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The 'Nays' Have It: Upper Midwest Senate Delegation & Full Body Vote Against Immigration Bill

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On Thursday the United States Senate voted against cloture on the high profile immigration reform bill that divided politicians on Capitol Hill much more than the American public. Overall, a vast majority of Americans opposed the bill, advocating 'enforcement first' immigration policies, such as sealing the border, before contemplating whether or not potential citizenship opportunities should be offered to any of the 12 million estimated illegal aliens currently residing in the United States. The senate legislation sought to address both of these concerns.

The 53-46 vote against cloture witnessed a division within political parties: 12 Republicans voted for cloture, while 15 Democrats voted against it—including several newly elected Democratic Senators in right-leaning or purple states: Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jim Webb of Virginia, John Tester of Montana, and Sharrod Brown of Ohio.

The Upper Midwest Senate delegation voted 4-3 against cloture as well. Democrats Amy Klobuchar (MN), Herb Kohl (WI), and Russ Feingold (WI) supported the legislation, while Republicans Charles Grassley (IA), John Thune (SD), and Norm Coleman (MN) were joined by Democrat Tom Harkin (IA) against ending debate (SD senior Senator Tim Johnson is now in his seventh month recovering from an illness that has kept him from voting since December 2006).

Harkin released a statement indicating he was largely in favor of the legislation, with the caveat that the bill did not offer enough protection to American workers as the influx of additional immigrants would "drive down wages and benefits, and weaken the bargaining power of all workers."

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Remains of the Data

Who Has Won the Most Votes in US Senate Electoral History?

Only three of the Top 10 and nine of the Top 50 vote-getters of all time are currently serving in the chamber.

Political Crumbs

Six for Thirteen

Collin Peterson remarked last month that he is leaning to run for reelection to Minnesota's 7th Congressional District in 2016. If he does and is victorious, he will creep even closer to the top of the list of the longest-serving U.S. Representatives in Minnesota history. The DFL congressman is only the sixth Minnesotan to win at least 13 terms to the U.S. House of the 135 elected to the chamber in state history. Peterson trails 18-term DFLer Jim Oberstar (1975-2011), 16-term Republicans Harold Knutson (1917-1949) and August Andresen (1925-1933; 1935-1958), and 14-term DFLers Martin Sabo (1979-2007) and John Blatnik (1947-1974). Andresen died in office, Sabo and Blatnik retired, and Knutson and Oberstar were defeated at the ballot box in 1948 and 2010 respectively. At 70 years, 7 months, 11 days through Monday, Peterson is currently the ninth oldest Gopher State U.S. Representative in history. DFLer Rick Nolan of the 8th CD is the seventh oldest at 71 years, 1 month, 23 days.


Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


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