The term “vote-a-rama” is used to refer to a marathon session of voting in the United States Senate.
This typically occurs during the consideration of a budget resolution, which is a non-binding document that outlines the priorities and spending plans of the Senate.
During a vote-a-rama, senators can offer an unlimited number of amendments to the budget resolution, and each amendment is voted on in turn. All amendments must be germane and are voted on consecutively without real debate.
This can result in a lengthy and exhausting process, as senators must remain in the chamber for hours on end in order to cast their votes.
The purpose of a vote-a-rama is to allow senators to express their views on a wide range of issues and to propose changes to the budget resolution.
This can be a useful way for senators to highlight their priorities and to offer suggestions for how the Senate’s spending plans can be improved.
However, the vote-a-rama process has also been criticized for being inefficient and for allowing senators to propose amendments that are not directly related to the budget resolution.
Some have argued that the process is overly partisan and that it allows senators to score political points rather than focusing on substance.
Despite these criticisms, the procedure remains a key part of the budget process in the Senate.
It provides an opportunity for senators to express their views and to propose changes to the Senate’s spending plans, and it allows for a more transparent and democratic process.
Former Bush White House aide Keith Hennessey explains:
The vote-a-rama is an unusual cultural institution within the Senate. All 100 Senators are on the floor, in the cloakrooms, or right outside the Senate Chamber for hours and hours upon end.
Another 100-ish staff are packed onto tiny staff benches in the rear of the Chamber, one for Republican staff and another for Democratic staff. Everyone is usually exhausted during the vote-a-rama, which comes near the end of an arduous and usually conflict-ridden legislative battle.
Examples of “vote-a-rama” in a sentence
- The Senate is currently in the midst of a vote-a-rama on the budget resolution, with senators offering an unlimited number of amendments.
- During the vote-a-rama, senators must remain in the chamber for hours in order to cast their votes on each amendment.
- The vote-a-rama process has been criticized for being inefficient and overly partisan, but it remains an important part of the budget process in the Senate.