1/18 Yesterday @gregolear published an article by @ThatShockratees which has the potential to be a game-changer for the senate by preventing Mitch McConnell from stonewalling the Biden agenda.

This thread provides additional analysis, clarification and citation to authority.
2/18 I have gone full circle from endorsing the idea, to expressing great skepticism and, after additional research, am back on the endorsing side. My compliments to @ThatShockratees

The analysis below *assumes* Rs retain the senate majority.
3/18 The published article talks about two things.

1. Delegation of the task of presiding over the senate.
2. Decisions by presiding officer as to which senator is recognized to speak.

The key is #2.
4/18 The Constitution says the VP presides over the senate’s daily affairs and if the VP is not present then the senate’s president pro tempore (and others designated by him) presides.

Cite: senate.gov/reference/Inde…
5/18 Note that the VP *has no power* to delegate the task of presiding. Currently the senate president pro tempore is Chuck Grassley (R). If McConnell ever presides over the senate’s daily affairs it is because he received a delegation of the power to do so from Grassley.
6/18 The written senate rules are online at

Index is on PDF p.115

Rule 19.1a (p.26) says in part "the Presiding Officer shall recognize the Senator who shall first address him."
7/18 In 1937 a tradition began whereby the presiding officer would recognize the majority leader as first to speak on any issue. That tradition continues today. **The first senator to speak on an issue has tremendous power to game the system**.
8/18 Recognizing the majority leader as being allowed to speak first is referred to as “priority recognition”. This tradition (not a formal senate rule) is the source of much of McConnell’s power.
9/18 For example, here is an article explaining that the first senator to speak can control a bill by ‘filling the amendment tree’.

10/18 The gist of the article by @ThatShockratees is that VP Harris would apparently spend a lot of her time presiding over the Senate and would ignore the “priority recognition” tradition and recognize D senators to speak first.
11/18 What could go wrong with that plan?

Riddick’s Senate Procedure is online in searchable form at

It includes both the precedents (ie traditions) and formal rules.
12/18 Can an R senator raise a “point of order” when a D senator is recognized first? No. A senator that does not ‘have the floor’ cannot raise a point of order.

Cite: footnote 2
13/18 Eventually the presiding officer will have to recognize an R senator who would raise a point of order that the presiding officer was wrong to ignore the precedent of recognizing the majority leader as first to speak.
14/18 The presiding officer has the power to decide the point of order and is not required to submit that question for a vote by the senate. VP Harris would overrule the point of order.

Cite: See p.2
15/18 Senate rules provide a broad right to appeal decisions by the presiding officer. However, there is a precedent that decisions about recognizing senators to speak cannot be appealed.

Cite: See footnote 10 p.3
16/18_ Can an R senate majority vote to change the senate rules. No. Senate rule 22 requires 67 votes to close debate on a proposed rule change.
17/18 Are we done now? Is the **Shockratees Gambit** a winner? There are scholars that think the 67 vote rule is unconstitutional with respect to a newly formed senate.

Cite: democracyinitiative.org/news/entry/con…
18/18 Bottomline. Save me a seat in the gallery when VP Harris shows up to preside over the senate.
Here is the unroll link

Assuming VP is absent, Senate rule 1.3 says the President pro tempore has the power to delegate the task of presiding over the senate.

"The President pro tempore shall have the right to name ... a Senator to perform the duties of the Chair...."
Here is a PDF I produced this morning with additional research. This builds on the idea that the vice president's power to preside over the senate comes from the Constitution.

Open PDF:

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Joseph Elfelt

Joseph Elfelt Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @MappingSupport

18 Oct
1/7 This tweet thread describes the authoritative USA county-level *daily count* COVID-19 data that is hosted on my server and which can be used by anyone for any non-commercial purpose. #COVID19 #COVID #CovidData Image
2/7 #JohnsHopkinsUniversity is widely regarded as one of the primary sources for authoritative COVID-19 data. Hopkins curates this data from various sources and hosts it on GitHub at
3/7 The #JohnsHopkins “timeseries” data is a *cumulative count* of cases and deaths. My code automatically runs each night and converts those cumulative counts into *daily counts*. I am hosting this daily count data in separate csv files per month.
Read 8 tweets
17 Oct
1/14 I have been volunteering to produce online wildland fire maps for about the last 10 years. This is a multi-part tweet to help people understand satellite hotspot data for wildland fires.
2/14 The #1 thing to know is that any fire data you see on maps is **not real time**. After a satellite pass it takes NASA ~3 hours to process the raw data before it can be displayed on any map.
3/14 Since data you see via an online map is **not real time**, never rely on any map (or anything else) to ignore an order to evacuate. The professionals that make decisions which areas must evacuate have more information than is available to you.
Read 15 tweets
28 Sep
1/6 I’ve been volunteering to produce online wildland fire maps for about the last 10 years. The #1 thing to know is that any fire data you see on maps is **not real time**. There are 2 MODIS satellites and 2 VIIRS satellites. #GlassFire #GlassIncident #ZoggFire
2/6 The MODIS/VIIRS satellites make a total of 8 passes per 24 hours. For the West Coast very rough timing is midnight to 3am (4 passes) and noon to 3pm (4 passes). It takes NASA ~3 hours to process the raw data before it can be displayed on any map.
3/6 Usually by 7am pacific time the maps are showing all the MODIS/VIIRS data that is available until sometime after 3pm. Hotspot locations are approximate and sometimes the data is ‘false positive’.
Read 6 tweets
22 Aug
1/9 Here is a tip that can save a life (yours?) in an emergency. When you call 911 they might not know where you are unless you tell them. I developed #FindMeSAR as a public service project to help solve this problem. #SearchAndRescue #EmergencyManagement Image
2/9 #FindMeSAR (findmesar.com) is a webpage that uses the GPS in your phone to display your coordinates and accuracy value. Several coordinate formats are supported and each one has a different colored screen.
3/9 The yellow screen displays your location in latitude longitude, decimal degrees. This format is used by all 911 call centers.
Read 10 tweets
18 Aug
1/9 What happens if the #ElectoralCollege vote is a tie? Here is a website that lists 64 different ways that could happen:

If there is a tie then we might wind up with President Biden and Trump’s running mate as Vice President.
2/9 In case of #ElectoralCollege tie the 12th Amendment says the House elects the President with each state getting *one* vote and the Senate elects the Vice President with all 100 Senators voting. Link to 12th amendment:
3/9 Since a majority of Senators are Rs the senate would quickly vote in favor of Trump’s running mate to be Vice President. Boom! That’s a done deal.
Read 9 tweets
18 Aug
1/4 If you zoom out any of the fire maps I post then you will always see all the current satellite hotspot data. That data is automatically updated several times per day. MODIS = red triangle. VIIRS = orange square.

Open #GISsurfer map: bit.ly/3h8oKCF Image
2/4 Caution! Satellite hotspot data is *always* several hours old when you see it on a map and locations are approximate. Never rely on any map to ignore an order to evacuate!
3/4 To make your own custom map link, zoom in on an area or click Menu ==> Search. Turn on the overlay layers you want. Then click Menu ==> Link to this map. The link you see will replicate the map on your screen.
Read 4 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!