Jeffords switch and block

30 May 2001

Senator James Jeffords has announced his intention to switch his affiliation from the Republican party. If he does so, then control of the Senate will switch to the Democrats. This is because the 100-member Senate is currently divided 50-50 between Republicans and Democrats, with vice president Dick Cheney casting the tie-breaking vote. If Jeffords switches parties, the Democrats will have a 51-49 majority; if Jeffords becomes an independent, the Democrats will have a 50-49 majority.

All committee chairmanships – currently held by Republicans – will switch to the Democrats. This would spell real trouble for president Bush’s energy policy. The worst blow would be in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where Senator Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), a strong supporter of expanding US energy supplies, would lose his chairman’s seat to Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-New Mexico).

Privacy Policy
We have updated our privacy policy. In the latest update it explains what cookies are and how we use them on our site. To learn more about cookies and their benefits, please view our privacy policy. Please be aware that parts of this site will not function correctly if you disable cookies. By continuing to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy unless you have disabled them.