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In S2, E3, House of Cards, Francis Underwood attempts to pass a bill about delaying the retirement age with the Republicans (entitlement amendment); who initially agree to cooperate but later change their mind.

In response, Francis Underwood cuts deals with a few Republican Senators below the table and walks into the Senate and starts asking Sergeant at arms / Jury to call names and chase off the senators who are opposing him from the Senate. I believe this is called a quorum. During this name calling process, senators are walking in and out of the Senate.

Then the remaining opposing senators are arrested and put in a room. In a few moments, they are bound and carried back to the Senate.

I do not understand the political background of this scene and how exactly Francis Underwood manipulates this situation to his favour.

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After watching this ep a couple of more times, I got it:

  1. Francis needs a majority vote in the Senate in order to pass a bill
  2. Francis goes under the table and cuts deals with a few senators so that he will get his majority votes
  3. The moment he walks in the Senate, Francis demands a quorum to be initiated at once; knowing Francis has got the upper hand the republican senators start walking out in order to reduce the total number of republican senators to be less than legally required six
  4. Francis asks the remaining senators to vote on whether the republican senators are to be arrested; it passes, Sergeant at Arms proceeds to arrest and compel them from the Senate
  5. Realising they cannot win, the republican majority speaker yields and organises six republican senators to return to the Senate so that the bill can be passed.
  6. Francis succeeds in passing the bill in the Senate

This scene is based on an obscure parliamentary rule, which is given to Francis by one of his advisors.

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