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Role of Senate Minority Leader

Role of Senate Minority Leader

The Senate Minority Leader acts as the direct counterpart to the Senate Majority Leader. The Senate Minority leader is to act as the chief spokesperson for their respective party, and are responsible for the coordination and managing of their party’s agenda in the Senate.

Currently, the Senate Minority Leader is Republican Mitch McConnell from Kentucky. With the current Senate composition having a Democratic Majority, McConnell acts as the main spokesman for the Republican agenda in the Senate. Senate Republicans currently hold 41 seats in the Senate, while Democrats hold the majority at 57.

The practice of instituting party leaders in the Senate can be dated back to 1920 when the Democrats at the time elected their first-floor party leaders. At the time, the Democratic party was in the minority. Senate Republicans would also adopt the practice, but will not do so until 1925, at which time they would hold the majority.

The official positions themselves would be implemented until these times, but Senators would take leadership roles on a regular basis, regardless if they were official positions or not. Even though the Senate Minority Leader does not command as much power as the Majority Leader, the role still proves to be an important one. Party leaders in general ensure the proper function of the Senate.

A Senate Minority Leaders must be kept up to date with the ongoing national and international agendas, while concurrently being fully aware of all pending legislative occurrences. Furthermore, the Senate Minority acts as the anchoring role for his/her respective party. The Senate Minority Leader is expected to always be on the floor in order to make sure that their party’s voice is also made present when delegating legislative procedures in the chamber.

A Senate Minority Leader will prove to have great compromising skills in order to be successful in their position. Even though the position itself entails several responsibilities, the Minority Leader does not have much authoritative power. Therefore, it is the actual individual skills that the Senate Minority Leader brings to the table that will dictate his/her success at the position.

Classification, Qualification, and Filling Vacancies for Senators

Classification, Qualification, and Filling Vacancies for Senators

The reason that the Senate was divided in such a way was to provide for a system so as to maintain two-thirds of the Senate for every election. For example, when the 1st Congress of the United States assembled in 1789, Senators were divided into three classes. These classes were to be divided into concordance with a certain number of years that they were to serve.

The first class of Senators would only serve for two years. The second class of Senators would serve for four years, and the third class would serve for six years. This practice would essentially provide for the current six-year term that Senators carry out.

However, even though Senators are elected for a six-year term, every two years, one-third of the Senate is replaced. The third of the Senate to be replaced is determined in accordance with what class they are in.

The Framers of the Constitution provided for quite an ingenious system, in which the Senate would never be completely replaced in one election, but it would also never remain the same for the entire six-year term period. This is quite a stark contrast to the House of RepresentativesSeventeenth Amendment. The Seventeenth Amendment would provide for the filling of Senate vacancies to be provided for through a popular special election. However, the provisions do maintain the power of a Governor appointing a temporary replacement until such a special election is to occur.

The Governor’s appointment of Senators must also be previously approved by the State Legislature. If such approval is not granted, that seat in the Senate is to remain vacant until the special election is held to appropriately fill the position. In this regard, the vacancies in the Senate are also similar to those provisions regarding vacancies in the House of Representatives.