21 Facts About US Senate


Composition and powers of the US Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution.

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

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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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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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At one end of the chamber of the US 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 US 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 US Senate sessions was one of the vice president's principal duties .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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US Senate has several committees that are not considered standing committees.

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The constitutional provision barring the US Senate from introducing revenue bills is based on the practice of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, in which money bills approved by Parliament have originated in the House of Commons per constitutional convention.

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Powers of the US 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 U S 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 US Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction.

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

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

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