United States Senate

Coordinates: 38°53′26″N 77°0′32″W / 38.89056°N 77.00889°W / 38.89056; -77.00889

United States Senate
118th United States Congress
Coat of arms or logo
Flag of the United States Senate
Flag of the U.S. Senate
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 3, 2023 (2023-01-03)
Leadership
Patty Murray (D)
since January 3, 2023
Chuck Schumer (D)
since January 20, 2021
Mitch McConnell (R)
since January 20, 2021
Dick Durbin (D)
since January 20, 2021
John Thune (R)
since January 20, 2021
Structure
Seats100
118th United States Senate.svg
Political groups
Majority (51)
  •   Democratic (48)
  •   Independent (3)[a]

Minority (49)

Length of term
6 years
Elections
Plurality voting in 46 states[b]
Last election
November 8, 2022 (35 seats)
Next election
November 5, 2024 (34 seats)
Meeting place
United States Senate Floor.jpg
Senate Chamber
United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
United States
Website
senate.gov
Constitution
United States Constitution
Rules
Standing Rules of the United States Senate

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the House of Representatives being the lower chamber. Together they compose the national bicameral legislature of the United States.

The composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution.[3] The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety. Each of the 50 states is equally represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years, for a total of 100 senators. From 1789 to 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states they represented. They are now elected by popular vote following the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913.

As the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, and the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges (including Federal Supreme Court justices), flag officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, other federal executive officials and federal uniformed officers. If no candidate receives a majority of electors for vice president, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. The Senate conducts trials of those impeached by the House. The Senate has typically been considered both a more deliberative[4] and prestigious[5][6][7] body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere.[8]

The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. The vice president of the United States serves as presiding officer and president of the Senate by virtue of that office, despite not being a senator, and has a vote only if the Senate is equally divided. In the vice president's absence, the president pro tempore, who is traditionally the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 1920s, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began. The Senate's legislative and executive business is managed and scheduled by the Senate majority leader.

  1. ^ "Maine Independent Angus King To Caucus With Senate Democrats". Politico. November 14, 2012. Archived from the original on December 8, 2020. Retrieved November 28, 2020. Angus King of Maine, who cruised to victory last week running as an independent, said Wednesday that he will caucus with Senate Democrats. [...] The Senate's other independent, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, also caucuses with the Democrats.
  2. ^ Sinema, Kyrsten. "Sen. Kyrsten Sinema: Why I'm registering as an independent". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved December 9, 2022.
  3. ^ "Constitution of the United States". Senate.gov. Archived from the original on November 27, 2022. Retrieved January 8, 2023.
  4. ^ Amar, Vik D. (January 1, 1988). "The Senate and the Constitution". The Yale Law Journal. 97 (6): 1111–1130. doi:10.2307/796343. JSTOR 796343. S2CID 53702587. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  5. ^ Stewart, Charles; Reynolds, Mark (January 1, 1990). "Television Markets and U.S. Senate Elections". Legislative Studies Quarterly. 15 (4): 495–523. doi:10.2307/439894. JSTOR 439894.
  6. ^ Richard L. Berke (September 12, 1999). "In Fight for Control of Congress, Tough Skirmishes Within Parties". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 8, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Joseph S. Friedman, undergraduate student (March 30, 2009). "The Rapid Sequence of Events Forcing the Senate's Hand: A Reappraisal of the Seventeenth Amendment, 1890–1913". Curej – College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal. Archived from the original on July 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Lee, Frances E. (June 16, 2006). "Agreeing to Disagree: Agenda Content and Senate Partisanship, 198". Legislative Studies Quarterly. 33 (2): 199–222. doi:10.3162/036298008784311000.


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