the Senate Judiciary Committee:
The “blue slips” that the (Judiciary) Committee has traditionally sent to home
State Senators to ask their views on nominees to be U.S. Attorneys, U.S.
Marshalls and federal judges, will be treated as public information. We both
believe that such openness in the confirmation process will benefit the Judiciary
Committee and the Senate as a whole. Further, it is our intention that this policy
of openness with regard to “blue slips” and the blue slip process continue in the
future, regardless of who is Chairman or which party is in the majority in the
Senate. Therefore, we write to inform you that the Chairman of the Judiciary
Committee, with the full support of the former Chairman and Ranking
Republican Member, is exercising his authority to declare that the blue slip18
process shall no longer be designated or treated as Committee confidential.
Due to the fact that the Dear Colleague letter related only to nominees considered by
the Judiciary Committee, the secrecy of “senatorial courtesy” requests on appropriate
nominations that might be considered by other Senate committees was not changed.
Consideration of Supreme Court Nominees. Discussions between the
parties focused on possible ways to guarantee Senate floor votes on nominations to
fill any future vacancies on the Supreme Court. Senate Democrats opposed any such
formal guarantee, and Republican negotiators were reluctant to insist on a vote to
make this procedure a formal part of the rules or of the organizing resolution. The
issue was ultimately addressed by another Leahy-Hatch Dear Colleague letter:

17 (...continued)
were guaranteed were those they held at the end of the 106th Congress.
18 Letter from Sens. Leahy and Hatch, printed in Congressional Record, vol. 147, June 29,
2001, p. 12588. Making public the names of Senators objecting to nominees under the
informal blue slip process is, in many respects, a development similar to the wider
notification process now required for the Senate’s informal hold process. See CRS Report

98-712, “Holds” in the Senate.

We are cognizant of the important constitutional role of the Senate in connection
with Supreme Court nominations. We write as Chairman and Ranking
Republican Member on the Judiciary Committee to inform you that we are
prepared to examine carefully and assess such presidential nominations. The
Judiciary Committee’s traditional practice has been to report Supreme Court
nominees to the Senate once the committee has completed its consideration.
This has been true even in cases where Supreme Court nominees were opposed
by a majority of the Judiciary Committee. We both recognize and have every
intention of following the practices and precedents of the Committee and the19
Senate when considering Supreme Court nominees.
During his remarks on S.Res. 120, Senator Daschle referred to the discussions
about Senate action on future Supreme Court nominations:
In the course of our negotiations, a number of our Republican colleagues also
raised concerns about how Democrats would deal with potential Supreme Court
nominations, should that need arise. A second letter to which Senators Leahy
and Hatch agreed says clearly that all nominees to the Supreme Court will
receive full and fair consideration. This is the same position I stated publicly
many times during our negotiations, and I intend to see that the Senate lives up
to this commitment. It has been the traditional practice of the Judiciary
Committee to report Supreme Court nominees to the Senate floor once the
committee has completed its consideration. This has been true even for a number
of nominees that were defeated in the Judiciary Committee. Now, Senators
Leahy and Hatch have put in writing their intention that consideration of
Supreme Court nominees will follow the practices and precedents of the
Judiciary Committee and the Senate. In reaching this agreement, we have
avoided an unwise and unwarranted change to the Standing Rules of the Senate
and a sweeping revision to the Senate’s constitutional responsibility to review20
Supreme Court nominees.
Space Allocations. With the shift in political control of the Senate,
substantial concern was expressed about relocating committee staff, with the new
committees’ Democratic majority staff moving into space previously occupied by
committees’ Republican staff. The Senate Rules and Administration Committee
announced that, as in 1995, staff and equipment in committee rooms would be moved
according to a schedule in which staff would move to new majority or minority21
committee rooms first, with equipment from their former offices following later.

19 Letter from Sens. Leahy and Hatch, printed in Congressional Record, vol. 147, June 29,

2001, p. 12588; see also CRS Memorandum to Sen. Lott, Congressional Record, vol. 147,

June 29, 2001, pp. 12589-12590.
20 Sen. Daschle, remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 147, June 29, 2001, p.
12589. Press reports also quoted Sen. Daschle as saying that the letter from Sens. Leahy and
Hatch “recognizes that it would be my (Sen. Daschle’s) intention to maintain past precedent
... but that there are no guarantees.” Emily Pierce, “Congressional Affairs,” CQ Daily
Monitor, July 2, 2001, p. 2.
21 Mark Preston and Paul Kane, “Senate Space Wars Erupt,” Roll Call, vol. 46, June 28,

2001, pp. 1, 28.

The controversy surrounding changes in office space led to the inclusion of
language in S.Res. 120 recognizing the validity of committee space and staff
allocation agreements between committee chairs and ranking minority members, and
continuing such agreements in force unless modified by subsequent agreements
between each committee’s leaders. An additional Dear Colleague letter, this one
signed by Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the
chair and ranking member of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee,
clarified the space issue. The letter reaffirmed the authority of the Rules and
Administration Committee over space allocation in Senate office buildings, but left
to committee chairs the duty to implement any space allocation decisions regarding
their panels:
In the allocation of office space to Senate committees, pursuant to Rule XXV of
the Standing Rules of the Senate, it is the practice of the Committee on Rules and
Administration to assign all such space to the chairman of each committee.
Further, the Rules Committee does not traditionally intervene in the internal
space allocation decisions of the committees and therefore is not a party to any
agreements between the chair and ranking member regarding space allocation.
It is the intent of the Committee on Rules and Administration to continue such22
Small Business Committee Renamed. In a separate and unrelated action
on June 29, the Senate agreed to S.Res. 123, a resolution amending Senate Rule XXV
to change the name of the Senate Committee on Small Business to the Committee on
Small Business and Entrepreneurship. The resolution was submitted by Senators
John Kerry (D-MA) and Christopher Bond (R-MO), the chair and ranking minority
members of the committee. Senator Kerry observed that “adding ‘Entrepreneurship’
to the Committee on Small Business’s name will more accurately reflect the
Committee’s valuable role in helping to foster and promote economic development
by including entrepreneurial companies and the spirit of entrepreneurship in the
United States.”23 S.Res. 123 did not alter the committee’s jurisdiction.
Nomination Standing Order. By unanimous consent on August 2, 2001,th
the Senate agreed to a standing order “for the 107 Congress” governing the referral
of future nominations to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
The order provided that, when such nomination is received by the Senate, it is to be
referred to the Committee on Armed Services and, if the Armed Services Committee
reports, the nomination is then to be sequentially referred to the Committee on
Environment and Public Works for a period of 20 session days. If not reported by
the Environment and Public Works Committee within that period, the nomination is
to be discharged and placed on the Senate’s Executive Calendar.24 Typically, a

22 Letter from Sens. Dodd and McConnell, Congressional Record, vol. 147, June 29, 2001,
p. 12588.
23 Sen. Kerry, remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 147, June 29, 2001, p.


24 “Order for Referral of Nomination,” Congressional Record, vol. 147, Aug. 2, 2001, p.


nomination will be referred only to one committee or, in a small number of instances,
to two or more committees by unanimous consent on a case-by-case basis.25
Additional Issues. Agreement to S.Res. 120 did not complete Senate work
on reorganization under Democratic control. The two party conferences approved
new assignments for their members (including the designation of Senator Jeffords as26
the new chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee) on July 10.
No floor action to approve the new committee chairs was thought to be necessary
under the terms of S.Res. 120. Some committees decided to revise the internal rules
they adopted earlier in the 107th Congress.27
The Senate did not name conferees through its traditional mechanisms during
the powersharing period. The parliamentary stages though which the Senate passes
to get to conference are usually handled by unanimous consent. This consent
includes granting authority to the presiding officer to appoint conferees, based on the
recommendations of the relevant committee and floor leaders. Disputes between the
parties on the appropriate ratio between Republicans and Democrats on Senate
conference delegations caused the Senate to avoid going to conference with the
House during the powersharing period. Only two measures went to conference up
through the July Fourth recess, the budget resolution and the reconciliation bill,
conference procedures for which were governed by the Budget Act. After the shift
in party control, there was not a public objection to having the chair appoint
conferees. Of course, private negotiations among Senators and party leaders about
the size and composition of conference delegations continued.
The powersharing agreement was an experiment. The new Senate organization
resolution departed as well from many established practices. The success of any
Senate organizational settlement depends upon its adaptability and that of its
members to changing circumstances. The comments of Senator Lott on the
powersharing agreement can also apply to the provisions of S.Res. 120:
There are those in this Chamber who will not agree with me that we are going to
support this resolution. There are those in this Chamber who probably will not
agree with Senator Daschle that this is enough. Some will say it is too much;
others will say it is not enough. Who is to say? The day may come when we will
say: Well, yes, we didn’t do that right; we didn’t figure some of the things that

25 The nomination to the post of Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works was
referred to the Committee on Armed Services and then to the Committee on Environmentthth
and Public Works in the 108 (2003-2004) and 109 Congress (2005-2006) as well.
26 Noelle Straub, “Vulnerable Senate Democrats Get Choice Committee Assignments,” The
Hill, vol. 8, July 11, 2001; Paul Kane and Mark Preston, “Reed, Thomas Win Top Panel
Prizes in Reorganization,” Roll Call, vol. 46, July 12, 2001, p. 3.
27 See, for example, Sen. Hollings, remarks in the Senate accompanying the publication of
revised rules for the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee,
Congressional Record, vol. 147, July 19, 2001, p. 13950. The revised rules altered the
number of members constituting a quorum to report a measure from 12 to 13, reflecting the
addition of one additional Democratic slot on the committee.

we will have to deal with it. Senator Daschle and I will have to go to the
Member on his side of the aisle or my side of the aisle and say: That is not in
good faith. That is not what we intended. Or, when we make a mistake, change28

28 Sen. Lott, remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 147, January 5, 2001, p. 79.

Appendix A: S.Res. 8


S. RES. 8
Relative to Senate procedure in the 107th Congress.
JANUARY 5, 2001
Mr. DASCHLE (for himself and Mr. LOTT) submitted the following resolution;
which was considered and agreed to
Relative to Senate procedure in the 107th Congress.
Resolved, That notwithstanding the provisions of rule1
XXV, or any other provision of the Standing Rules or2
Standing Orders of the Senate, the committees of the Sen-3
ate, including Joint and Special Committees, for the 107th4
Congress shall be composed equally of members of both5
parties, to be appointed at a later time by the two Leaders;6
that the budgets and office space for such committees, and7
all other subgroups, shall likewise be equal, with up to an8
additional 10 percent to be allocated for administrative ex-9
penses to be determined by the Rules Committee, with the10
total administrative expenses allocation for all committees11
not to exceed historic levels; and that the Chairman of12

a full committee may discharge a subcommittee of any1
Legislative or Executive Calendar item which has not been2
reported because of a tie vote and place it on the full com-3
mittee's agenda.4
SEC. 2. Provided, That such committee ratios shall5
remain in effect for the remainder of the 107th Congress,6
except that if at any time during the 107th Congress ei-7
ther party attains a majority of the whole number of Sen-8
ators, then each committee ratio shall be adjusted to re-9
flect the ratio of the parties in the Senate, and the provi-10
sions of this resolution shall have no further effect, except11
that the members appointed by the two Leaders, pursuant12
to this resolution, shall no longer be members of the com-13
mittees, and the committee chairmanships shall be held14
by the party which has attained a majority of the whole15
number of Senators.16
SEC. 3. Pursuant to the provisions and exceptions17
listed above, the following additional Standing Orders18
shall be in effect for the 107th Congress:19
(1) If a committee has not reported out a legis-20
lative item or nomination because of a tie vote, then,21
after notice of such tie vote has been transmitted to22
the Senate by that committee and printed in the23
Record, the Majority Leader or the Minority Leader24
may, only after consultation with the Chairman and25

Ranking Member of the committee, make a motion1
to discharge such legislative item or nomination, and2
time for debate on such motion shall be limited to3
4 hours, to be equally divided between the two4
Lead-ers, with no other motions, points of order, or5
amendments in order: Provided, That following the6
use or yielding back of time, a vote occur on the mo-7
tion to discharge, without any intervening action,8
motion, or debate, and if agreed to it be placed im-9
mediately on the Calendar of Business (in the case10
of legislation) or the Executive Calendar (in the11
case of a nomination).12
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of rule13
XXII, to insure that any cloture motion shall be of-14
fered for the purpose of bringing to a close debate,15
in no case shall it be in order for any cloture motion16
to be made on an amendable item during its first 1217
hours of Senate debate: Provided, That all other pro-18
visions of rule XXII remain in status quo.19
(3) Both Leaders shall seek to attain an equal20
balance of the interests of the two parties when21
scheduling and debating legislative and executive22
business generally, and in keeping with the present23
Senate precedents, a motion to proceed to any Leg-24
islative or Executive Calendar item shall continue to25

be considered the prerogative of the Majority Lead-1
er, although the Senate Rules do not prohibit the2
right of the Democratic Leader, or any other Sen-3
ator, to move to proceed to any item.4

Appendix B: S.Res. 120


S. RES. 120
Relative to the organization of the Senate during the remainder of
the 107th Congress.
JUNE 29, 2001
Mr. DASCHLE (for himself and Mr. LOTT) submitted the following resolution;
which was considered and agreed to
Relative to the organization of the Senate during the
remainder of the 107th Congress.
Resolved, That the Majority Party of the Senate for1
the 107th Congress shall have a one seat majority on every2
committee of the Senate, except that the Select Committee3
on Ethics shall continue to be composed equally of mem-4
bers from both parties. No Senator shall lose his or her5
current committee assignments by virtue of this resolu-6
SEC. 2. Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule XXV8
the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate are here-9

by authorized to appoint their members of the committees1
consistent with this resolution.2
SEC. 3. Subject to the authority of the Standing3
Rules of the Senate, any agreements entered into regard-4
ing committee funding and space prior to June 5, 2001,5
between the Chairman and Ranking member of each com-6
mittee shall remain in effect, unless modified by subse-7
quent agreement between the Chairman and Ranking8
SEC. 4. The provisions of this resolution shall cease10
to be effective, except for Sec. 3, if the ratio in the full11
Senate on the date of adoption of this resolution changes.12