|President pro tempore of the United States Senate|
Seal of the President pro tempore
|United States Senate|
|Style|| Mr. President |
(within the Senate)
|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|
|Formation||March 4, 1789|
|First holder||John Langdon|
|Deputy||Any senator, typically a member of the majority party, designated by the President pro tempore|
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United States of America
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.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.
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 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.
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 is empowered to preside over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote. The vice president also presides over joint sessions of Congress.
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.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.
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.
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 vice president of the United States is designated as first in the presidential line of succession by the Article II succession clause, which also authorizes Congress to provide for a line of succession beyond the Vice President; it has done so 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.
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 and southeast, Missouri to the south, Nebraska to the west, South Dakota to the northwest, and Minnesota to the north.
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.
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.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, and consequently is one of the few members of Congress entitled to a full-time security detail. Additional duties include appointment of various congressional officers, certain commissions, advisory boards, and committees and joint supervision of the congressional page school. 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.
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.
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.
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.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. 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. When called upon to serve, they would preside, sign legislation, and perform routine administrative tasks.
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 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.
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,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. 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."
On three occasions during the 19th century, the Senate was without both a president and a president pro tempore:
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.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.
William P. Frye served as president pro tempore from 1896 to 1911 (54th–62nd 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.
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.
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).
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.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. This allows junior senators to learn proper parliamentary procedure. The acting president pro tempore is usually reappointed daily by the 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.
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.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, 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.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.)
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.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. While a president pro tempore emeritus has no official duties, he is entitled to an increase in staff 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."
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.
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States senators and members of the party leadership of the United States Senate. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for the political parties respectively holding the majority and the minority in the United States Senate, and manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate. They are elected to their positions in the Senate by the party caucuses: the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference.
President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer of a senate. It corresponds to the speaker in some other assemblies.
The speaker of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body, is its presiding officer, or the chair. The title was first used in 1377 in England.
The One Hundred Seventh United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives. It met in Washington, D.C. from January 3, 2001 to January 3, 2003, during the final weeks of the Clinton presidency and the first two years of the George W. Bush presidency. The apportionment of seats in this House of Representatives was based on the Twenty-first Census of the United States in 1990. The House of Representatives had a Republican majority, and the Senate switched majorities from Democratic to Republican and back to Democratic. By the end of term, Republicans had regained the majority in the Senate, but since the body was out of session reorganization was delayed till the next Congress.
The Thirty-second 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 in Washington, D.C. from March 4, 1851, to March 4, 1853, during the last two years of Millard Fillmore's presidency. The apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives was based on the Sixth Census of the United States in 1840. Both chambers had a Democratic majority.
Kenneth Douglas McKellar was an American politician from Tennessee who served as a United States Representative from 1911 until 1917 and as a United States Senator from 1917 until 1953. A Democrat, he served longer in both houses of Congress than anyone else in Tennessee history, and only a few others in American history have served longer in both houses.
The United States Senate elections of 1880 and 1881 were elections that coincided with the presidential election of 1880, and had the Democratic Party lose five seats in the United States Senate. The newly elected Readjuster senator caucused with the Republicans, and the Republican Vice President's tie-breaking vote gave the Republicans the slightest majority. All of that changed September 19, 1881 when the Vice President ascended to the Presidency and the Senate became evenly-divided.
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|U.S. presidential line of succession|
Speaker of the House of Representatives
|3rd in line||Succeeded by|
Secretary of State