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Senate - Members, Committees, Officers, A Day In The Life Of The Senate, Further Readings

congress branch united debate

The upper chamber, or smaller branch, of the U.S. Congress. The upper chamber of the legislature of most of the states.

The U.S. Constitution reserves for the Senate special powers not available to the other branch of Congress, the House of Representatives. These powers include the trial of all impeachments of federal officials; the ratification, by a two-thirds vote, of all treaties obtained by the president of the United States; and approval or rejection of all presidential appointments to the federal judiciary, ambassadorships, cabinet positions, and other significant EXECUTIVE BRANCH posts.

The Senate, with terms of six years for its members—as opposed to two years for members of the House of Representatives—and a tradition of unlimited debate, has long prided itself as the more deliberate of the two branches of Congress. Under its rules a senator may speak on an issue indefinitely, which is known as the filibuster. Sixty senators present and voting may pass a motion of cloture to stop debate.

Senate Judiciary Committee - Further Readings [next]

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