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United States Senate

NameUnited States Senate
Legislature112th United States Congress
Background Color#000099
Text Color#FFFFFF
Coa PicSenate Seal.svg
Session Room110th US Senate class photo.jpg
House TypeUpper house
Term LimitsUnlimited 6-year terms
Structure2 Res250px
Leader1 TypePresident
Leader1Joe Biden
Election1January 20, 2009
Leader2 TypePresident pro tempore
Leader2Daniel Inouye
Election2June 28, 2010
Leader4 TypeMajority Leader
Leader4Harry Reid
Election4January 4, 2007
Leader5 TypeMinority Leader
Leader5Mitch McConnell
Election5January 4, 2007
Political Groups1Democratic Caucus
(53 members)
Republican Conference
(47 members)
Last Election1November 2, 2010
Meeting PlaceSenate Chamber
United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
United States

     Home | Legislature | United States Senate

The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each U.S. state is represented by two senators, regardless of population. Senators serve staggered six-year terms. The chamber of the United States Senate is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C., the national capital. The House of Representatives convenes in the south wing of the same building.

The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification and consenting or confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers, as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House. The Senate is 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. The Senate has been described by some members of the American media as the "world's greatest deliberative body."

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