meanwhile in the senate
January 20, 2021

The Democratic Party gained a slim majority in the Senate on Wednesday, when Vice President Kamala Harris — who just a few hours earlier took her own oath of office — swore Sens. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), and her successor Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) into the upper chamber.

The Senate now has a 50-50 party split, though Harris would serve as the tie-breaker in simple majority votes, which means the Democrats hold the edge.

With the addition of three new Democrats, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has taken on the role of majority leader, while Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is once again the minority leader, a post he held between 2007 and 2015. Tim O'Donnell

September 26, 2019

The House may be wrapped up in whistleblowers and impeachment, but the Senate is still plodding along.

Just a few hours after a whistleblower report about President Trump's Ukraine phone call was released and acting Director of Intelligence Joseph Maguire testified about it, the Senate confirmed Eugene Scalia as Trump's next labor secretary. Scalia was confirmed along a 53-44 party line vote, replacing Alex Acosta, who resigned amid allegations he mishandled Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse case.

During confirmation hearings, Scalia was questioned about an op-ed he wrote in college that said lesbian parents are not "as equally acceptable or desirable as the traditional family life." Scalia said his views on the subject have since changed, per The New York Times.

Scalia's name is no doubt familiar, as he's the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Eugene Scalia has a similarly conservative background and has defended businesses as a corporate lawyer, namely representing SeaWorld in a case involving an orca killing one of the marine park's trainers. SeaWorld ended up losing, but Scalia did win over then-federal judge Brett Kavanaugh, the lone dissenter in the case. Kathryn Krawczyk

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