College Rules? Maybe Congress will decide U.S. President in 2016

Presidential Electors have been electing the U.S. President since 1787.  Yet What I Found On The Internet, most recently on Jelly, the Q & A social website;  not enough of us understand how this body of electors function in our democracy.   POP QUIZ:

English: Electoral college map for the 2012 United States presidential election (note: Nebraska and Maine split their EVs by congressional district). Sources used:,,,, and

How many electoral votes does a candidate need to win the presidential election?

If you answered 270, you would be correct.

What happens if none of the candidates win the majority of the 538 electoral votes up for grabs?

The House of Representatives elects the president by choosing between the 3 presidential candidates who received the most electoral votes. The U.S. Senate elects the vice-president by selecting between the 2  VP candidates who received the most electoral votes.  (1)

Your Vote Counts!

Not only does your individual vote determine the presidential electors in your state; your vote will decide the balance of power in U.S. Congress.   This is just one of the reasons why it is essential to vote for representatives and senators in off-year elections.

This time, however, there’s extra incentive to head to the polls on Tuesday, November 8, 2016,

Did you know according to Ballotpedia (2),  there are 34 Senate seats and all 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives up for election?

Mainstream media’s focus remains on the U.S. Presidential race. But a closer look is warranted for a large number of U.S. congressional legislators are retiring and others just not interested in running again. (3)

The U.S Congress could decide the next U.S. President if the Democratic or Republican presidential nominee doesn’t win the majority of the electoral votes.  With a renewed interest in a third-party presidential run, some in the electorate would like to know

3rd Party Win
Jelly Ask About A 3rd Party Win

 “Can a third-party candidate win the United States presidential election?”

Currently, there are Libertarian and Green Party presidential nominees in play.  If either didn’t win, they could definitely affect the outcome of the electoral vote tally. Especially if either won the popular (plurality) vote in one or more states.

For example, the Libertarian and Green Party candidates can get on the ballot in all 50 states. At a minimum, they can run in states like California and Texas, both with a large number of presidential electors up for grabs. (4).  <–this is important!!!

If the Libertarian or Green Party candidate wins the popular vote in the state, her/his party’s presidential electors get called to cast their vote for President.   Note: Presidential electors are bound either by state law or party regulations to cast her/his electoral vote for the candidate that won.

So imagine if the presidential nominee for the Libertarian Party won Texas. This means he wins 38 electoral votes.  With only 538 electoral votes available, there are 500 electoral votes to split between the rest of the candidates.  There’s now no 270 for the win.  For the first time since, 1824, the U.S. Congress would decide not only the Vice President but also who will hold the highest office in the United States.


Still thinking about not voting in November? Think again.

Federal Reserve in the Education Business?

As the college graduating class of 2014 looks towards the future, some may see it includes paying down on the largest student loan debt ever of 1.2 Trillion dollars.

That’s a Trillion with a “T”; a 1 followed by 12 zeroes (1,000, 000, 000, 000). To put this in perspective – student loan debt now surpasses auto loans ($783 billion) and credit card debt ($679 billion).

According to the “Bank On Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” fact sheet, this year alone, the federal government will make $34 billion off of students.

If congress doesn’t act on Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) “Bank On Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” bill S. 2292 before July 1st, that amount will increase when the Stafford loan interest rate goes from its current rate of 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

In short, the bill asks Congress to allow students to refinance their loans at the same Federal Reserve interest rate it charged banks in 2013 – 0.75%.
It also asks the Federal Reserve to fund the student loan program, and the Department of Education administered it.
As of May 6th, however, S. 2292 “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” sits in committee.

Student loan borrowers in the college graduating class of 2014 will have a 6-months grace period before their first loan payment becomes due.

If this bill becomes law – it will mean the difference between students paying $957.03 versus $9524 interest on a $25,000 loan.