United States Senate

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The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the House of Representatives.
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Senators

Portal:Congress
Members of the Senate are called senators. Each of the fifty states is given two Senate seats. Washington D.C. and territories, such as Puerto Rico and Guam, do not receive any delegates to the Senate.

Each senator serves for a six-year term. There are no term limits for senators.[1]

Qualifications

According to the U.S. Constitution, senators must meet the following requirements:[2]

  • At least 30 years old
  • A U.S. citizen for at least nine years
  • A resident of the state he or she represents

Additionally, all 50 states maintain requirements related to running for election. These filing requirements vary and can include:

  • A filing fee
  • A petition with a minimum number of valid signatures


Section. 3
Clause 1: The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.
Clause 2: Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.
Clause 3: No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.
Clause 4: The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
Clause 5: The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.
Clause 6: The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.
Clause 7: Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.[3]

The U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 3

Leaders

Constitutionally mandated officers

  • President of the Senate: The vice-president of the United States is also the president of the Senate. While they cannot normally vote on Senate matters, they preside over the Senate and act as a tie-breaker. They also receive and announce the tally of the electoral college vote for president and vice-president before the Senate.[4]
  • President Pro Tempore: Fills in for the president of the Senate when they are absent. They are also the third in the line of succession for the presidency. In recent years the role has largely been given to popular senators from the majority party.[5]

Political leaders

Senate Majority Leader
Senate Minority Leader
  • Political leaders include the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader, as well as the Majority Whip and the Minority Whip.[6]

Elected Senate officers

  • The Chaplain: The Senate Chaplain provides spiritual services and counseling to senate members, family and staff.[7]
  • Party Secretaries: Each party elects a party secretary to aid in communication of Senate business.[8]
  • The Secretary of the Senate: The secretary of the Senate performs a wide range of administrative duties, from record keeping, to procurement and information technology.[9]
  • The Sergeant at Arms: The Sergeant at Arms is the chief law enforcement officer of the Senate. They hold the jurisdiction to take senators to the Senate Chamber to form a quorum, enforce Senate rules, and even arrest the President of the United States if so ordered by the Senate. The Sergeant at Arms is in charge of maintaining security for the Senate Chamber, the Senate wing of the capital, other Senate buildings. Finally, they keep the gavel used to start daily Senate business.[10]

Committees

There are 20 main committees and 68 subcommittees in the U.S. Senate. There are also several joint committees with the U.S. House of Representative. In general, the committees have legislative jurisdiction, with specific topics dealt out to the subcommittees. The majority party chairs and receives the most seats on committees. However, senators are limited to the number of committees they may take part in.

Legislation goes through committees before it reaches the full Senate for debate and approval.[11]

U.S. Senate


Congressional committees (Senate)

Page:
United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation    
United States Senate Committee on Appropriations    
United States Senate Committee on Armed Services    
United States Senate Committee on Aging (Special)    
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary    
United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs    
United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry    
United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions    
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations    
United States Senate Committee on Budget    
United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works    
United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs    
United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources    
United States Senate Committee on Intelligence (Select)    
United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship    
United States Senate Committee on Finance    
United States Senate Committee on Ethics (Select)    
United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration    
United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs    
United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs    

Joint committees


Congressional committees (Joint)

Page:
United States Congress Joint Economic Committee    
United States Congress Joint Committee on Taxation    
United States Congress Joint Committee on the Library    
United States Congress Joint Committee on Printing    

Elections

See also: Classes of United States Senators

Every two years, 33 seats in the U.S. Senate are up for election. Seats in the U.S. Senate for the purposes of determining the year of an election are defined as Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. Elections for these seats take place in this rotation:

  • 2012: Class 1.
  • 2014: Class 2.
  • 2016: Class 3.

2014

See also: United States Senate elections, 2014

The 33 Class II U.S. Senate seats are up for election on November 4, 2014. Of those 33 seats, 20 are currently held by Democrats and 13 by Republican senators. Additionally, three special elections will take place in 2014 to fill vacancies that occurred during the 113th Congress (Hawaii, Oklahoma and South Carolina). All three of these special elections will also take place on November 4, 2014, for a total of 36 Senate elections.

U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown
Party As of August 2014 After the 2014 Election
     Democratic Party 53 Pending
     Republican Party 45 Pending
     Independent 2 Pending
Total 100 100

2012

See also: U.S. Senate elections, 2012

Elections to the U.S. Senate were held on November 6, 2012. Of the 33 seats up for election, 23 were held by Democrats and 10 by Republicans. The Democratic Party retained control over the chamber, winning 25 of the 33 seats. With Republican candidates winning only eight seats, this was the worst performance by a major party since the 1950s.[12]

U.S. Senate Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 51 53
     Republican Party 47 45
     Independent 2 2
Total 100 100

Analysis

Salary

As of 2014, most senators are paid $174,000 per year. Majority and minority leaders, as well as the president pro tempore, receive $193,400.[13]

Some historical facts about the salary of U.S. Senate members:

  • In 1789, members of the Senate received $6 per diem[13]
  • In 1874, members of the Senate earned $5,000 per year[13]
  • In 1990, members of the Senate earned $98,400 per year[13]
  • From 2000-2006, the salary of a member of the U.S. Senate increased every year, going from $141,300-$165,200 in that time span.[13]

Voting with the party

According to OpenCongress, a website that tracks how often members of Congress vote with the majority of their party caucus. In May 2014, there were 51 Democrats and 45 Republicans tracked.

Democrats:[14]

  • The average (mean) Democrat voted with the party approximately 95.0% of the team.
  • The average (median) Democrat voted with the party approximately 95.55% of the time.
  • The top Democrat voted with the party approximately 98.8% of the time.
  • The bottom Democrat voted with the party approximately 72.8% of the time.

Republicans:[15]

  • The average (both mean & median) Republican voted with the party approximately 88.0% of the team.
  • The top Republican voted with the party approximately 94.9% of the time.
  • The bottom Republican voted with the party approximately 62.7% of the time.

Net worth

See also: Changes in Net Worth of U.S. Senators and Representatives (Personal Gain Index) and Net worth of United States Senators and Representatives

The average net worth of members of the Senate, based on data from OpenSecrets.org, is as follows:[16]

Year # in Senate Reports Senate Average Senate Std Dev
2010 116 $13,224,333 $34,978,652
2009 116 $13,229,651 $35,913,577
2008 110 $13,835,333. $38,866,085
2007 106 $17,170,451 $49,007,497
2006 107 $14,106,027 $44,182,270
2005 101 $14,553,612 $41,993,697
2004 105 $14,455,289 $41,653,112

Note: Report numbers may reflect incoming and outgoing members of congress.

113th Congress: Demographics

The 113th Congress is the most diverse Congress in the nation's history, owing to a record number of newly elected women and minorities.[17]

New members, including the first Buddhist to hold a seat in the Senate, were elected on November 6, 2012.[17] Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), who was appointed to fill the vacancy left by the resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), is the first African American Republican in the Senate since 1979.

Currently, there are three Latino, one African American and 20 female members of the U.S. Senate.[17][18]

Current Members

Current senators

The following is a simple list of the current members of the U.S. Senate:

Alabama

  1. Jeff Sessions
  2. Richard Shelby

Alaska

  1. Lisa Murkowski
  2. Mark Begich

Arizona

  1. Jeff Flake
  2. John McCain

Arkansas

  1. John Boozman
  2. Mark Pryor

California

  1. Barbara Boxer
  2. Dianne Feinstein

Colorado

  1. Mark Udall
  2. Michael Bennet

Connecticut

  1. Chris Murphy (Connecticut)
  2. Richard Blumenthal

Delaware

  1. Chris Coons
  2. Tom Carper

Florida

  1. Bill Nelson (Florida)
  2. Marco Rubio

Georgia

  1. Johnny Isakson
  2. Saxby Chambliss

Hawaii

  1. Brian Schatz
  2. Mazie Hirono

Idaho

  1. Jim Risch
  2. Mike Crapo

Illinois

  1. Dick Durbin
  2. Mark Kirk

Indiana

  1. Dan Coats
  2. Joe Donnelly

Iowa

  1. Chuck Grassley
  2. Tom Harkin

Kansas

  1. Jerry Moran
  2. Pat Roberts

Kentucky

  1. Mitch McConnell
  2. Rand Paul

Louisiana

  1. David Vitter
  2. Mary Landrieu

Maine

  1. Angus King
  2. Susan Collins

Maryland

  1. Barbara Mikulski
  2. Ben Cardin

Massachusetts

  1. Ed Markey
  2. Elizabeth Warren

Michigan

  1. Carl Levin
  2. Debbie Stabenow

Minnesota

  1. Al Franken
  2. Amy Klobuchar

Mississippi

  1. Roger Wicker
  2. Thad Cochran

Missouri

  1. Claire McCaskill
  2. Roy Blunt

Montana

  1. John Walsh (Montana)
  2. Jon Tester

Nebraska

  1. Deb Fischer
  2. Mike Johanns

Nevada

  1. Dean Heller
  2. Harry Reid

New Hampshire

  1. Jeanne Shaheen
  2. Kelly Ayotte

New Jersey

  1. Bob Menendez
  2. Cory Booker

New Mexico

  1. Martin Heinrich
  2. Tom Udall

New York

  1. Chuck Schumer
  2. Kirsten Gillibrand

North Carolina

  1. Kay Hagan
  2. Richard Burr

North Dakota

  1. Heidi Heitkamp
  2. John Hoeven

Ohio

  1. Rob Portman
  2. Sherrod Brown

Oklahoma

  1. Jim Inhofe
  2. Tom Coburn

Oregon

  1. Jeff Merkley
  2. Ron Wyden

Pennsylvania

  1. Bob Casey, Jr.
  2. Pat Toomey

Rhode Island

  1. Jack Reed
  2. Sheldon Whitehouse

South Carolina

  1. Lindsey Graham
  2. Tim Scott

South Dakota

  1. John Thune
  2. Tim Johnson, South Dakota

Tennessee

  1. Bob Corker
  2. Lamar Alexander

Texas

  1. John Cornyn
  2. Ted Cruz

Utah

  1. Mike Lee
  2. Orrin Hatch

Vermont

  1. Bernie Sanders
  2. Patrick Leahy

Virginia

  1. Mark Warner
  2. Tim Kaine

Washington

  1. Maria Cantwell
  2. Patty Murray

West Virginia

  1. Jay Rockefeller
  2. Joe Manchin III

Wisconsin

  1. Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)
  2. Tammy Baldwin

Wyoming

  1. John Barrasso
  2. Mike Enzi


See also

External links

References