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Sessions • Meet at least 1 year • Divided into 2 sessions • Each session begins on Jan. 3 • President may call a special session of one/both houses • May meet together in a joint session • State of the Union Address
Organization of Congress • Republican and Democratic members in each house gather separately – party caucuses • Each party chooses their own leader • Political party w/the most members in each house is the majority party
Senate • Majority party elects president pro tempore • Each party has floor leaders – minority/majority leader • Assistants – party whips • Count votes • Encourage party loyalty • Ensure members are present • Committees and subcommittees • Consider legislation and hold hearings • Each has a chairperson part of the majority party and ranking minority member
HofR • Speaker of the House – presides of over the house • Always a member of the majority party • Most powerful • Influences order of business