Congressional Leaders • Congressional leadership is organized strictly by political party.
So where do we start? • Majority Party • Political party that holds the most seats in each house. • As of 2010, this is the Republicans. • Minority Party • Political party that holds fewer seats in each house. • As of 2010, this is the Democrats
Why is it important to be in the majority? • Presiding officers and committee chairs always come from the majority party! • It makes it easier to pass laws!
House of Representative Leadership • The House operates under stronger leadership than the Senate • Why? • It has 4 times as many members! • Must be strict to keep them in line! • Who is the most powerful? • Speaker of the House
Who and what is the Speaker of the House? • Who? • John Boehner • Republican • Congressman from Ohio’s 8th district • What does he do? • Governs the debate in the House of Reps. • Is the public face of the House of Reps. • Is 3rd in line if POTUS dies!
Who is below the Speaker of the House? • Each political party has their own floor leader • Majority party floor leader • aka “Majority Leader” • Serves as an assistant to the Speaker of the House. • Minority Party floor leader • aka “Minority Leader” • Serves as chief voice of minority party
Who is the Majority Leader today? • Eric Cantor • Republican from 7th district in Virginia • Been in Congress since 2001.
Who is the minority leader? • Nancy Pelosi • Democrat • California’s 8th Congressional District • Been in Congress since 1989
Who works for the majority and minority leaders? • The Whips!! • Work feverishly to keep their political parties in line! • They demand their members to vote according to the political parties beliefs! • Majority whip • Works for the majority party • Minority whip • Works for the minority party
Who are the Whips? • Majority Whip • Kevin McCarthy • Republican from California • Minority Whip • Steny Hoyer • Democrat from Maryland
Senate Leadership • The Presiding Officer of the United States Senate • Vice President of the United States • Used as deciding vote in all ties! • Joe Biden • Democrat from Delaware
Who is next most powerful person in Senate? • President pro tempore • Person who is head of Senate when VP is busy doing VP stuff…. • 4th in line if POTUS dies! • Who gets to be President pro tempore? • The longest serving member of the Majority Party.
Who is President pro tempore? • Daniel Inouye • Democrat from Hawaii • Been in Congress since 1963! • FYI: • That’s when JFK was POTUS!!
So who is below the President pro tempore? • Same as House of Representatives • Majority and Minority Floor Leaders • Majority and Minority Whips
House of Reps Speaker of the House Floor Leaders Majority Minority Whips Majority Minority Senate Vice President President Pro Tempore Floor Leaders Majority Minority Whips Majority Minority Easy Way to Think of It