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Congressional Leaders. 112th United States Congress. Term: January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013 President of the Senate: Joe Biden President pro tempore of the Senate: Dan Inouye Speaker of the House: John Boehner Members:

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112th united states congress
112th United States Congress

Term: January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013

President of the Senate: Joe Biden

President pro tempore of the Senate: Dan Inouye

Speaker of the House: John Boehner

Members:

435 Representatives100 Senators 6 Territorial Delegates

House Majority: Republican

Senate Majority: Democratic

organization of congress
Organization of Congress
  • Every two years, a new Congress is seated on January 3rd.
  • The first order of business is the election of leaders and adoption of new rules.
    • Both houses of Congress are organized on the basis of party for both leadership and committee purposes.
organization
Organization

Each house has the power to organize itself:

1) Political Parties

- No mention of political parties in Constitution

- Create own rules

- Majority party

- Minority party

- Each party has a leader

2) Whips

3) Committees

congress organizes
Congress Organizes

House of Reps

  • A clerk calls chamber to order and checks roll.
  • The members choose a Speaker who takes an oath and swears in the rest of the House.
  • House elects various positions, adopts new rules and organizes committees.

Senate

  • “Continuous body"
  • New and reelected members are sworn in and committee vacancies are filled.
slide6

Congress adjourns until the State of the Union Address, given usually at the end of January or beginning of February

    • WHY?
duties of party leaders
Duties of Party Leaders
  • Spokesperson for the party
  • Advocates party policy and viewpoints
  • Keeps party united
  • Schedule of business
senate
Senate
  • President of the Senate: Joe Biden
  • President pro tempore: Dan Inouye (D-Hawaii)

Majority (Democratic) leadership

  • Majority Leader and Democratic Conference Chairman: Harry Reid (Nevada)
  • Assistant Majority Leader (Majority Whip) Richard Durbin (Illinois)

Minority (Republican) leadership

  • Minority Leader: Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)
  • Assistant Minority Leader (Minority Whip): Jon Kyl (Arizona)
the president of the senate
The President of the Senate
  • Under the Constitution, the Vice President serves as President of the Senate. He may vote in the Senate in the case of a tie, but is not required to.
  • The President Pro Tempore (and others designated by him) usually perform these duties during the Vice President's frequent absences from the Senate.
house of representatives
House of Representatives
  • Speaker: John Boehner (R-Ohio)

Majority (Republican) leadership

  • Majority Leader: Eric Cantor (Virginia)
  • Majority Whip: Kevin McCarthy (California)

Minority (Democratic) leadership

  • Minority Leader: Nancy Pelosi (California)
  • Minority Whip: Steny Hoyer (Maryland)
  • Chief Deputy Minority Whip: James Clyburn
s peaker of the house
Speaker of the House

House Officer, Party Leader, and

Representative

  • The Speaker of the House of Representatives is widely viewed as symbolizing the power and authority of the House.
  • The Speaker’s most prominent role is that of presiding officer of the House.
    • Administers proceedings on the House floor,
    • Has power to recognize members on the floor to speak or make motions
    • Power to appoint Members to conference committees.
selection of the speaker
Selection of the Speaker
  • When the House of Representatives convenes at the beginning of a new Congress, its first order of business is to elect a Speaker.
  • To be elected Speaker a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes cast.
    • Speaker is going to be a member of the majority party
senate1
Senate
  • Majority Leader
  • Steers the party’s bills through the Senate
  • Plans the Senate’s work schedule and agenda in consultation with the minority leader
  • Makes sure that majority members attend important sessions
  • Organizes support on key bills
slide17

Minority leader

    • Develops criticism of the majority party’s bills
    • Keeps minority party members working together
house of representatives1
House of Representatives
  • Majority Leader
    • Top assistant to the Speaker of the House
    • Helps plan the party’s legislative program
    • Steers important bills through the House
    • Makes sure the chairpersons of the committees finis work on bills important to the party
slide19

Minority Leader

    • Helps plan the party’s legislative agenda
    • Steers important bills through the House
role of the whips
Role of the Whips

Whips perform three primary functions:

  • mobilizing the vote on key legislative objectives
  • Distributes information to Members and leadership
  • coordinating strategy within the chamber
mobilizing the vote
Mobilizing the Vote
  • Before a major vote comes to the floor, the Whip polls members on their support of the legislation.  
  • The Whip ensures that the leadership position has strong support.  
distributing information
Distributing Information
  • The Whip provides information to Members such as the upcoming schedule of legislation.  
coordinating strategy
Coordinating Strategy
  • The Whip coordinates strategy and scheduling with the Speaker and Majority Leader on the floor of the House of Representatives.
  •  The Whip is expected to "get out the vote," by ensuring that Members will be present on the floor during close votes.  
  • The Whip is largely responsible for coordinating voting strategy among the party members to ensure final passage.