What Is a Political Deadlock?

A political deadlock is a situation hindering the passage of a law. It occurs as a result of the equal distribution of votes – for and against – necessary to pass that law.

"Political deadlock" can also be used to define a situation where the different houses of the legislative arm of government, or the executive and legislative branch fall under the control of separate parties or fail to reach an agreement. Political deadlock in the United States usually concerns situations in which the president, Senate and/or House of Representatives belong to separate parties. A political deadlock is also referred to as a political gridlock or stalemate.