Urbin Report

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Has anyone over at MSNBC actually read the US Constitution?

I just heard some talking head on MSNBC repeat Biden's false claim that the role of the VP in the Senate is only to break tie votes.
Let's review Article I (which lays out the powers and role of the Legislative branch), section 3.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.

The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the members present.

It's pretty clear that the VP is to preside over the Senate, and the President pro tempore only gets the gavel when the VP is busy doing something else. Note that it clearly spells out the only time the VP is not to act as the President of Senate, i.e. presiding over it, is when the VP is acting as the of President of the United States or when the President of the United States is being tried for impeachment in the Senate.

Historically, the Vice-President's office was in Senate offices. The move to the White House has made mid-20th century. That VPs have pretty much ignored this role for the past 50 or so years doesn't change it.

One would think a thirty plus year veteran of the Senate would be up on this stuff, but clearly Joe Biden, and his lapdogs at MSNBC are not.

Deliciously snarky comment on this subject over at Hot Air.

Update: Ken Shepard at NewsBusters delivers some the history the left is clueless about.