President pro tempore of the United States Senate

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President pro tempore of the United States Senate
President Pro Tempore US Senate Seal.svg
Seal of the President pro tempore
Chuck Grassley official photo 2017.jpg
Incumbent
Chuck Grassley

since January 3, 2019
United States Senate
Style Mr. President
(within the Senate)
The Honorable
(formal)
Seat Senate chamber, United States Capitol, Washington, D.C.
Appointer United States Senate
Term length At the pleasure of the Senate, and until another is elected or their term of office as a Senator expires
Constituting instrument United States Constitution
FormationMarch 4, 1789
First holder John Langdon
Succession Third [1]
DeputyAny senator, typically a member of the majority party, designated by the President pro tempore
Salary US$193,400-230,700
Website www.senate.gov

The President pro tempore of the United States Senate (often shortened to president pro tem) is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate. Article One, Section Three of the United States Constitution provides that the Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate (despite not being a Senator), and mandates that the Senate must choose a President pro tempore to act in the Vice President's absence. Unlike the Vice President, the President pro tempore is an elected member of the Senate, able to speak or vote on any issue. Selected by the Senate at large, the President pro tempore has enjoyed many privileges and some limited powers. [2] During the Vice President's absence, the President pro tempore is empowered to preside over Senate sessions. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore usually presides; instead, the duty of presiding officer is rotated among junior U.S. Senators of the majority party to give them experience in parliamentary procedure. [3]

United States Senate Upper house of the United States Congress

The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C.

Article One of the United States Constitution Portion of the US Constitution regarding Congress

Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress. Under Article One, Congress is a bicameral legislature consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Article One grants Congress various enumerated powers and the ability to pass laws "necessary and proper" to carry out those powers. Article One also establishes the procedures for passing a bill and places various limits on the powers of Congress and the states.

Vice President of the United States Second highest executive office in United States

The vice president of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government, after the president of the United States, and ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The vice president is also an officer in the legislative branch, as President of the Senate. In this capacity, the vice president presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote. The vice president also presides over joint sessions of Congress.

Contents

Since 1890, the most senior U.S. Senator in the majority party has generally been chosen to be President pro tempore and holds the office continuously until the election of another. This tradition has been observed without interruption since 1949. [4] Since the enactment of the current Presidential Succession Act in 1947, the president pro tempore is third in the line of succession to the presidency, after the vice president and the Speaker of the House of Representatives and ahead of the Secretary of State. [5]

United States senators are conventionally ranked by the length of their tenure in the Senate. The senator in each U.S. state with the longer time in office is known as the senior senator; the other is the junior senator. This convention has no official standing, though seniority confers several benefits, including preference in the choice of committee assignments and physical offices. When senators have been in office for the same length of time, a number of tiebreakers, including previous offices held, are used to determine seniority.

In the United States, a Presidential Succession Act is a federal statute establishing the presidential line of succession. Article II, Section 1, Clause 6 of the United States Constitution authorizes Congress to enact such a statute:

... Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

United States presidential line of succession order by which officers of the U.S. federal government fill the vacant office of president of the US

The United States presidential line of succession is the order in which officials of the United States federal government assume the powers and duties of the office of President of the United States if the incumbent president becomes incapacitated, dies, resigns, or is removed from office. Presidential succession is referred to multiple times in the U.S. Constitution – Article II, Section 1, Clause 6, as well as the 12th Amendment, 20th Amendment, and 25th Amendment. The Article II succession clause authorizes Congress to provide for a line of succession beyond the vice president, which it has done on three occasions. The current Presidential Succession Act was adopted in 1947, and last revised in 2006.

The current President pro tempore of the Senate is Iowa Republican Charles Grassley. Elected on January 3, 2019, he is the 91st person to serve in this office. [6]

Iowa State of the United States of America

Iowa is a state in the Midwestern United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states; Wisconsin to the northeast, Illinois to the east, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, and Minnesota to the north.

Republican Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Power and responsibilities

Although the position is in some ways analogous to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the powers of the president pro tempore are far more limited. In the Senate, most power rests with party leaders and individual senators, but as the chamber's presiding officer, the president pro tempore is authorized to perform certain duties in the absence of the vice president, including ruling on points of order. [7] Additionally, under the 25th Amendment to the Constitution, the president pro tempore and the speaker are the two authorities to whom declarations must be transmitted that the president is unable to perform the duties of the office, or is able to resume doing so. The president pro tempore is third in the line of presidential succession, following the vice president and the speaker, [7] and consequently is one of the few members of Congress entitled to a full-time security detail. [8] Additional duties include appointment of various congressional officers, certain commissions, advisory boards, and committees and joint supervision of the congressional page school. [7] The president pro tempore is the designated legal recipient of various reports to the Senate, including War Powers Act reports under which he or she, jointly with the speaker, may have the president call Congress back into session. The officeholder is an ex officio member of various boards and commissions. With the secretary and sergeant at arms, the president pro tempore maintains order in Senate portions of the Capitol and Senate buildings. [7] [9]

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives position

The speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer of the United States House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. The speaker is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives, and is simultaneously the House's presiding officer, de facto leader of the body's majority party, and the institution's administrative head. Speakers also perform various other administrative and procedural functions. Given these several roles and responsibilities, the speaker usually does not personally preside over debates. That duty is instead delegated to members of the House from the majority party. Neither does the speaker regularly participate in floor debates.

The Presiding Officer of the United States Senate is the person who presides over the United States Senate and is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing members to speak, and interpreting the Senate's rules, practices, and precedents. Senate presiding officer is a role, not an actual office. The actual role is usually performed by one of three officials: the Vice President; an elected United States Senator; or, in special cases, the Chief Justice. Outside the constitutionally mandated roles, the actual appointment of a person to do the job of presiding over the Senate as a body is governed by Rule I of the Standing Rules.

Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution Amendment to the U. S. Constitution dealing with issues related to presidential succession and disability

The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution deals with issues related to presidential succession and disability. It clarifies that the vice president becomes president if the president dies, resigns, or is removed from office; and establishes procedures for filling a vacancy in the office of the vice president and for responding to presidential disabilities. The Twenty-fifth Amendment was submitted to the states on July 6, 1965, by the 89th Congress and was adopted on February 10, 1967.

History

The office of president pro tempore was established by the Constitution of the United States in 1789. The first president pro tempore, John Langdon, was elected on April 6 the same year. [7] Between 1792 and 1886, the president pro tempore was second in the line of presidential succession following the vice president and preceding the speaker. Through 1891, the president pro tempore was appointed on an intermittent basis only, when the vice president was not present to preside over the Senate, or at the adjournment of a session of Congress. [10] Langdon served four separate terms from 1789 to 1793. During the 4th Congress (1795 – 1797); in all, more than 12 senators held the office during the Senate’s first decade. [11] When called upon to serve, they would preside, sign legislation, and perform routine administrative tasks.

Constitution of the United States Supreme law of the United States of America

The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. The Constitution, originally comprising seven articles, delineates the national frame of government. Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress ; the executive, consisting of the president ; and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts. Articles Four, Five and Six embody concepts of federalism, describing the rights and responsibilities of state governments, the states in relationship to the federal government, and the shared process of constitutional amendment. Article Seven establishes the procedure subsequently used by the thirteen States to ratify it. It is regarded as the oldest written and codified national constitution in force.

John Langdon (politician) New Hampshire Founding Father, governor, and senator

John Langdon was a politician from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and a Founding Father of the United States. He served as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, signed the United States Constitution, and was one of the first two United States senators from that state.

4th United States Congress

The Fourth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, consisting of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from March 4, 1795, to March 4, 1797, during the last two years of George Washington's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the First Census of the United States in 1790. The Senate had a Federalist majority, and the House had a Democratic-Republican majority.

Whenever the vice presidency was vacant, as it was on 10 occasions between 1812 and 1889, [12] the office garnered heightened importance, for although he did not assume the vice presidency, the president pro tempore was then next in line for the presidency. [13] Before the ratification of the Twenty-fifth Amendment in 1967, a vacancy in the vice presidency could be filled only by a regular election; several who served during these vacancies were referred to informally as "Acting Vice President." [14]

On three occasions during the 19th century, the Senate was without both a president and a president pro tempore:

Benjamin Wade came within one vote of being the first president pro tempore to succeed to the presidency after the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868 Benjamin F Wade - Brady-Handy.jpg
Benjamin Wade came within one vote of being the first president pro tempore to succeed to the presidency after the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson in 1868
John Tyler is the only Senate president pro tempore to also become President of the United States. WHOportTyler.jpg
John Tyler is the only Senate president pro tempore to also become President of the United States.
President pro tempore Robert Byrd and House Speaker Dennis Hastert presided over a special joint session following the September 11, 2001, attacks. Here President Bush shakes hands with Byrd. Byrd bush.jpg
President pro tempore Robert Byrd and House Speaker Dennis Hastert presided over a special joint session following the September 11, 2001, attacks. Here President Bush shakes hands with Byrd.

When President Andrew Johnson, who had no vice president, was impeached and tried in 1868, Senate President pro tempore Benjamin Franklin Wade was next in line to the presidency. Wade's radicalism is thought by many historians to be a major reason why the Senate, which did not want to see Wade in the White House, acquitted Johnson. [17] The President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House were removed from the presidential line of succession in 1886. Both were restored to it in 1947, though this time with the president pro tempore following the speaker. [7]

William P. Frye served as President pro tempore from 1896 to 1911 (54th62nd Congress), a tenure longer than anyone else. He resigned from the position due to ill health a couple of months before his death. Electing his successor proved difficult, as Senate Republicans, then in the majority, were split between progressive and conservative factions, each promoting its own candidate. Likewise, the Democrats proposed their own candidate. As a result of this three-way split, no individual received a majority vote. It took four months for a compromise solution to emerge: Democrat Augustus Bacon would serve for a single day, August 14, 1911, during the vice president's absence. Thereafter, Bacon and four Republicans—Charles Curtis, Jacob Gallinger, Henry Cabot Lodge, and Frank Brandegee—would alternate as president pro tempore for the remainder of the Congress. [7]

In January 1945, the 79th Congress elected Kenneth McKellar, who at the time was the Senator with the longest continuous service, to be President pro tempore. Since then, it has become customary for the majority party's senior member to hold this position. Arthur Vandenberg (in 1947–1949) was the last president pro tempore not to be the senior member of the majority party, aside from the single day accorded Milton Young (in December 1980), who was the retiring senior member of the Republican Party, which would hold the majority in the incoming 97th Congress. [4]

Three presidents pro tempore subsequently became Vice President: John Tyler, William R. King and Charles Curtis. Tyler is the only one to become president (in April 1841, following the death of William Henry Harrison).

Acting president pro tempore

President pro tempore Carl Hayden seated to the left of House Speaker John W. McCormack during a 1963 speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson to a joint session of Congress. LBJ McCormack Hayden.jpg
President pro tempore Carl Hayden seated to the left of House Speaker John W. McCormack during a 1963 speech by President Lyndon B. Johnson to a joint session of Congress.

While the president pro tempore does have other official duties, the holders of the office have, like the vice president, over time ceased presiding over the Senate on a daily basis, owing to the mundane and ceremonial nature of the position. [10] Furthermore, as the president pro tempore is now usually the most senior senator of the majority party, he most likely also chairs a major Senate committee and has other significant demands on his time. Therefore, the president pro tempore has less time now than in the past to preside daily over the Senate. Instead, junior senators from the majority party are designated acting president pro tempore to preside over the Senate. [18] This allows junior senators to learn proper parliamentary procedure. [3] The acting president pro tempore is usually reappointed daily by the president pro tempore. [19]

Permanent acting president pro tempore

In June 1963, because of the illness of president pro tempore Carl Hayden, Senator Lee Metcalf was designated permanent acting president pro tempore. No term was imposed on this designation, so Metcalf retained it until he died in office in 1978. [9]

Deputy president pro tempore

Hubert Humphrey (D-Minnesota) was the first Deputy President pro tempore in 1977-1978 Hubert Humphrey crop.jpg
Hubert Humphrey (D-Minnesota) was the first Deputy President pro tempore in 1977–1978

The ceremonial post of deputy president pro tempore was created for Hubert Humphrey, a former vice president, in 1977 following his losing bid to become the Senate majority leader. [20] The Senate resolution creating the position stated that any former president or former vice president serving in the Senate would be entitled to this position, though none has served since Humphrey's death in 1978, [9] and former vice president Walter Mondale, who sought his former Senate seat in Minnesota in 2002, is the only one to have tried. Andrew Johnson is the only former president (1865–1869) to have subsequently served in the Senate (1875).

George J. Mitchell was elected deputy president pro tempore in 1987, because of the illness of president pro tempore John C. Stennis, similar to Metcalf's earlier designation as permanent acting president pro tempore. The office has remained vacant since 1989 and no senator other than Humphrey and Mitchell has held it since its creation. [9] Mitchell is the only person to have served as deputy president pro tempore who was neither a former president nor former vice president of the United States.

The post is largely honorary and ceremonial, but comes with a salary increase. By statute, the compensation granted to the position holder equals the rate of annual compensation paid to the president pro tempore, majority leader, and minority leader. (See 2 U.S.C.   § 6112.) [9]

President pro tempore emeritus

Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), former president pro tempore, and current president pro tempore emeritus Leahy2009.jpg
Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), former president pro tempore, and current president pro tempore emeritus

Since 2001, the honorary title of president pro tempore emeritus has been given to a senator of the minority party who has previously served as president pro tempore. The position has been held by Strom Thurmond (R-South Carolina) (2001–2003), Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) (2003–2007), Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) (2007–2009) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) (2015–present). From 2009 to 2015, no senator met the requirements for the position.

The position was created for Thurmond when the Democratic Party regained a majority in the Senate in June 2001. [21] With the change in party control, Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia replaced Thurmond as president pro tempore, reclaiming a position he had previously held from 1989 to 1995 and briefly in January 2001. Thurmond's retirement from the Senate on January 3, 2003, coincided with a change from Democratic to Republican control, making Stevens president pro tempore and Byrd the second president pro tempore emeritus. Byrd returned as president pro tempore, and Stevens became the third president pro tempore emeritus, when the Democrats gained control of the Senate in 2007. [9] While a president pro tempore emeritus has no official duties, he is entitled to an increase in staff [22] and advises party leaders on the functions of the Senate.

The office's accompanying budget increase was removed toward the end of the 113th Congress, shortly before Patrick Leahy was to become the first holder of the title in six years. Quoted in CQ Roll Call , Leahy commented, "[The Republicans] didn't keep their commitment. They want to treat us differently than we treated them, and so they've got that right. It seems kind of petty, but it really doesn't matter to me. I've got plenty of funding, plenty of good staff." [23]

Salary

The salary of the president pro tempore for 2012 was $193,400, equal to that of the majority leaders and minority leaders of both houses of Congress. If there is a vacancy in the office of vice president, then the salary would be the same as that of the vice president, $230,700. [9]

See also

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References

  1. "3 U.S. Code § 19 - Vacancy in offices of both President and Vice President; officers eligible to act".
  2. Senate Historical Office; With a preface by Senator Robert C. Byrd, President pro tempore (2008). Erickson, Nancy (Secretary of the Senate) (ed.). Pro Tem: Presidents Pro Tempore of the United States Senate since 1789 (PDF). U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 9. ISBN   978-0-16-079984-6 . Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  3. 1 2 "Hillary takes Senate gavel–for an hour". CNN. January 24, 2001. Archived from the original on January 20, 2010.
  4. 1 2 Davis, Christopher M. (December 20, 2012). The President Pro Tempore of the Senate: History and Authority of the Office (Report). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  5. Lord, Debbie (June 18, 2018). "A president resigns, dies or is impeached: What is the line of succession?". wftv.com. Cox Media Group. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  6. "Grassley Sworn in as Senate President Pro Tempore". Chuck Grassley: United States Senator for Iowa. January 3, 2018. Retrieved January 4, 2019.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "President Pro Tempore". United States Senate. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  8. Stricherz, Mark (June 16, 2017). "Congressional Security Details Remain Murky". rollcall.com. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Sachs, Richard C. (January 22, 2003). "The President Pro Tempore of the Senate: History and Authority of the Office" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  10. 1 2 Richard E. Berg-Andersson (June 7, 2001). "A Brief History of Congressional Leadership". The Green Papers. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  11. Erickson, Nancy, ed. (August 22, 2008). "Chapter 1:The Formative Years, 1789–1860" (PDF). Pro tem : presidents pro tempore of the United States Senate since 1789. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing office. pp. 7–10. ISBN   978-0-16-079984-6 . Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  12. Neale, Thomas H. (September 27, 2004). "Presidential and Vice Presidential Succession: Overview and Current Legislation" (PDF). CRS Report for Congress. Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service, the Library of Congress. p. 22. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  13. "John Tyler, Tenth Vice President (1841)". Washington, D.C.: Office of the Secretary, United States Senate. Retrieved June 30, 2018.
  14. "Lafayette Foster". Art & History. Washington, D.C.: Secretary of the Senate. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  15. Feerick, John D.; Freund, Paul A. (1965). From Failing Hands: the Story of Presidential Succession. New York City: Fordham University Press. pp. 104–105. LCCN   65-14917.
  16. 1 2 Erickson, Nancy, ed. (August 22, 2008). "Chapter 2: A Question of Succession, 1861-1889" (PDF). Pro tem : presidents pro tempore of the United States Senate since 1789. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing office. pp. 55–57. ISBN   978-0-16-079984-6 . Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  17. Smith, Gene (1977). High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Impeachment and Trial of Andrew Johnson. William Morrow & Company. ISBN   0-688-03072-6.
  18. Gold, Martin B.; Gupta, Dimple. "The Constitutional Option to Change Senate Rules and Procedures: A Majoritarian Means to Over Come the Filibuster*" (PDF). Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. 28 (1): 211.
  19. "APPOINTMENT OF A SENATOR TO THE CHAIR - Rules of the Senate - United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration". Archived from the original on December 2, 2016.
  20. "Hubert H. Humphrey". virtualology.com. Evisum Inc. 2000. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  21. S.Res. 103, adopted, June 6, 2001. "Thanking and Electing Strom Thurmond President pro tempore emeritus."
  22. 2 U.S.C.   § 32b
  23. Lesniewski, Niels (December 10, 2014). "Leahy: 'Kind of Petty' Not to Fund Emeritus Office in 'Cromnibus'". CQ Roll Call . Retrieved January 7, 2015.
U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Nancy Pelosi
3rd in lineSucceeded by
Secretary of State
Mike Pompeo