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Encyclopedia > United States Senate
United States Senate
Type Upper House
President of the Senate Richard B. Cheney, R
since January 20, 2001
President pro tempore Robert C. Byrd, D
since January 4, 2007
Members 100
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Last elections November 7, 2006
Meeting place Senate Chamber
United States Capitol
Washington, DC
United States of America
Web site http://www.senate.gov
This article is part of the series:
United States Senate
Members
Current
(by seniority · by age · by class)

Former
Hill committees (DSCC, NRSC)
President pro tempore (list)
Dean · Presiding officer
Party leaders and Assistants

Democratic Caucus
Republican Conference Image File history File links Senate_cap. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... For the demesne in The Keys to the Kingdom series, see The House An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. ... The Vice President of the United States (sometimes referred to as VPOTUS[1] or Veep) is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president. ... Richard Bruce Dick Cheney (born January 30, 1941), is the 46th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President George W. Bush. ... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... January 20 is the 20th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 2001 Gregorian calendar). ... Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia the current President pro tempore of the United States Senate. ... Robert Carlyle Byrd (born November 20, 1917) is the senior United States Senator from West Virginia and a member of the Democratic Party. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... Image File history File links Senate_cap. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with List of members in the 110th United States Congress. ... This is a classification of current U.S. Senators by seniority. ... This is a list of current U.S. Senators sorted by age. ... The three classes of US Senators, each currently including 33 or 34 Senators (since Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959, and until another state is admitted), are a means used by the United States Senate for describing the schedules of Senate seats elections, and of the expiration of the... This is an incomplete list of all people who previously served in the United States Senate. ... The Hill committees are a set of four political party committees, controlled by the Republican and Democratic caucuses in each house of the United States Congress, which work to elect members of their own party to Congress (located on Capitol Hill, the source of the name). ... DSCC can also refer to Defense Supply Center, Columbus. ... The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is the Republican Hill committee for the United States Senate, working to elect Republicans to that body. ... Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia the current President pro tempore of the United States Senate. ... This is a complete List of Presidents pro tempore of the United States Senate. ... The Dean of the United States Senate is the longest-serving (in consecutive terms) United States Senator. ... The Presiding Officer is majority-party Senator who presides over the United States Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing Members to speak, and interpreting the Senates rules, practices and precedents. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders (also called Senate Floor Leaders) are two... The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate (commonly called Senate Majority and Minority Whips) are the second-ranking members of their parties in the United States Senate. ... The Senate Democratic Caucus is the formal organization of the (currently) 44 Democratic Senators in the United States Senate. ... The Senate Republican Conference is the formal organization of the (currently) 55 Republican Senators in the United States Senate. ...

Politics and procedure
Advice and consent
Closed session (list)
Cloture · Committees (list)
Executive session · Filibuster
History · Quorum  · Quorum call
Recess appointment · Salaries
Seal  · Standing Rules · Traditions
Unanimous consent
VPs' tie-breaking votes
Places
United States Capitol
Senate office buildings
(Dirksen · Hart · Russell)
United States

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
the United States
For the novel, see Advise and Consent. ... In the Congress of the United States, a closed session (formally a session with closed doors) is a parliamentary procedure for the Senate or the House of Representatives to discuss matters requiring secrecy. ... The United States Senate has the authority for meeting in closed session, as described in the Standing Rules of the Senate. ... In parliamentary procedure, cloture (pr: KLO-cher) (also called closure, and sometimes a guillotine) is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. ... A Congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress). ... The Senate Committee on Budget (ca. ... An executive session is a portion of the Senates daily session in which it considers executive business. ... As a form of obstructionism in a legislature or other decision making body, a filibuster is an attempt to extend debate upon a proposal in order to delay or completely prevent a vote on its passage. ... Debate over Compromise of 1850 in the Old Senate Chamber. ... Look up quorum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A quorum call or call to quorum is a parliamentary procedure used to delay a vote or otherwise slow down the deliberations of a parliamentary body. ... A recess appointment occurs when the President of the United States fills a vacant Federal position during a recess of the United States Senate. ... Historical information on the salaries that United States Senators have been paid: 1789-1815 -- $6. ... The Seal of the Senate, based on the Great Seal of the United States, includes a scroll inscribed with E Pluribus Unum floating across a shield with thirteen stars on top and thirteen vertical stripes on the bottom. ... The Standing Rules of the Senate detail the rules of order of the United States Senate. ... The United States Senate observes a number of traditions, some formal and some informal. ... Unanimous consent, in parliamentary procedure, refers to situations in which a motion can pass if no one present objects. ... The Vice President of the United States is, ex officio, the President of the United States Senate and votes only to break a tie. ... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... The largely ceremonial space within the United States Capitol is augmented by office, meeting and service spaces within the Congressional office buildings. ... This Washington, DC congressional office building is named for former Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL). ... Located on Constitution Avenue, between 1st and 2nd Streets, NE The Hart Senate Office Building, the third U.S. Senate office building, was built in the 1970s. ... This photograph, taken from southwest of the building, shows the main entrance along Constitution Avenue, N.E. The rotunda of the Russell Building featuring the sculpture by Frederick Hart. ... Image File history File links US-GreatSeal-Obverse. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      Politics of the United States takes place in a framework of a presidential...


Federal government
Constitution
Taxation
President

Vice President
Cabinet This article describes the government of the United States. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... The Vice President of the United States (sometimes referred to as VPOTUS[1] or Veep) is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president. ... Cabinet meeting on May 16, 2001. ...


Congress
Senate
President pro tem
Party Leaders
House
Speaker
Party Leaders
Congressional districts

Federal courts

Supreme Court
Circuit Courts of Appeal
District Courts Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia the current President pro tempore of the United States Senate. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders (also called Senate Floor Leaders) are two... Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer—or speaker—of the United States House of Representatives. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives are elected by their respective parties in... Congressional districts for representation in the United States House of Representatives are determined after each census. ... The United States federal courts are the system of courts organized under the Constitution and laws of the federal government of the United States. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the... The United States courts of appeals (or circuit courts) are the mid-level appellate courts of the United States federal court system. ... Map of the boundaries of the United States Courts of Appeals and United States District Courts The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. ...

Elections
Presidential elections
Midterm elections
Political Parties
Democratic
Republican
Third parties
State & Local government
Governors
Legislatures (List)
State Courts
Local Government

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The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the bicameral United States Congress, the other being the House of Representatives. It is known informally as the "upper house." Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countriesAtlas  Politics Portal      The United States has a federal government, with elected officials at federal (national), state and... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      United States presidential elections determine who serves as president and vice president of the United... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      Midterm elections are elections in the United States in which members of Congress, state legislatures, and... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      This list of political parties in the United States contains past and present... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      Third parties in the United States are political parties other than the two... A state government is the government of a subnational entity in nation-states with federal forms of government, which shares political power with the federal government or national government. ... Local governments are administrative offices that are smaller than a state or province. ... Current party control of Governors offices (2006). ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      In the United States of America, a state legislature is a generic term referring to the... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      All United States states are required to possess a legislative branch. ... In the U.S., a state court has jurisdiction over disputes which occur in a state. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      Local government in the United States (sometimes referred to as municipal government) is generally structured... Information on politics by country is available for every country, including both de jure and de facto independent states, inhabited dependent territories, as well as areas of special sovereignty. ... Image:WashingtonDC Capitol USA2. ... Type Bicameral Houses Senate House of Representatives President of the Senate President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R) since January 20, 2001 Robert C. Byrd, (D) since January 4, 2007 Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Members 535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political... Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party...


In the Senate, each state is represented by two members, in accordance with the New Jersey Plan, proposed by William Paterson reached at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787. The Senate's membership is therefore based on the equal representation of each state, regardless of population. The nine most populous states, with just over half of the total US population, together elect only eighteen of the hundred senators, while the smallest nine states, with about 2.5% of the total US population, also elect 18 senators. Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of... The New Jersey Plan was a proposal for the structure of the United States Government proposed by William Paterson on June 15, 1787. ... Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, by Howard Chandler Christy. ...


Since there are now fifty states, with two senators per state, the total membership of the body is now one hundred. Senators serve for six-year terms that are staggered so elections are held for approximately one-third of the seats (a "class") every second year. The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate and serves as its presiding officer, but is not a senator and does not vote except to break ties. The Vice President rarely acts as President of the Senate unless casting a tie-breaking vote or during ceremonial occasions. As such, the duty of presiding usually falls to the President pro tempore, by tradition the most senior senator of the majority party, who almost always delegates the quotidian task of presiding over the Senate to junior senators from his party. The three classes of US Senators, each currently including 33 or 34 Senators (since Hawaii became the 50th state in 1959, and until another state is admitted), are a means used by the United States Senate for describing the schedules of Senate seats elections, and of the expiration of the... The Vice President of the United States (sometimes referred to as VPOTUS[1] or Veep) is the first in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death, resignation, or removal of the president. ... The President of the Senate is the title often given to the presiding officer, or chairman, of a senate. ... The Senate President only votes to break a tie. ... Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia the current President pro tempore of the United States Senate. ... The term quotidian derives from the Latin word for daily and refers to repetitive daily actions, events or routines - yet in typical usage carries a vaguely negative overtone. ...


The Senate is regarded as a more deliberative body than the House of Representatives; the Senate is smaller and its members serve longer terms, allowing for a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere that is somewhat more insulated from public opinion than the House. The Senate has several exclusive powers enumerated in Article One of the Constitution not granted to the House; most significantly, the President cannot ratify treaties or, with rare exception, make important appointments—most significantly ambassadors, members of the federal judiciary (including the Supreme Court) and members of the Cabinet—without the advice and consent of the Senate. Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One of the United States Constitution describes the powers of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      For other uses, see President of the United States (disambiguation). ... Ratification is the act of giving official sanction to a formal document such as a treaty or constitution. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... An ambassador, rarely embassador, is a diplomatic official accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization, to serve as the official representative of his or her own country. ... A United States federal judge is a judge appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate in accordance with Article III of the United States Constitution. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (sometimes colloquially referred to by the... Cabinet meeting on May 16, 2001. ... For the novel, see Advise and Consent. ...

Contents

History

Main article: History of the United States Senate

The Framers of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress out of a desire to have two houses to be accountable to each other. One house was intended to be a "people's house" that would be very sensitive to public opinion. The other house was intended to represent the states. Senators were selected by the state legislatures, not by the voters, until 1913 with the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. It was to be a more deliberate forum of elite wisdom where six year terms insulated the senators from public opinion. The Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. The Senate of the United States was named after the ancient Roman Senate. The chamber of the United States Senate is located in the north wing of the Capitol building, in Washington, D.C., the national capital. The House of Representatives convenes in the south wing of the same building. Debate over Compromise of 1850 in the Old Senate Chamber. ... Amendment XVII in the National Archives Amendment XVII (the Seventeenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution was passed by the Senate on June 12, 1911 and by the House on May 13, 1912. ... The Roman Senate (Latin: Senatus) was the main governing council of both the Roman Republic, which started in 509 BC, and the Roman Empire. ... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ...


Members and elections

Senate composition following 2006 elections

Article One of the Constitution states that each state is entitled to two senators. Originally, each state legislature selected their senators; senators have been directly elected since the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913. The Constitution further stipulates that no constitutional amendment may deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without the consent of the state concerned. The District of Columbia and territories are not entitled to any representation. As there are presently 50 states, the Senate has 100 members. The senator from each state with the longer tenure is known as the "senior senator," and their counterpart is the "junior senator"; this convention, however, does not have any official significance. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (888x585, 26 KB) The 110th Congress Senate composition. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (888x585, 26 KB) The 110th Congress Senate composition. ... Amendment XVII in the National Archives Amendment XVII (the Seventeenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution was passed by the Senate on June 12, 1911 and by the House on May 13, 1912. ... Aerial photo (looking NW) of the Washington Monument and the White House in Washington, DC. Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia (also known as D.C.; Washington; the Nations Capital; the District; and, historically, the Federal City) is the capital city and administrative district of the United... An incorporated territory of the United States is a specific area under the jurisdiction of the United States, over which the United States Congress has determined that the United States Constitution is to be applied to the territorys local government and inhabitants in its entirety (e. ... Look up tenure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Senior Senator and Junior Senator are terms commonly used in the media to describe U.S. Senators. ... Senior Senator and Junior Senator are terms commonly used in the media to describe U.S. Senators. ...


Senators serve terms of six years each; the terms are staggered so that approximately one-third of the Senate seats are up for election every two years. The staggering of the terms is arranged such that both seats from a given state are never contested in the same general election. Senate elections are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, Election Day, and coincide with elections for the House of Representatives. Each senator is elected by his or her state as a whole. Generally, the Republican and Democratic parties choose their candidates in primary elections, which are typically held several months before the general elections. Ballot access rules for independent and third party candidates vary from state to state. For the general election, almost all states use simple plurality voting, under which the candidate with the most votes (not necessarily an absolute majority) wins. Exceptions include Louisiana, which use the two-round system. In some states, runoffs are held if no candidate wins a majority. Election Day in the United States is the day when polls most often open for the election of certain public officials. ... Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... For other uses, see Primary. ... The first-past-the-post electoral system is a voting system for single-member districts, variously called first-past-the-post (FPTP or FPP), winner-take-all, plurality voting, or relative majority. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... An example of runoff voting. ... An example of runoff voting. ...


Once elected, a senator continues to serve until the end of his or her term, death, or resignation. Furthermore, the Constitution permits the Senate to expel any member by a two-thirds majority vote. Fifteen senators have been expelled in the history of the Senate; fourteen of them were removed in 1861 and 1862 for supporting the Confederate secession. No senator has been expelled since, although many senators have chosen to resign when faced with expulsion proceedings (most recently, Bob Packwood in 1995). The Senate has also passed several resolutions censuring members; censure requires only a simple majority and does not remove a senator from office. A senate is a deliberative body, often the upper house or chamber of a legislature. ... The United States Constitution gives the Senate the power to expel any member by a two-thirds vote. ... Motto Deo Vindice (Latin: Under God, Our Vindicator) Anthem (none official) God Save the South (unofficial) The Bonnie Blue Flag (unofficial) Dixie (unofficial) Capital Montgomery, Alabama (until May 29, 1861) Richmond, Virginia (May 29, 1861–April 2, 1865) Danville, Virginia (from April 3, 1865) Language(s) English (de facto) Religion... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Robert William Bob Packwood (born September 11, 1932) is an American politician from Oregon and a member of the Republican Party. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


The 17th Amendment provides that vacancies in the Senate, however they arise, may be filled by special elections. A special election for a Senate seat need not be held immediately after the vacancy arises; instead, it is typically conducted at the same time as the next biennial congressional election. If a special election for one seat happens to coincide with a general election for the state's other seat, then the two elections are not combined, but are instead contested separately. A senator elected in a special election takes office immediately and serves until the original six-year term expires, and not for a full term. Furthermore, the amendment provides that any state legislature may empower the Governor to temporarily fill vacancies. The interim appointee remains in office until the special election can be held. All states except Arizona and Alaska have passed laws authorizing the Governor to make temporary appointments.[1] Amendment XVII in the National Archives Amendment XVII (the Seventeenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution was passed by the Senate on June 12, 1911 and by the House on May 13, 1912. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Official language(s) English Spoken language(s) English 74. ... Official language(s) None[1] Spoken language(s) English 85. ...


Senators are entitled to prefix "The Honorable" to their names. The annual salary of each senator, as of 2006, was $165,200;[2] the President pro tempore and party leaders receive larger amounts. Analysis of financial disclosure forms by CNN in June 2003 revealed that at least 40 of the then senators were millionaires.[3] In general, senators are regarded as more important political figures than members of the House of Representatives because there are fewer of them, and because they serve for longer terms, represent larger constituencies (except for House at-large districts, which also comprise entire states), sit on more committees, and have more staffers. The prestige commonly associated with the Senate is reflected by the background of presidents and presidential candidates; far more sitting senators have been nominees for the presidency than sitting representatives. The prefix The Honourable or The Honorable ( or formerly The Honble) is a title of quality attached to the names of certain classes of persons. ... Historical information on the salaries that United States Senators have been paid: 1789-1815 -- $6. ... The Cable News Network, commonly known as CNN, is a major cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ... Bloc voting (or block voting) refers to a class of voting systems which can be used to elect several representatives from a single multimember constituency. ...


Qualifications

Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets forth three qualifications for senators: each senator must be at least 30 years old, must have been a citizen of the United States for at least the past nine years, and must be (at the time of the election) an inhabitant of the state he seeks to represent. The age and citizenship qualifications for senators are more stringent than those for representatives. In Federalist No. 62, James Madison justified this arrangement by arguing that the "senatorial trust" called for a "greater extent of information and stability of character." James Madison, author of Federalist No. ... Madison redirects here. ...


Furthermore, under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, any federal or state officer who takes the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engages in rebellion or aids the enemies of the United States, is disqualified from becoming a senator. This provision, which came into force soon after the end of the Civil War, was intended to prevent those who sided with the Confederacy from serving. The amendment, however, provides that a disqualified individual may still serve if two-thirds of both Houses of Congress vote to remove the disability. Amendment XIV in the National Archives The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (Amendment XIV) is one of the post-Civil War amendments (known as the Reconstruction Amendments), first intended to secure rights for former slaves. ...


Under the Constitution, the Senate (not the courts) is empowered to judge if an individual is qualified to serve. During its early years, however, the Senate did not closely scrutinize the qualifications of members. As a result, three individuals that were constitutionally disqualified due to age were admitted to the Senate: twenty-nine-year-old Henry Clay (1806), and twenty-eight-year-olds Armistead Mason (1816) and John Eaton (1818). Such an occurrence, however, has not been repeated since.[4] In 1934, Rush Holt was elected to the Senate at the age of twenty-nine; he waited until he turned thirty to take the oath of office. Likewise, Joseph Biden was elected to the Senate shortly before his 30th birthday in 1972; he had passed his 30th birthday by the time the Senate conducted its swearing-in ceremony for that year's electees in January, 1973. Henry Clay, Sr. ... Armistead Thomson Mason Armistead Thomson Mason (August 4, 1787 – February 6, 1819), the son of Stevens Thomson Mason, was a U.S. Senator from Virginia from 1816-1817. ... John Henry Eaton (June 18, 1790–November 17, 1856) was an American politician from Tennessee. ... Rush Dew Holt, Sr. ... Senator Joe Biden Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. ...


Officers

The Senate meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The Senate meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The party with a majority of seats is known as the majority party; if two or more parties in opposition are tied, the Vice President's affiliation determines which party is the majority party. The next-largest party is known as the minority party. The President pro tempore, committee chairmen, and some other officials are generally from the majority party; they have counterparts (for instance, the "ranking members" of committees) in the minority party. Independents and members of third parties (so long as they do not caucus with or support either of the larger parties) are not considered in determining which is the majority party. US Capitol in daylight, taken by Kmccoy 2004-05-04. ... US Capitol in daylight, taken by Kmccoy 2004-05-04. ... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... “Political Parties” redirects here. ... A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. ...


The Constitution provides that the Vice President of the United States serves as the President of the Senate and holds a vote that can only be cast to break a tie. By convention, the Vice President presides over very few Senate debates, attending only on important ceremonial occasions (such as the swearing-in of new senators) or at times when his vote may be needed to break an equally divided tie vote. The Constitution also authorizes the Senate to elect a President pro tempore (Latin for "temporary president") to preside in the Vice President's absence; the most senior senator of the majority party is customarily chosen to serve in this position. The President pro tempore is Senator Robert Byrd (D) of West Virginia. Like the Vice President, the President pro tempore does not normally preside over the Senate. Instead, he typically delegates the responsibility of presiding to junior senators of the majority party. Frequently, freshmen senators (newly elected members) are allowed to preside so that they may become accustomed to the rules and procedures of the body. The President of the Senate is the title often given to the presiding officer, or chairman, of a senate. ... The Senate President only votes to break a tie. ... Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia the current President pro tempore of the United States Senate. ... For other uses, see Latin (disambiguation). ... Robert Carlyle Byrd (born November 20, 1917) is the senior United States Senator from West Virginia and a member of the Democratic Party. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  Ranked 41st  - Total 24,244 sq mi (62,809 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 240 miles (385 km)  - % water 0. ...


The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the Senate chamber. The powers of the presiding officer are extremely limited; he primarily acts as the Senate's mouthpiece, performing duties such as announcing the results of votes. The Senate's presiding officer controls debates by calling on members to speak; the rules of the Senate, however, compel him to recognize the first senator who rises. The presiding officer may rule on any "point of order" (a senator's objection that a rule has been breached), but the decision is subject to appeal to the whole house. Thus, the powers of the presiding officer of the Senate are far less extensive than those of the Speaker of the House. A Point of Order is a matter raised during a debate concerning the rules of debating themselves. ... Dennis Hastert of Illinois, the current Speaker of the House (since January 6, 1999) The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. ...


Each party elects Senate party leaders. Floor leaders act as the party chief spokespeople. The Senate Majority Leader is, furthermore, responsible for controlling the agenda of the Senate; for example, he schedules debates and votes. Each party also elects a whip to assist the leader. A whip works to ensure that his party's senators vote as the party leadership desires. Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  US Government Portal      The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders (also called Senate Floor Leaders) are two... The Senate Majority Leader is a member of the United States Senate who is elected by the party conference which holds the majority in the Senate to serve as the chief Senate spokesman for his or her party and to manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the... In politics, a whip is a member of a political party in a legislature whose task is to ensure that members of the party attend and vote as the party leadership desires. ...


The Senate is also served by several officials who are not members. The Senate's chief administrative officer is the Secretary of the Senate, who maintains public records, disburses salaries, monitors the acquisition of stationery and supplies, and oversees clerks. The Secretary is aided in his work by the Assistant Secretary of the Senate. Another official is the Sergeant-at-Arms, who, as the Senate's chief law enforcement officer, maintains order and security on the Senate premises. The Capitol Police handles routine police work, with the Sergeant-at-Arms primarily responsible for general oversight. Other employees include the Chaplain, who is elected by the Senate, and Pages, who are appointed. The Secretary of the Senate, as an elected officer of the United States Senate, supervises an extensive array of offices and services to expedite the day-to-day operations of that body. ... The Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate in is the law enforcer for the United States Senate. ... The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a police force charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories. ... // Job description and selection Among his or her duties, the chaplains job is to open each session of the United States Senate with a prayer. ... A United States Senate Page (Senate Page or simply Page) is a non-partisan federal employee serving the United States Senate in Washington, DC. In many ways, Senate Pages are similar to their House counterparts. ...


Procedure

A typical Senate desk
A typical Senate desk

Like the House of Representatives, the Senate meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. At one end of the Chamber of the Senate is a dais from which the Presiding Officer (the Vice President, the President pro tempore, or one of the junior senators designated by the President pro tempore) presides. The lower tier of the dais is used by clerks and other officials. One hundred desks are arranged in the Chamber in a semicircular pattern; the desks are divided by a wide central aisle. By tradition, Democrats sit on the right of the center aisle, while Republicans sit on the left, as viewed from the presiding officer's chair. Each senator chooses a desk on the basis of seniority within his party; by custom, the leader of each party sits in the front row. Sessions of the Senate are opened with a special prayer or invocation, typically convening on weekdays. Sessions of the Senate are generally open to the public and are broadcast live on television by C-SPAN 2. Image File history File linksMetadata Senatedesk. ... Type Bicameral Speaker of the House of Representatives House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, (D) since January 4, 2007 Steny Hoyer, (D) since January 4, 2007 House Minority Leader John Boehner, (R) since January 4, 2007 Members 435 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner Political groups Democratic Party Republican Party... The United States Capitol is the capitol building that serves as the location for the United States Congress, the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia the current President pro tempore of the United States Senate. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Senate procedure depends not only on the rules, but also on a variety of customs and traditions. In many cases, the Senate waives some of its stricter rules by unanimous consent. Unanimous consent agreements are typically negotiated beforehand by party leaders. Any senator may block such an agreement, but, in practice, objections are rare. The presiding officer enforces the rules of the Senate, and may warn members who deviate from them. The presiding officer often uses the gavel of the Senate to maintain order. Unanimous consent, in parliamentary procedure, refers to situations in which a motion can pass if no one present objects. ... The Presiding Officer is majority-party Senator who presides over the United States Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing Members to speak, and interpreting the Senates rules, practices and precedents. ... A gavel is a hammer-like instrument used by judges and presiding officers. ...


A "hold" is placed when the Leader's office is notified that a senator intends to object to a request for unanimous consent from the Senate to consider or pass a measure. A hold may be placed for any reason and can be lifted by a senator at any time. A senator may place a hold simply to review a bill, to negotiate changes to the bill, or to kill the bill. A bill can be held for as long as the senator who objects to the bill wishes to block its consideration.


Holds can be overcome, but require time consuming procedures such as filing cloture. Holds are considered to be private communications between a senator and the Leader, and are sometimes referred to as "secret holds." A senator may disclose that he or she has placed a hold. A secret hold is a parliamentary procedure within the Standing Rules of the Senate within the United States Senate that allows one or more Senators to anonymously prevent a motion from reaching a vote on the Senate floor. ...


The Constitution provides that a majority of the Senate constitutes a quorum to do business. Under the rules and customs of the Senate, a quorum is always assumed to be present unless a quorum call explicitly demonstrates otherwise. Any senator may request a quorum call by "suggesting the absence of a quorum"; a clerk then calls the roll of the Senate and notes which members are present. In practice, senators almost always request quorum calls not to establish the presence of a quorum, but to temporarily delay proceedings. Such a delay may serve one of many purposes; often, it allows Senate leaders to negotiate compromises off the floor. Once the need for a delay has ended, any senator may request unanimous consent to rescind the Quorum Call. Look up quorum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A quorum call or call to quorum is a parliamentary procedure used to delay a vote or otherwise slow down the deliberations of a parliamentary body. ...


During debates, senators may only speak if called upon by the presiding officer. The presiding officer is, however, required to recognize the first senator who rises to speak. Thus, the presiding officer has little control over the course of debate. Customarily, the Majority Leader and Minority Leader are accorded priority during debates, even if another senator rises first. All speeches must be addressed to the presiding officer, using the words "Mr. President" or "Madam President." Only the presiding officer may be directly addressed in speeches; other Members must be referred to in the third person. In most cases, senators do not refer to each other by name, but by state, using forms such as "the senior senator from Virginia" or "the junior senator from California."


There are very few restrictions on the content of speeches; there is no requirement that speeches be germane to the matter before the Senate.


The rules of the Senate provide that no senator may make more than two speeches on a motion or bill on the same legislative day. (A legislative day begins when the Senate convenes and ends with adjournment; hence, it does not necessarily coincide with the calendar day.) The length of these speeches is not limited by the rules; thus, in most cases, senators may speak for as long as they please. Often, the Senate adopts unanimous consent agreements imposing time limits. In other cases (for example, for the Budget process), limits are imposed by statute. In general, however, the right to unlimited debate is preserved. The Standing Rules of the Senate detail the rules of order of the United States Senate. ...


The filibuster is a tactic used to defeat bills and motions by prolonging debate indefinitely. A filibuster may entail long speeches, dilatory motions, and an extensive series of proposed amendments. The Senate may end a filibuster by invoking cloture. In most cases, cloture requires the support of three-fifths of the Senate; however, if the matter before the Senate involves changing the rules of the body—most importantly, if it reduces the power of filibuster—a two-thirds majority is required. In current practice, the threat of filibuster is of more importance than its actual use; almost any motion that does not have the support of three-fifths of the Senate effectively fails. Cloture is invoked very rarely, particularly because bipartisan support is usually necessary to obtain the required supermajority, and a bill that already has bipartisan support is rarely subject to threats of filibuster in the first place. If the Senate does invoke cloture, debate does not end immediately; instead, further debate is limited to thirty additional hours unless increased by another three-fifths vote. The longest filibuster speech in the history of the Senate was delivered by Strom Thurmond, who spoke for over twenty-four hours in an unsuccessful attempt to block the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.[5] As a form of obstructionism in a legislature or other decision making body, a filibuster is an attempt to extend debate upon a proposal in order to delay or completely prevent a vote on its passage. ... In parliamentary procedure, cloture (pr: KLO-cher) (also called closure, and sometimes a guillotine) is a motion or process aimed at bringing debate to a quick end. ... A supermajority or a qualified majority is a requirement for a proposal to gain a specified level or type of support which exceeds a simple majority in order to have effect. ... James Strom Thurmond (December 5, 1902 – June 26, 2003) was an American politician who served as governor of South Carolina and as a United States Senator representing that state. ... The Civil Rights Act of 1957, primarily a voting rights bill, was the first civil rights legislation enacted in the United States since Reconstruction. ...


When debate concludes, the motion in question is put to a vote. In many cases, the Senate votes by voice vote; the presiding officer puts the question, and Members respond either "Aye" (in favor of the motion) or "No" (against the motion). The presiding officer then announces the result of the voice vote. Any senator, however, may challenge the presiding officer's assessment and request a recorded vote. The request may be granted only if it is seconded by one-fifth of the senators present. In practice, however, senators second requests for recorded votes as a matter of courtesy. When a recorded vote is held, the clerk calls the roll of the Senate in alphabetical order; each senator responds when his or her name is called. Senators who miss the roll call may still cast a vote as long as the recorded vote remains open. The vote is closed at the discretion of the presiding officer, but must remain open for a minimum of 15 minutes. If the vote is tied, the Vice President, if present, is entitled to a tie-breaking vote. If the Vice President is not present, however, the motion fails. The Senate President only votes to break a tie. ...


On occasion, the Senate may go into what is called a secret or closed session. During a closed session, the chamber doors are closed, and the galleries are completely cleared of anyone not sworn to secrecy, not instructed in the rules of the closed session, or not essential to the session. Closed sessions are quite rare, and usually held only under very certain circumstances where the senate is discussing sensitive subject-matter such as information critical to national security, private communications from the President, or even to discuss Senate deliberations during impeachment trials. Any senator may call for and force a closed session as long as the motion is seconded by at least one other member. In the Congress of the United States, a closed session (formally a session with closed doors) is a parliamentary procedure for the Senate or the House of Representatives to discuss matters requiring secrecy. ...


Budget bills are governed under a special rule process called "Reconciliation" that disallows filibusters. Reconciliation was devised in 1974 but came into use in the early 1980s. Reconciliation is a legislative process of the United States Senate that is intended to allow a contentious budget bill to be considered without being subject to filibuster. ...


Committees

Dirksen Senate Office Building Committee Room 226 is used for hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee
Dirksen Senate Office Building Committee Room 226 is used for hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee
See List of United States Senate committees for the full list.

The Senate uses committees (as well as their subcommittees) for a variety of purposes, including the review of bills and the oversight of the executive branch. The appointment of committee members is formally made by the whole Senate, but the choice of members is actually made by the political parties. Generally, each party honors the preferences of individual senators, giving priority on the basis of seniority. Each party is allocated seats on committees in proportion to its overall strength. Dirksen Senate Building room 226 from http://judiciary. ... Dirksen Senate Building room 226 from http://judiciary. ... This Washington, DC congressional office building is named for former Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL). ... The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary (informally Senate Judiciary Committee) is a standing committee of the United States Senate, the upper house of the United States Congress. ... A Congressional committee in the parlance of the United States Congress and politics of the United States is a legislative sub-organization that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress, making necessary and proper laws). ... The Senate Committee on Budget (ca. ...


Most committee work is performed by sixteen standing committees, each of which has jurisdiction over a specific field such as Finance or Foreign Relations. Each standing committee may consider, amend, and report bills that fall under its jurisdiction. Furthermore, each standing committee considers presidential nominations to offices related to its jurisdiction. (For instance, the Judiciary Committee considers nominees for judgeships, and the Foreign Relations Committee considers nominees for positions in the Department of State.) Committees have extensive powers with regard to bills and nominees; they may block nominees and impede bills from reaching the floor of the Senate. Finally, standing committees also oversee the departments and agencies of the executive branch. In discharging their duties, standing committees have the power to hold hearings and to subpoena witnesses and evidence. ... U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. ... The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary (informally Senate Judiciary Committee) is a standing committee of the United States Senate, the upper house of the United States Congress. ... U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is a standing committee of the United States Senate. ... Department of State redirects here. ... A subpoena is a command to appear at a certain time and place to give testimony upon a certain matter. ...


The Senate also has several committees that are not considered standing committees. Such bodies are generally known as select committees or special committees; examples include the Select Committee on Ethics and the Special Committee on Aging. Legislation is referred to some of these committees, though the bulk of legislative work is performed by the standing committees. Committees may be established on an ad hoc basis for specific purposes; for instance, the Senate Watergate Committee was a special committee created to investigate the Watergate scandal. Such temporary committees cease to exist after fulfilling their tasks. A select or special committee of the United States Congress is a Congressional committee appointed to perform a special function that is beyond the authority or capacity of a standing committee. ... A select or special committee of the United States Congress is a Congressional committee appointed to perform a special function that is beyond the authority or capacity of a standing committee. ... The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics is a select committee of the United States Senate charged with dealing with matters related to senatorial ethics. ... The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging was initially established in 1961 as a temporary committee, and becaming a permanent committee in 1977. ... The Senate Watergate Committee was a special committee convened by the United States Senate to investigate the Watergate scandal after it was learned that the Watergate burglars had been directed to break into and wiretap the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee by CREEP, President Richard Nixons re-election... “Watergate” redirects here. ...


Finally, the Congress includes joint committees, which include members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Some joint committees oversee independent government bodies; for instance, the Joint Committee on the Library oversees the Library of Congress. Other joint committees serve to make advisory reports; for example, there exists a Joint Committee on Taxation. Bills and nominees are not referred to joint committees. Hence, the power of joint committees is considerably lower than those of standing committees. The Joint Committee on the Library is a joint committee of the U.S. Congress devoted to the affairs and administration of the U.S. Library of Congress, which is both the private library of the federal legislature and Americas national library. ... Construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building, from July 8, 1888 to May 15, 1894. ...


Each Senate committee and subcommittee is led by a chairman (usually a member of the majority party). Formerly, committee chairmanship was determined purely by seniority; as a result, several elderly senators continued to serve as chairmen despite severe physical infirmity or even senility. Now, committee chairmen are in theory elected, but in practice, seniority is very rarely bypassed. The chairman's powers are extensive; he controls the committee's agenda, and may prevent the committee from approving a bill or presidential nomination. Modern committee chairmen are typically not forceful in exerting their influence, although there have been some exceptions. The second-highest member, the spokesperson on the committee for the minority party, is known in most cases as the Ranking Member. In the Select Committee on Intelligence and the Select Committee on Ethics, however, the senior minority member is known as the Vice Chairman. The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is dedicated to overseeing the American Intelligence Community—the agencies and bureaus of the U.S. federal government who provide information and analysis for leaders of the executive and legislative branches. ...


Legislative functions

Further information: Act of Congress

Most bills may be introduced in either House of Congress. However, the Constitution provides that "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives." As a result, the Senate does not have the power to initiate bills imposing taxes. Furthermore, the House of Representatives holds that the Senate does not have the power to originate appropriation bills, or bills authorizing the expenditure of federal funds. Historically, the Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House. However, whenever the Senate originates an appropriations bill, the House simply refuses to consider it, thereby settling the dispute in practice. The constitutional provision barring the Senate from introducing revenue bills is based on the practice of the British Parliament, in which only the House of Commons may originate such measures. An Act of Vaginapenis is a bill or resolution adopted by both houses of the United States Congress to which one of the following events has happened: Acceptance by the President of the United States, Inaction by the President after ten days from reception (excluding Sundays) while the Congress is... An appropriation bill or supply bill is a legislative motion which authorizes the government to spend money. ... Type Bicameral Houses House of Commons House of Lords Speaker of the House of Commons Michael Martin MP Lord Speaker Hélène Hayman, PC Members 1377 (646 Commons, 731 Peers) Political groups Labour Party Conservative Party Liberal Democrats Scottish National Party Plaid Cymru Democratic Unionist Party Sinn Féin... Type Lower House Speaker of the House of Commons Leader of the House of Commons Michael Martin, (Non-affiliated) since October 23, 2000 Harriet Harman, QC, (Labour) since June 28, 2007 Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Theresa May, PC, (Conservative) since December 6, 2005 Members 646 Political groups...


Although the Constitution gave the House the power to initiate revenue bills, in practice the Senate is equal to the House in the respects of taxation and spending. As Woodrow Wilson wrote: Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856–February 3, 1924), was the twenty-eighth President of the United States. ...

[T]he Senate's right to amend [revenue bills] has been allowed the widest possible scope. The upper house may add to them what it pleases; may go altogether outside of their original provisions and tack to them entirely new features of legislation, altering not only the amounts but even the objects of expenditure, and making out of the materials sent them by the popular chamber measures of an almost totally new character.

The approval of both the Senate and the House of Representatives is required for any bill, including a revenue bill, to become law. Both Houses must pass the exact same version of the bill; if there are differences, they may be resolved by a conference committee, which includes members of both bodies. A conference committee in the United States Congress and bicamerial state legislature is a committee appointed by the members of the upper and lower house to resolve disagreements on a bill passed in different versions of each House. ...


Checks and balances

The Constitution provides several unique functions for the Senate that form its ability to "check and balance" the powers of other elements of the Federal Government. These include the requirement that the Senate may advise and must consent to the President's government appointments; also the Senate must ratify all treaties with foreign governments; it tries all impeachments, and it elects the Vice President in the event no person gets a majority of the electoral votes.


The President can make certain appointments only with the advice and consent of the Senate. Officials whose appointments require the Senate's approval include members of the Cabinet, heads of most federal executive agencies, ambassadors, Justices of the Supreme Court, and other federal judges. Under the Constitution, a large number of government appointments are subject to potential confirmation; however, Congress has passed legislation to authorize the appointment of many officials without the Senate's consent (usually, confirmation requirements are reserved for those officials with the most significant final decision-making authority). Typically, a nominee is first subject to a hearing before a Senate committee. Thereafter, the nomination is considered by the full Senate. The majority of nominees are confirmed, but in a small number of cases each year, Senate Committees will purposely fail to act on a nominations in order to block it. Also, the President sometimes withdraws nominations when they appear unlikely to be confirmed. Because of this, outright rejections of nominees on the Senate Floor are quite infrequent (there have been only nine Cabinet nominees rejected outright in the history of the United States). For the novel, see Advise and Consent. ... An ambassador, rarely embassador, is a diplomatic official accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization, to serve as the official representative of his or her own country. ...

The Senate has the power to try impeachments; shown above is Theodore R. Davis' drawing of the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, 1867

The powers of the Senate with respect to nominations are, however, subject to some constraints. For instance, the Constitution provides that the President may make an appointment during a congressional recess without the Senate's advice and consent. The recess appointment remains valid only temporarily; the office becomes vacant again at the end of the next congressional session. Nevertheless, Presidents have frequently used recess appointments to circumvent the possibility that the Senate may reject the nominee. Furthermore, as the Supreme Court held in Myers v. United States, although the Senate's advice and consent is required for the appointment of certain executive branch officials, it is not necessary for their removal. Download high resolution version (1208x801, 243 KB)The Senate as a Court of Impeachment for the Trial of Andrew Johnson Theodore R. Davis, artist, illustration in Harpers Weekly, April 11, 1868. ... Download high resolution version (1208x801, 243 KB)The Senate as a Court of Impeachment for the Trial of Andrew Johnson Theodore R. Davis, artist, illustration in Harpers Weekly, April 11, 1868. ... Davis drawing of the Battle of Champion Hill. ... For other persons of the same name, see Andrew Johnson (disambiguation). ... Children can be found playing on playhouses such as this during recess. ... A recess appointment occurs when the President of the United States fills a vacant Federal position during a recess of the United States Senate. ... Myers v. ...


The Senate also has a role in the process of ratifying treaties. The Constitution provides that the President may only ratify a treaty if two-thirds of the senators vote to grant advice and consent. However, not all international agreements are considered treaties, and therefore do not require the Senate's approval. Congress has passed laws authorizing the President to conclude executive agreements without action by the Senate. Similarly, the President may make congressional-executive agreements with the approval of a simple majority in each House of Congress, rather than a two-thirds majority in the Senate. Neither executive agreements nor congressional-executive agreements are mentioned in the Constitution, leading some to suggest that they unconstitutionally circumvent the treaty-ratification process. However, the validity of such agreements has been upheld by courts. An executive agreement one of three mechanisms by which the United States enters into binding international agreements. ... A congressional-executive agreement is an agreement with a foreign power that has been approved by U.S. Congress and the United States. ...


The Constitution empowers the House of Representatives to impeach federal officials for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors" and empowers the Senate to try such impeachments. If the sitting President of the United States is being tried, the Chief Justice of the United States presides over the trial. During any impeachment trial, senators are constitutionally required to sit on oath or affirmation. Conviction requires a two-thirds majority of the senators present. A convicted official is automatically removed from office; in addition, the Senate may stipulate that the defendant be banned from holding office in the future. No further punishment is permitted during the impeachment proceedings; however, the party may face criminal penalties in a normal court of law. Depiction of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, then President of the United States, in 1868. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the judicial branch...


In the history of the United States, the House of Representatives has impeached sixteen officials, of whom seven were convicted. (One resigned before the Senate could complete the trial.) Only two Presidents of the United States have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Both trials ended in acquittal; in Johnson's case, the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. For other persons of the same name, see Andrew Johnson (disambiguation). ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III[1] on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ...


Under the Twelfth Amendment, the Senate has the power to elect the Vice President if no vice presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College. The Twelfth Amendment requires the Senate to choose from the two candidates with the highest numbers of electoral votes. Electoral College deadlocks are very rare; in the history of the United States, the Senate has only had to break a deadlock once, in 1837, when it elected Richard Mentor Johnson. The power to elect the President in the case of an Electoral College deadlock belongs to the House of Representatives. Amendment XII in the National Archives The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution alterd Article II pertaining to presidential elections. ... Electoral votes by state/federal district, for the elections of 2004 and 2008 The United States Electoral College is a term used to describe the 538 President Electors who meet every 4 years to cast the electoral votes for President and Vice President of the United States; their votes represent... Richard Mentor Johnson (October 17, 1780 – November 19, 1850) was the ninth Vice President of the United States, serving in the administration of Martin Van Buren. ...


Latest election

[discuss] – [edit]
Summary of the November 7, 2006 United States Senate election results
Party Breakdown Seats Popular Vote
Up Elected Not Up 2004 2006 +/− Vote  %
  Democratic Party 17 22 27 44 49 +5 33,134,651 53.91%
  Republican Party 15 9 40 55 49 −6 26,127,486 42.38%
  Independents 1 2 0 1 2 +1 878,486 1.4%
  Libertarian Party 0 0 0 0 0 0 600,991 0.98%
Green Party 0 0 0 0 0 0 402,800 0.66%
  Constitution Party 0 0 0 0 0 0 132,155 0.21%
Others 0 0 0 0 0 0 408,335 0.7%
Total 33 33 67 100 100 0 61,552,749 100%
Voter turnout:   29.7 %
Sources: The Associated Press, Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Elections, [1] (unofficial)

The Democratic Party is considered to hold a majority with 51 seats because the two independents, Bernie Sanders (Vermont) and Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman (Connecticut), caucus with the Democrats.  Republican hold  Democratic hold  Democratic pickup  Independent hold  Independent pickup Elections for the United States Senate were held on November 7, 2006, with 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate being contested. ... is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2006 (MMVI) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ...  Republican hold  Democratic hold  Democratic pickup  Independent hold  Independent pickup Elections for the United States Senate were held on November 7, 2006, with 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate being contested. ...  Republican holds  Republican pickups  Democratic holds  Democratic pickups The United States Senate election, 2004 was an election for one-third of the seats in the United States Senate which coincided with the re-election of George W. Bush as president and the United States House election, as well as many...  Republican hold  Democratic hold  Democratic pickup  Independent hold  Independent pickup Elections for the United States Senate were held on November 7, 2006, with 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate being contested. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... The Libertarian Party is an American political party founded on Dec. ... This article is about the American political party, Green Party. ... The Constitution Party is a conservative United States political party. ... Bernard Bernie Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is the current big willy floppah junior United States Senator from big blob of brown poo Vermont. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... Joseph Isadore Joe Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is an American politician from Connecticut. ... Official language(s) English Capital Hartford Largest city Bridgeport[3] Largest metro area Hartford Metro Area[2] Area  Ranked 48th  - Total 5,543[4] sq mi (14,356 km²)  - Width 70 miles (113 km)  - Length 110 miles (177 km)  - % water 12. ... A caucus is most generally defined as being a meeting of supporters or members of a political party or movement. ...


Composition

Further information: List of current United States Senators by seniority

The 110th United States Congress, which began January 4, 2007: The 110th United States Congress consists of 540 elected officials from fifty states, four territories, and the District of Columbia. ... This is a classification of current U.S. Senators by seniority. ... United States Capitol (2002) // The One Hundred Tenth United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, comprised of the Senate and the House of Representatives. ... is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ...

Affiliation Members Note
  Democratic Party 49
  Republican Party 49
  Independent 1 Bernie Sanders caucuses with the Democrats.
Connecticut for Lieberman Party 1 Joe Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats.
  Majority 51 The Democratic Caucus (51 members) is in the majority.
Total 100

In the months between the election and the swearing in of the Congress, Sen. Joe Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman Party-CT) initially refused to rule out caucusing with the Republicans, which would have put Republicans in control of the Senate.[6] A similar situation happened in the Great Senate Deadlock of 1881.[7] However, any future changes in the party composition in the Senate during the 110th Congress would not change Democratic control of the Senate due to the organizing resolutions agreed to at the beginning of the session.[8] Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      Further information: Politics of the United States#Organization of American political parties The Democratic... The Republican Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States of America, along with the Democratic Party. ... Bernard Bernie Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is the current big willy floppah junior United States Senator from big blob of brown poo Vermont. ... Connecticut for Lieberman is the Connecticut political party created by twenty-five supporters of Senator Joe Lieberman, its sole candidate for office. ... Joseph Isadore Joe Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is an American politician from Connecticut. ... The Senate Democratic Caucus is the formal organization of the (currently) 44 Democratic Senators in the United States Senate. ... Joseph Isadore Joe Lieberman (born February 24, 1942) is an American politician from Connecticut. ...


See also

There have been 35 women in the United States Senate since the establishment of that body in 1789, meaning that out of the 1,895 Americans [1] who have served in the United States Senate since that time, 1. ... The Congress of the United States has demographics that are different from America as a whole in a number of ways. ... This is an incomplete list of all people who previously served in the United States Senate. ...

Bibliography

Official Senate Histories

The following are published by the Senate Historical Office.

The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress is a biographical dictionary of all members of both houses of the United States Congress, past and present. ... Robert C. Byrd Robert Carlyle Byrd (born November 20, 1917) is a West Virginia Democrat serving in the United States Senate. ... § Robert Joseph Dole (born July 22, 1923) was a United States Senator from Kansas from 1969-1996, serving part of that time as United States Senate Majority Leader. ... Mark Odom Hatfield (born July 12, 1922) is an American politician from Oregon. ... The logotype of the United States Government Printing Office In the United States, the Government Printing Office (GPO) provides printed (and now electronic) copies of documents produced by and for all federal agencies, including the Supreme Court, the Congress, and all executive branch agencies like the FCC and EPA. Court...

Miscellaneous

  • Barone, Michael, and Grant Ujifusa, The Almanac of American Politics 1976: The Senators, the Representatives and the Governors: Their Records and Election Results, Their States and Districts (1975); new edition every 2 years
  • Davidson, Roger H., and Walter J. Oleszek, eds. (1998). Congress and Its Members, 6th ed. Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly. (Legislative procedure, informal practices, and member information)
  • Congressional Quarterly Congress and the Nation: 2001–2004: A Review of Government and Politics: 107th and 108th Congresses (2005); massive, highly detailed summary of Congressional activity, as well as major executive and judicial decisions; based on Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report and the annual CQ almanac.
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1997–2001 (2002)
    • Congressional Quarterly. Congress and the Nation: 1993–1996 (1998)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1989–1992 (1993)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1985–1988 (1989)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1981–1984 (1985)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1977–1980 (1981)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1973–1976 (1977)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1969–1972 (1973)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1965–1968 (1969)
    • Congressional Quarterly, Congress and the Nation: 1945–1964 (1965), the first of the series
  • Baker, Richard A. The Senate of the United States: A Bicentennial History Krieger, 1988.
  • Baker, Richard A., ed., First Among Equals: Outstanding Senate Leaders of the Twentieth Century Congressional Quarterly, 1991.
  • David W. Brady and Mathew D. McCubbins. Party, Process, and Political Change in Congress: New Perspectives on the History of Congress (2002)
  • Caro, Robert A. The Years of Lyndon Johnson. Vol. 3: Master of the Senate. Knopf, 2002.
  • Comiskey, Michael. Seeking Justices: The Judging of Supreme Court Nominees U. Press of Kansas, 2004.
  • Cooper, John Milton, Jr. Breaking the Heart of the World: Woodrow Wilson and the Fight for the League of Nations. Cambridge U. Press, 2001.
  • Gould, Lewis L. The Most Exclusive Club: A History Of The Modern United States Senate (2005)
  • Hernon, Joseph Martin. Profiles in Character: Hubris and Heroism in the U.S. Senate, 1789–1990 Sharpe, 1997.
  • Hoebeke, C. H. The Road to Mass Democracy: Original Intent and the Seventeenth Amendment. Transaction Books, 1995.(popular elections of Senators)
  • Lee, Frances E. and Oppenheimer, Bruce I. Sizing Up the Senate: The Unequal Consequences of Equal Representation. U. of Chicago Press 1999. 304 pp.
  • McFarland, Ernest W. The Ernest W. McFarland Papers: The United States Senate Years, 1940–1952. Prescott, Ariz.: Sharlot Hall Museum, 1995 (Democratic majority leader 1950–52)
  • Malsberger, John W. From Obstruction to Moderation: The Transformation of Senate Conservatism, 1938–1952. Susquehanna U. Press 2000
  • Mann, Robert. The Walls of Jericho: Lyndon Johnson, Hubert Humphrey, Richard Russell and the Struggle for Civil Rights. Harcourt Brace, 1996
  • Ritchie, Donald A. Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents. Harvard University Press, 1991.
  • Ritchie, Donald A. The Congress of the United States: A Student Companion Oxford University Press, 2001 (2nd edition).
  • Ritchie, Donald A. Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington Press Corps Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Rothman, David. Politics and Power the United States Senate 1869–1901 (1966)
  • Swift, Elaine K. The Making of an American Senate: Reconstitutive Change in Congress, 1787–1841. U. of Michigan Press, 1996
  • Valeo, Frank. Mike Mansfield, Majority Leader: A Different Kind of Senate, 1961–1976 Sharpe, 1999 (Senate Democratic leader)
  • VanBeek, Stephen D. Post-Passage Politics: Bicameral Resolution in Congress. U. of Pittsburgh Press 1995
  • Weller, Cecil Edward, Jr. Joe T. Robinson: Always a Loyal Democrat. U. of Arkansas Press, 1998. (Arkansas Democrat who was Majority leader in 1930s)
  • Wilson, Woodrow. Congressional Government. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1885.
  • Wirls, Daniel and Wirls, Stephen. The Invention of the United States Senate Johns Hopkins U. Press, 2004. (Early history)
  • Zelizer, Julian E. On Capitol Hill : The Struggle to Reform Congress and its Consequences, 1948–2000 (2006)
  • Zelizer, Julian E., ed. The American Congress: The Building of Democracy (2004) (overview)

Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856–February 3, 1924), was the twenty-eighth President of the United States. ...

References

  1. ^ "Elections". United States Senate. Accessed 19 June 2006.
  2. ^ "Salaries". United States Senate. Accessed 19 June 2006.
  3. ^ Loughlin, Sean and Yoon, Robert. "Millionaires populate U.S. Senate". CNN. 13 June 2003. Accessed 19 June 2006.
  4. ^ "Youngest Senator". United States Senate. Accessed 19 June 2006.
  5. ^ Quinton, Jeff. "Thurmond's Filibuster". Backcountry Conservative. 27 July 2003. Accessed 19 June 2006.
  6. ^ "Lieberman refuses to close door on switching parties".
  7. ^ "The Great Senate Deadlock of 1881".
  8. ^ "Democrats Take Control on Hill".

The Cable News Network, commonly known as CNN, is a major cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ...

External links

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United States Senate

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