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50-50 Senate

Senate leadership is beginning to discuss specifics of committee assignments and Senate chamber operations for this session.  In 2001, when the Senate was split 50-50, Republican Majority Leader Lott (R-MS) and Democratic Minority Leader Daschle (D-SD) reached an agreement on committee membership and provided equal resources for both parties.  The majority held committee chairmanships and membership on committees was divided evenly between Democrats and Republicans while staff and resources were equally split. The majority leader was able to bring legislation to the floor even if there was a tie in committee.  Majority Leader Schumer plans to discuss that option with the Democratic caucus, but he could face opposition from some in his party, who do not want to be as generous as his predecessors.  However, moderates like Sens. Manchin (D-WV) and King (I-ME) may be more amenable to a similar power-sharing arrangement.