24 Facts About United States Senate


United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, with the House of Representatives being the lower chamber.

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The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety.

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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.

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United States Senate is widely considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious 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.

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United States Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

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The United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959.

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The United States Senate has censured and condemned senators; censure requires only a simple majority and does not remove a senator from office.

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At one end of the chamber of the United States Senate is a dais from which the presiding officer presides.

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Forty-eight of the desks date back to 1819, when the United States Senate chamber was reconstructed after the original contents were destroyed in the 1812 Burning of Washington.

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For much of the nation's history the task of presiding over Senate sessions was one of the vice president's principal duties.

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The powers of the presiding officer of the United States Senate are far less extensive than those of the speaker of the House.

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Sessions of the United States Senate are opened with a special prayer or invocation and typically convene on weekdays.

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Sessions of the United States Senate are generally open to the public and are broadcast live on television, usually by C-SPAN 2.

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United States Senate procedure depends not only on the rules, but on a variety of customs and traditions.

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The United States Senate commonly waives some of its stricter rules by unanimous consent.

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United States Senate uses committees for a variety of purposes, including the review of bills and the oversight of the executive branch.

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United States Senate has several committees that are not considered standing committees.

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Historically, the United States Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House.

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Powers of the United States Senate concerning nominations are subject to some constraints.

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Recess appointments have faced a significant amount of resistance and in 1960, the US United States Senate passed a legally non-binding resolution against recess appointments.

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The trials of Johnson, Clinton and both Trump trials ended in acquittal; in Johnson's case, the United States Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction.

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Under the Twelfth Amendment, the United States Senate has the power to elect the vice president if no vice-presidential candidate receives a majority of votes in the Electoral College.

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The Twelfth Amendment requires the United States Senate to choose from the two candidates with the highest numbers of electoral votes.

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The United States Senate has only broken a deadlock once; in 1837, it elected Richard Mentor Johnson.

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