Both the U.S. Senate and House elect majority and minority whips who are responsible for taking party member attendance and counting votes. Also known as assistant party leaders, whips occasionally stand in for party leaders when they are absent. At times whips round up party members for votes.Continue Reading
The term "whip" is derived from the fox-hunting phrase "whipper-in," which described the hunting team member in charge of preventing the dogs from wandering away during a fox chase. The first Senate whips were appointed in the early 1900s along with party leaders.
On a regular basis, whips assist floor leaders and ensure party members are in attendance during particular votes. They do this by asking their staffers to call the staffers of other party members and query as to how they plan to vote. Their staffers then enter this information into a spreadsheet.
When votes appear to be close, the whip visits party members who are on the fence and attempt to resolve their concerns or offer to help with passage of a bill the given party member is in favor of in return for the desired vote.
The day prior to the vote, the whip designates a team to poll party members one more time regarding their intended voting decisions.Learn more about Political Parties
Congress, the United States government's lawmaking branch, is a bicameral legislature that comprises the two chambers, or houses, of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The members of both houses are elected officials who meet at the U.S. Capitol for legislative sessions. The Senate is divided into committees, subcommittees and joint committees that serve specific interests, for example, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry; the Committee on Armed Services; the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs; and the Committee on Finance.Full Answer >
A Blue Dog Democrat is a member of the Democratic party in the U.S. House of Representatives whose political philosophy tends to be more moderate or conservative than those of the more liberal Democrats in the body. Blue Dog Democrats strongly advocate for fiscal responsibility over increased government spending.Full Answer >
In both the House and Senate votes for the Affordable Care Act in 2009, no Republicans voted in support of the bill. Arlen Specter, originally a Republican senator from Pennsylvania, switched to the Democratic Party to support the bill, due to arguments over the contents.Full Answer >
The Affordable Care Act, deemed "Obamacare" by some, received no Republican votes in either the Senate or the House of Representatives. In the Senate, the bill was passed with a total of 60 votes, or 58 Democratic Party votes and 2 Independent Party votes. The House passed the legislation with 219 Democratic votes, notes Forbes.Full Answer >