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Organizing Resolutions

At the beginning of a new Congress, the Senate adopts an organizing resolution listing committee ratios, committee membership, and other agreements between the parties on the operation of the Senate. Typically a routine matter approved by unanimous consent agreement, on occasions when the Senate has been closely divided, the organizing resolution has provoked fierce debate. On January 13, 1953, Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, a former Republican and newly declared Independent, protested the organizing resolution, which had removed him from prime committee assignments. Using a long-forgotten Senate rule, Morse nominated himself to serve on the committees of his choice.