Enactment of a Law
Senate Officials on the Floor
Various officials are present on the floor of the Senate when it
convenes, including the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, the
Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms,
the Legislative Clerk, the Journal Clerk, the Parliamentarian of the Senate,
the Secretaries for the Majority and the Minority, the Official Reporters
of Debate, and the Pages.
The Secretary of the Senate is the elected official of the Senate
responsible for management of many legislative and administrative services.
The Secretary is the disbursing officer for the Senate. The official seal
of the Senate is in the custody of, and its use is prescribed by, the Secretary.
In the absence of the Vice President, and pending the election of a President
pro tempore, the Secretary performs the duties of the chair.
The Assistant Secretary is the chief assistant to the Secretary of
the Senate. The Assistant Secretary performs the functions of the Secretary
in the latter's absence, and in the event of the death or resignation of
the Secretary would act as Secretary in all matters except those duties
as disbursing officer of the Senate.
On the day after the first organization of the Senate, a Doorkeeper
was chosen whose title was eventually changed to Sergeant at Arms. His
duties are to execute the Senate's orders as to decorum on the floor and
in the galleries. He is responsible for the enforcement of all rules made
for the regulation of the Senate wing of the Capitol. He also is the custodian
of all properties under the dominion of the Senate and supervises the messengers,
pages and other workers who serve the Senate. If the Senate decides to
issue warrants of arrest for its absent Members, it is the duty of the
Sergeant of Arms to bring those Senators into custody.
Article 1, section 5, paragraph 3 of the Constitution provides that
"Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time
to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment
require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House and
any question shall, at the Desire of one-fifth of those Present be entered
on the Journal." The Journal Clerk is charged with maintaining the
Senate Journal under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate.
The Legislative Clerk is responsible for reporting all bills, messages
from the House, conference reports, and amendments to the Senate. All record
votes are taken by the Legislative Clerk and his assistants.
An appointed official of the Senate, the Parliamentarian functions
under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate. The Parliamentarian's
chief duty and responsibility is to advise the Presiding Officer on parliamentary
aspects of Senate activity. The Parliamentarian advises Senators and senatorial
committee staffs, and is called upon by other branches of Government, the
press, and the public for information regarding procedural aspects of Senate
The Official Reporters of Debates prepare the material concerning
business of the Senate for inclusion in the Congressional Record.
All proceedings in the Senate Chamber are reported verbatim by a staff
of Official Reporters, who are under the supervision of the Editor in Chief.
The Editor in Chief is the editor of all matter contained in the Senate
proceedings. In addition to the verbatim proceedings in the Senate Chamber,
the office of the Official Reporters processes for inclusion in the Congressional
Record a description of the morning business conducted by the Senate
(measures introduced, messages from the President and the House of Representatives,
co-sponsors, communications received, and notices of hearings), and additional
or unspoken statements of Senators. The Official Reporters of Debates are
appointed by the Secretary of the Senate.
The Secretary for the Majority is an elected officer of the Senate
who is responsible for providing many support services to the majority
party leaders and members of the Senate. The floor-related duties of the
Secretary include supervising the cloakroom, briefing Senators on votes
and issues that are under consideration on the floor, obtaining pairs for
Senators, and polling Senators when the Leadership so desires. Additionally,
the Secretary is responsible for assigning Senate Chamber seats to the
majority party Members; maintaining a file of committee assignment requests;
staffing the committee which arranges majority party committee assignments;
recommending to the Leadership majority party candidates for appointment
to boards, commissions, and international conferences; maintaining records
of such appointments; providing a repository for official minutes of majority
party conferences and meetings of the Policy Committee, Steering Committee,
and committee chairmen; monitoring the nominations on the Executive Calendar;
and other duties as directed by the Leadership.
The Secretary for the Minority also is an elected officer of the
Senate, and performs corresponding duties for the minority party leaders
and other Senators.
The Republican Legislative Scheduling Office provides floor assistance
to Republican Senators. The staff serves as a liaison between Republican
Senators and the Republican leadership in dealing with Senators' legislative
interests, unanimous consent requests, time agreements, and the scheduling
of the Senate's proceedings. When the Republicans are in the majority,
the Republican Legislative Scheduling Office also schedules Republican
Senators to preside over the Senate.
Floor assistance for Democratic Senators is provided by the staff
of the Democratic Policy Committee. This staff is available to provide
information regarding the scheduling of legislation and to act as liaison
between the legislative committees and the Democratic leadership. Assistance
is given in the arrangement of unanimous consent requests on time agreements,
amendments, and procedural issues on legislation being debated by the Senate.
In addition, the staff provides advice on general parliamentary situations.
The Democratic Policy Committee provides other services to Democratic
Senators, including detailed voting records for each Democratic Senator,
an annual report on the major achievements of the session; an extensive
index of record votes on legislation, both chronologically and by subject
matter, and briefings on major bills and amendments.
Its counterpart, the Senate Republican Policy Committee, provides
similar services for Republican Senators: maintenance of a research library;
publication of legislative notices summarizing bills and resolutions on
the Senate Calendar and proposed amendments thereto; publication of detailed
analysis of all Senate record votes plus indexes, annual abstracts, and
lists of voice votes; publication of the weekly Republican Counsel's Report;
publication of policy papers on major issues; development of Republican
legislative initiatives; research, legislative analysis, and speech writing
for Republican Senators upon request; personnel placement and counselling;
briefing officials from State and local governments on national issues;
assisting new Senators with staff orientation; producing the information
on the special television channel containing in-house updates on the Senate
schedule; and assistance to the party leader in preparation of the End-of-Year
Senate pages, male and female, when appointed, must be juniors in
high school. They may not be appointed or serve after attaining the age
of 17, except that if they are serving and enrolled in the Page School,
they may continue their service through the session of the Senate in which
the Page School terminates.
Riding Page Service is provided by a separate service, through the
Senate Post Office, several times a day for delivery of Senators' letters
to major Federal agencies in the District of Columbia only.
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