The Senate Majority Leader is the United States Senator who is elected by the party conference that holds the majority. This leader serves as the chief Senate spokespeople for his parties and manages and schedules the legislative and executive business of the Senate. By rule, the Presiding Officer gives the Majority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate.
The Majority Leader customarily serves as the chief representative of his or her party in Senate, and sometimes even in all of Congress if the House of Representatives and thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party.
Many state senates are organized in the same way as the United States Senate.
The Democrats began the practice of electing floor leaders in 1920 while they were in the minority. In 1925 the majority (at the time) Republicans also adopted this language when Charles Curtis became the first (official) Majority Leader although his immediate predecessor Henry Cabot Lodge is considered the first (unofficial) Majority Leader.
The Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the Senate. The Constitution also calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate (the Vice President) is absent. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore—customarily the most senior (longest-serving) Senator in the majority party—actually presides over the Senate on a daily basis; that task is given to junior Senators of the majority party, in part so they may learn proper procedure. For these reasons, it is the Majority Leader who in practice manages the Senate.
List of party leadersEdit
The Democratic Party first selected a leader in 1920. The Republican Party first formally designated a leader in 1925.
|#||Majority Leader||Party||Home state||Term of Office|
|2||James E. Watson||Republican||Indiana||1929-1933|
|3||Joseph T. Robinson||Democrat||Arkansas||1933-1937|
|4||Alben W. Barkley||Democrat||Kentucky||1937-1947|
|5||Wallace H. White Jr.||Republican||Maine||1947-1949|
|6||Scott W. Lucas||Democrat||Illinois||1949-1951|
|8||Robert A. Taft||Republican||Ohio||1953|
|9||William F. Knowland||Republican||California||1953-1955|
|10||Lyndon B. Johnson||Democrat||Texas||1955-1961|
|12||Robert Byrd||Democrat||West Virginia||1977-1979|
|13||Joseph Furman||Republican||South Carolina||1979-1987|