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Republicans have been nearly twice as likely as Democrats to pass legislation in the U.S. Senate with fewer than 60 votes, according to a Daily Kos review of all Senate roll call votes since 1989 in which a bill was passed or a conference report was agreed to.

Under Republican control, the Senate has passed an average of 5.24 pieces of legislation each year with less than 60 votes. Under Democratic control, the Senate passed just 2.95 pieces of legislation with less than 60 votes. Overall, 13.1% of legislation under Republicans was passed with fewer than 60 votes compared to just 7.4% under Democrats.

Analysis of Senate votes

In the nearly 21 years since the 1st Session of the 101st Congress in January 1989, Democrats and Republicans have evenly split control of the Senate, with about 10.5 years apiece. Although Republicans were more likely to pass legislation without 60 votes, both parties passed an equal amount of legislation -- 418 bills for Democrats, 421 for Republicans.

Of the Democrats' 418 bills, just 31 -- 7.4% -- were passed with fewer than 60 votes. Meanwhile, of the Republicans' 421 bills, 55 -- 13.1% -- were passed with fewer than 60 votes.

These numbers put the lie to the claim that the Senate never passes legislation with fewer than 60 votes. In fact, they do regularly pass legislation with fewer than 60 votes, and Republicans have done so nearly twice as often as Democrats.

For a full listing of all 839 votes used in this analysis, please view this Google docs spreadsheet.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 09:30 AM PDT.

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