Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sen. Biden wrong on VP role


We need to send Biden back to school to restudy American government & the constitution. He is seeking VP position & not even understand it?

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. appeared to incorrectly outline the constitutional role of the job he's seeking in Thursday's debate.

In attacking Vice President Dick Cheney, Mr. Biden said the vice president's only role is to support the president and to preside over the Senate "only in a time when in fact there's a tie vote. The Constitution is explicit."

The Constitution, though, actually says the vice president is always president of the Senate and legal scholars say he has the right to preside at any time. Early vice presidents, such as Thomas Jefferson, actively exercised that role, the vice president still keeps offices at the Capitol, and scholars say it wasn't until the middle of the 20th century that the vice president had an office at the executive office building.

The president pro tempore, usually the senior senator from the majority party, takes over only when the vice president is absent. In recent practice, as the vice president has taken a bigger role in the executive, that's meant the Senate operates almost all of the time without the vice president in the chair.

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