Party leaders of the United States Senate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Majority Leader of the
U.S. Senate
Harry Reid official portrait 2009 crop.jpg
Incumbent
Harry Reid (D)

since January 3, 2007
Inaugural holderHenry Cabot Lodge (R)
FormationMarch 4, 1920
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Majority Leader of the
U.S. Senate
Harry Reid official portrait 2009 crop.jpg
Incumbent
Harry Reid (D)

since January 3, 2007
Inaugural holderHenry Cabot Lodge (R)
FormationMarch 4, 1920
Minority Leader of the
U.S. Senate
Mitch McConnell official portrait 112th Congress.jpg
Incumbent
Mitch McConnell (R)

since January 3, 2007
Inaugural holderOscar Underwood (D)
FormationApril 27, 1920
Majority Whip of the
U.S. Senate
(Democratic Whip)
Richard Durbin official photo.jpg
Incumbent
Richard Durbin

since January 3, 2007
StyleSenator
Inaugural holderJ. Hamilton Lewis
Formation1913
Minority Whip of the
U.S. Senate
(Republican Whip)
John Cornyn official portrait, 2009.jpg
Incumbent
John Cornyn

since January 3, 2013
StyleSenator
Inaugural holderJames Wadsworth, Jr.
Formation1915
Great Seal of the United States (obverse).svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the United States

The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party caucuses that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate. By rule, the Presiding Officer gives the Majority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate. The Majority Leader customarily serves as the chief representative of his or her party in Senate, and sometimes even in all of Congress if the House of Representatives and thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party.

The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate (commonly called Senate Majority and Minority Whips) are the second-ranking members of the party leadership of the United States Senate. The main function of the Majority and Minority Whips is to gather votes on major issues. Because he or she is the second ranking member of the Senate, if there is no floor leader present, the whip may become acting floor leader. Before 1969, the official titles were Majority Whip and Minority Whip.

Many state senates are organized in the same way as the United States Senate.

Duties[edit]

Per 19 U.S.C. § 2191(c)(1), an implementing bill for a fast-track negotiating authority (trade promotion authority) trade agreement submitted by the President is introduced (by request) in the House by the majority leader of the House and (by request) in the Senate by the majority leader of the Senate.

Current floor leaders[edit]

The Senate is currently composed of 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and 2 independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats.

The current leaders are Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. The current Assistant Majority Leader is Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois. The current Assistant Minority Leader is Republican John Cornyn of Texas.

History[edit]

The Democrats began the practice of electing floor leaders in 1920 while they were in the minority. John Worth Kern (December 20, 1849 – August 17, 1917) was a Democratic United States Senator from Indiana. While the title was not official, he is considered to be the first Senate party leader (and in turn, the first Senate Democratic Leader), while serving concurrently as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In 1925 the majority (at the time) Republicans also adopted this language when Charles Curtis became the first (official) Majority Leader[citation needed], although his immediate predecessor Henry Cabot Lodge is considered the first (unofficial) Senate Majority Leader.

The Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the Senate. The Constitution also calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate (the Vice President) is absent. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore—customarily the most senior (longest-serving) Senator in the majority party—actually presides over the Senate on a daily basis; that task is given to junior Senators of the majority party, in part so they may learn proper procedure. For these reasons, it is the Majority Leader who in practice manages the Senate.[citation needed]

List of party leaders[edit]

The Democratic Party first selected a leader in 1920. The Republican Party first formally designated a leader in 1925.

Cong-
ress
DatesDemocratic WhipDemocratic LeaderMajorityRepublican LeaderRepublican Whip
63March 4, 1913 –
March 4, 1915
J. Hamilton LewisNone← D MajNoneNone
64March 4, 1915 –
March 4, ? 1915
James Wadsworth, Jr.
1915 ? –
1917
Charles Curtis
65March 4, 1917 –
March 4, 1919
66March 4, 1919 –
March 4, 1921
Peter GerryOscar UnderwoodR Maj →Henry Cabot Lodge (unofficial)
67March 4, 1921 –
March 4, 1923
68March 4, 1923 –
November 9, 1924
Joseph Taylor Robinson
1925Charles CurtisWesley Jones
69March 4, 1925 –
March 4, 1927
70March 4, 1927 –
March 4, 1929
71March 4, 1929 –
March 4, 1931
Morris SheppardJames E. WatsonSimeon Fess
72March 4, 1931 –
March 4, 1933
73March 4, 1933 –
January 3, 1935
J. Hamilton Lewis← D MajCharles L. McNaryFelix Hebert
74January 3, 1935 –
January 3, 1937
None[1]
75January 3, 1937 –
July 14, 1937
July 22, 1937 –
January 3, 1939
Alben W. Barkley
76January 3, 1939 –
?
Sherman Minton
1940Warren Austin (acting)
77January 3, 1941 –
January 3, 1943
Lister HillCharles L. McNary
78January 3, 1943 –
January 3, 1945
Wallace H. White Jr. (acting)Kenneth Wherry
79January 3, 1945 –
January 3, 1947
Wallace H. White Jr.
80January 3, 1947 –
January 3, 1949
Scott LucasR Maj →
81January 3, 1949 –
January 3, 1951
Francis MyersScott W. Lucas← D MajKenneth S. WherryLeverett Saltonstall
82January 3, 1951 –
January 3, 1952
Lyndon JohnsonErnest McFarland
January 3, 1952 –
January 3, 1953
Styles Bridges
83January 3, 1953 –
July 31, 1953
Earle ClementsLyndon B. JohnsonR Maj →Robert A. Taft
August 3, 1953 –
January 3, 1955
William F. Knowland
84January 3, 1955 –
January 3, 1957
← D Maj
85January 3, 1957 –
January 3, 1959
Mike MansfieldEverett Dirksen
86January 3, 1959 –
January 3, 1961
Everett M. DirksenThomas Kuchel
87January 3, 1961 –
January 3, 1963
Hubert HumphreyMike Mansfield
88January 3, 1963 –
January 3, 1965
89January 3, 1965 –
January 3, 1967
Russell Long
90January 3, 1967 –
January 3, 1969
91January 3, 1969 –
September 7, 1969
Ted KennedyHugh Scott
September 24, 1969 –
January 3, 1971
Hugh ScottRobert Griffin
92January 3, 1971 –
January 3, 1973
Robert Byrd
93January 3, 1973 –
January 3, 1975
94January 3, 1975 –
January 3, 1977
95January 3, 1977 –
January 3, 1979
Alan CranstonRobert ByrdHoward BakerTed Stevens
96January 3, 1979 –
January 3, 1981
97January 3, 1981 –
January 3, 1983
R Maj →
98January 3, 1983 –
January 3, 1985
99January 3, 1985 –
January 3, 1987
Bob DoleAlan Simpson
100January 3, 1987 –
January 3, 1989
← D Maj
101January 3, 1989 –
January 3, 1991
George Mitchell
102January 3, 1991 –
January 3, 1993
Wendell Ford
103January 3, 1993 –
January 3, 1995
104January 3, 1995 –
June 12, 1996
Tom DaschleR Maj →Trent Lott
June 12, 1996 –
January 3, 1997
Trent LottDon Nickles
105January 3, 1997 –
January 3, 1999
106January 3, 1999 –
January 3, 2001
Harry Reid
107January 3 –
20, 2001
← D Maj
January 20 –
June 6, 2001
R Maj →
June 6, 2001 –
January 3, 2003[2]
← D Maj
108January 3, 2003 –
January 3, 2005
R Maj →Bill FristMitch McConnell
109January 3, 2005 –
January 3, 2007
Richard DurbinHarry Reid
110January 3, 2007 –
December 18, 2007
← D MajMitch McConnellTrent Lott
December 19, 2007 –
January 3, 2009
Jon Kyl
111January 3, 2009 –
January 3, 2011
112January 3, 2011 –
January 3, 2013
113January 3, 2013 –
January 3, 2015
John Cornyn
Cong-
ress
DatesDemocratic WhipDemocratic LeaderMajorityRepublican LeaderRepublican Whip

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ No Republican whips were appointed from 1935 to 1944 since only 17 Republicans were in the Senate following the landslide reelection of President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. Accordingly, the minutes of the Republican Conference for the period state: "On motion of Senator Hastings, duly seconded and carried, it was agreed that no Assistant Leader or Whip be elected but that the chairman be authorized to appoint Senators from time to time to assist him in taking charge of the interests of the minority." A note attached to the conference minutes added: "The chairman of the conference, Senator McNary, apparently appointed Senator Austin of Vermont as assistant leader in 1943 and 1944, until the conference adopted Rules of Organization." Source: Party Whips, via Senate.gov
  2. ^ Democrats remained in control after November 25, 2002, despite a Republican majority resulting from Jim Talent's special election victory in Missouri. There was no reorganization as Senate was no longer in session. Party Division in the Senate, 1789-present, via Senate.gov

External links[edit]