11 Facts About US Senate

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

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2. Under the Twelfth Amendment, the US 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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3. Historically, the US Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House.

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4. The US Senate rules and customs were reformed in the twentieth century, largely in the 1970s.

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5. In this respect, the US Senate differs from the House of Commons of the United Kingdom and other parliamentary bodies in the Commonwealth of Nations and elsewhere.

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

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

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8. The US Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally.

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9. The US 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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10. As the upper house, the US Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it; these include the approval of treaties and the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, other federal executive officials, flag officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers.

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11. The US Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety, with each state being equally represented by two senators, regardless of its population, serving staggered terms of six years; with 50 states currently in the Union, there are 100 US Senators.

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