Biden got wins in 2022 despite slim majorities, analysis shows

Niels Lesniewski, CQ-Roll Call on

Published in Political News

​WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden did not always take a position on matters that the House and Senate voted on last year. But when he did, he usually got his way, especially in closely divided chambers where Democratic leaders were unlikely to bring something to the floor that didn’t have enough votes in the majority for passage.

On the rare occasions when the Senate voted against Biden’s position on legislation in 2022, it was most often on votes about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, the president suffered 12 defeats in the Senate last year. That’s historically on the low side but still twice as many as in 2021.

Of those dozen votes, several were on nominations rejected in the 50-50 Senate where Democrats crossed into the opposition column, including the president’s choice of David Weil to return to leading the wage hour division at the Department of Labor.

But five of Biden’s defeats came on policies related to COVID-19.

CQ Roll Call’s annual vote studies calculate presidential support scores based on votes in which the president took a clear position at the time of the vote. In some cases, these announcements are reflected in a statement of administration policy, but in other cases CQ Roll Call journalists rely on press statements or social media posts from the administration.


Times when Senate Democrats broke with Biden include a resolution under the Congressional Review Act that would have overturned the mandate that health care workers be vaccinated against the virus.

The president also lost twice on Senate votes seeking to terminate the COVID-19 national emergency, with more Democrats crossing over to support the resolution the second time it came up, after updated bivalent booster vaccines became available.

The Senate vote was close the first time in 2022, with the measure prevailing on a 48-47 vote and several absences. The second time, the resolution introduced by Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., received 62 votes.

In a floor speech before the second vote, Marshall said, “Despite all the advances we’ve made in our fight against the virus and the victorious declaration by our chief executive, this administration insists the national emergency declaration remain in place.”


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