The US Senate has passed an organizing resolution after Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reached a power-sharing agreement for running a 50-50 upper chamber, allowing Democrats to take control of powerful Senate committees.
“I am happy to report … that the leadership of both parties have finalized the organizing resolution for the Senate,” Xinhua news agency quoted Schumer as saying from the Senate floor on Wednesday morning, adding that it would let the Senate committees “get to work with Democrats holding the gavels”.
Meanwhile, McConnell, in a statement also on Wednesday, confirmed that they had reached a deal.
“I am pleased to announce we have finalized the formal power-sharing agreement for the 117th Congress.
“This power-sharing agreement is almost identical to the 2001 agreement and will allow the Senate to be fairly run as an evenly-split body,” The Hill news website quoted the Minority Leader as saying.
The resolution is expected to largely mirror a 2001 agreement, the last time the Senate was evenly split, when bills and nominations were sent to the floor even when there were tie votes at the committee level, said a The Hill report.
The organizing resolution comes after weeks of negotiation between the two leaders.
According to The Hill news website report, thelack of a power-sharing agreement kept the Senate suspended in limbo.
“Though Democrats controlled the Senate floor, Republicans still retained control of the committees because they were operating under the 116th Congress resolution when Republicans were in the majority,” it said.