The official presiding officer of the U.S. Senate is the vice president, but a president pro tempore is elected to fulfill the duties when the vice president is not in attendance. The vice president normally does not preside unless he needs to cast the deciding vote on an issue.
The president pro tempore is elected from the majority party in the Senate. As of May 2014, the vice president and presiding officer is Joseph Biden, and the president pro tempore is Senator Patrick J. Leahy. According to the United States Senate website, the presiding officer "is charged with maintaining order and decorum, recognizing members to speak, and interpreting the Senate's rules, practices and precedents."Learn More
The U.S. Senate proposes and considers new laws, approves or rejects presidential nominations, provides advice and consent on international treaties, and serves as the high court for impeachment trials. Although the U.S. House of Representatives also works on new legislation, only the Senate performs the other three duties.Full Answer >
As of September 2014, there are 16 different standing committees in the United States Senate. Each committee adopts its own set of rules and guidelines to follow.Full Answer >
One hundred people serve in the Senate of the United States. Each of the 50 states is guaranteed two Senators. The District of Columbia does not have a U.S. Senator, nor do any of the U.S. territories.Full Answer >
The House of Representatives is a part of the legislative branch of the United States government. As the U.S. constitution reads, the House drafts and passes federal law. As a matter on constitutional law, the number of seats in the House depends on the population and density of people in all 50 states. Representatives also go by the moniker congressman or congresswoman.Full Answer >