"Since the 1980s, we've been in divided government more often than we've had united governments, so it's not unusual that this circumstance has occurred," said Don Ritchie, the Senate's official historian. "It's generally easier to get things done when one party controls both houses [of Congress] and the White House."
"I always joke that in the 19th century, when the Senate was running out of time at the end of the session, they'd have a staff member stand up with a broom handle and turn the hands of the clock back a couple of hours to give them more time," said Senate historian Don Ritchie. "So the Senate can change time, and they can change days. They can operate on their own days, whenever."