Disappearance of Senators Involved in Bipartisan Compromise

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) considered retirement, but ultimately decided to run for another six-year term in 2024. He cited competing verses from the Old Testament and the New Testament, choosing to heed the call from Galatians to “not grow weary in doing good” and to “reap a great harvest if you do not give up.” Kaine’s decision prompted a fire drill for Democrats, fearing a difficult 2024 campaign map, and relief for those who value the Senate’s core center of bipartisan dealmakers. The past year has seen a handful of Republicans retire, leaving the chamber with fewer senators willing to work across the aisle. Kaine, along with Sens. Angus King (I-Maine), Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) face decisions in the coming months about running again. Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) must also decide whether to seek another term. The Senate’s lack of “regular order” has seen legislative debate wither, with votes on amendments falling to a record low. Kaine’s decision to run again signals his desire to keep up the work of these bipartisan groups and to see the legislative harvest from their hard work.This is an interesting story about the importance of bipartisanship in the Senate. It highlights the importance of having senators who are willing to work across the aisle and compromise in order to get things done. It also highlights the lack of “regular order” in the Senate, which has led to a decrease in the number of votes on amendments. It is important to note that Sen. Kaine’s decision to run again signals his desire to continue to work on these bipartisan efforts and to see the legislative harvest from their hard work.

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