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United states senate

The meaning of «united states senate»

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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.[2] The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety. Each state is equally represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There are currently 100 senators representing the 50 states. The vice president of the United States serves as presiding officer and president of the Senate by virtue of that office, and has a vote only if the senators are 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.

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, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, 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 is widely considered both a more deliberative[3] and more prestigious[4][5][6] 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.[7]

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. 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.

The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.

The drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress primarily as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be equally represented, and those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain. This idea of having one chamber represent people equally, while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was also a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, and with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents. The other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation.[8]

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