Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States. The GOP was founded in 1854 by opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which had expanded slavery into U. S. territories. The party subscribed to classical liberalism and took ideological stands that were anti-slavery and pro-economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in the history of the United States; the Party was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System and Fourth Party System. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive Party after being rejected by the GOP and ran unsuccessfully as a third-party presidential candidate calling for social reforms. After the 1912 election, many Roosevelt supporters left the Party, the Party underwent an ideological shift to the right; the liberal Republican element in the GOP was overwhelmed by a conservative surge begun by Barry Goldwater in 1964 that continued during the Reagan Era in the 1980s. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic.
White voters identified with the Republican Party after the 1960s. Following the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the Republican Party made opposition to abortion a key plank of its national party platform and grew its support among evangelicals. By 2000, the Republican Party was aligned with Christian conservatism; the Party's core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural areas in the North. The 21st century Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats' liberal platform and progressive wing; the GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, a strong national defense, gun rights and restrictions on labor unions. The GOP was committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest, but has grown more supportive of free trade since 1952. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is conservative.
Founded in the Northern states in 1854 by abolitionists, modernizers, ex-Whigs and ex-Free Soilers, the Republican Party became the principal opposition to the dominant Democratic Party and the popular Know Nothing Party. The party grew out of opposition to the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which repealed the Missouri Compromise and opened Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory to slavery and future admission as slave states; the Northern Republicans saw the expansion of slavery as a great evil. The first public meeting of the general anti-Nebraska movement, at which the name Republican was suggested for a new anti-slavery party, was held on March 20, 1854 in a schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin; the name was chosen to pay homage to Thomas Jefferson's Republican Party. The first official party convention was held on July 1854 in Jackson, Michigan. At the 1856 Republican National Convention, the party adopted a national platform emphasizing opposition to the expansion of slavery into U. S. territories. While Republican candidate John C.
Frémont lost the 1856 United States presidential election to James Buchanan, he did win 11 of the 16 northern states. The Republican Party first came to power in the elections of 1860 when it won control of both houses of Congress and its candidate, former congressman Abraham Lincoln, was elected President. In the election of 1864, it united with War Democrats to nominate Lincoln on the National Union Party ticket. Under Republican congressional leadership, the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution—which banned slavery in the United States—passed the Senate in 1864 and the House in 1865; the party's success created factionalism within the party in the 1870s. Those who felt that Reconstruction had been accomplished, was continued to promote the large-scale corruption tolerated by President Ulysses S. Grant, ran Horace Greeley for the presidency; the Stalwart faction defended Grant and the spoils system, whereas the Half-Breeds pushed for reform of the civil service. The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act was passed in 1883.
The Republican Party supported hard money, high tariffs to promote economic growth, high wages and high profits, generous pensions for Union veterans, the annexation of Hawaii. The Republicans had strong support from pietistic Protestants, but they resisted demands for Prohibition; as the Northern postwar economy boomed with heavy and light industry, mines, fast-growing cities, prosperous agriculture, the Republicans took credit and promoted policies to sustain the fast growth. The GOP was dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System. However, by 1890 the Republicans had agreed to the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Interstate Commerce Commission in response to complaints from owners of small businesses and farmers; the high McKinley Tariff of 1890 hurt the party and the Democrats swept to a landslide in the off-year elections defeating McKinley himself. The Democrats elected Grover Cleveland in 1884 and 1892; the election of William McKinley in 1896 was marked by a resurgence of Republican dominance that lasted until 1932.
McKinley promised that high tariffs would end the severe hardship caused by the Pa
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terrorist truck bombing on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, United States on April 19, 1995. Perpetrated by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, the bombing happened at 9:02am and killed at least 168 people, injured more than 680 others, destroyed one-third of the building; the blast destroyed or damaged 324 other buildings within a 16-block radius, shattered glass in 258 nearby buildings, destroyed or burned 86 cars, causing an estimated $652 million worth of damage. Extensive rescue efforts were undertaken by local, state and worldwide agencies in the wake of the bombing, substantial donations were received from across the country; the Federal Emergency Management Agency activated 11 of its Urban Search and Rescue Task Forces, consisting of 665 rescue workers who assisted in rescue and recovery operations. Until the September 11, 2001 attacks, the Oklahoma City bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States, remains the deadliest incident of domestic terrorism in the country's history.
Within 90 minutes of the explosion, McVeigh was stopped by Oklahoma Highway Patrolman Charlie Hanger for driving without a license plate and arrested for illegal weapons possession. Forensic evidence linked McVeigh and Nichols to the attack. Michael and Lori Fortier were identified as accomplices. McVeigh, a veteran of the Gulf War and a U. S. militia movement sympathizer, had detonated a Ryder rental truck full of explosives parked in front of the building. His co-conspirator, had assisted with the bomb's preparation. Motivated by his dislike for the U. S. federal government and unhappy about its handling of the Ruby Ridge incident in 1992 and the Waco siege in 1993, McVeigh timed his attack to coincide with the second anniversary of the deadly fire that ended the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. The official investigation, known as "OKBOMB", saw FBI agents conduct 28,000 interviews, amass 3.5 short tons of evidence, collected nearly one billion pieces of information. The bombers were tried and convicted in 1997.
McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, Nichols was sentenced to life in prison in 2004. Michael and Lori Fortier testified against Nichols; as a result of the bombing, the U. S. Congress passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, which tightened the standards for habeas corpus in the United States, as well as legislation designed to increase the protection around federal buildings to deter future terrorist attacks. On April 19, 2000, the Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the site of the Murrah Federal Building, commemorating the victims of the bombing. Remembrance services are held every year at the time of the explosion; the chief conspirators, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, met in 1988 at Fort Benning during basic training for the U. S. Army. Michael Fortier, McVeigh's accomplice, was his Army roommate; the three shared interests in survivalism. They expressed anger at the federal government's handling of the 1992 Federal Bureau of Investigation standoff with Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge as well as the Waco siege – a 1993 51-day standoff between the FBI and Branch Davidian members which began with a botched Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms attempt to execute a search warrant leading to a fire fight and ended with the burning and shooting deaths of David Koresh and 75 others.
In March 1993, McVeigh visited the Waco site during the standoff, again after its conclusion. McVeigh decided to bomb a federal building as a response to the raids. McVeigh said that he had contemplated assassinating Attorney General Janet Reno, Lon Horiuchi, others in preference to attacking a building, after the bombing he said that he sometimes wished he had carried out a series of assassinations instead, he intended only to destroy a federal building, but he decided that his message would be better received if many people were killed in the bombing. McVeigh's criterion for potential attack sites was that the target should house at least two of three federal law enforcement agencies: the Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or the Drug Enforcement Administration, he regarded the presence of additional law enforcement agencies, such as the Secret Service or the U. S. Marshals Service, as a bonus. A resident of Kingman, Arizona, McVeigh considered targets in Missouri, Arizona and Arkansas.
He stated in his authorized biography that he wanted to minimize non-governmental casualties, so he ruled out a 40-story government building in Little Rock, because of the presence of a florist's shop on the ground floor. In December 1994, McVeigh and Fortier visited Oklahoma City to inspect McVeigh's target: the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building; the Murrah building had been targeted in October 1983 by white supremacist group The Covenant, The Sword, the Arm of the Lord, including founder James Ellison and Richard Snell. The group had plotted to park "a van or trailer in front of the Federal Building and blow it up with rockets detonated by a timer." After Snell's appeal for murdering two people in unrelated cases was denied, he was executed the same day as the Murrah bombing. The nine-story building, built in 1977, was named for a federal judge and housed fourteen federal agencies, including the DEA, ATF, Social Security Administration, recruiting offices for the Army and
110th United States Congress
The One Hundred Tenth United States Congress was a meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, between January 3, 2007, January 3, 2009, during the last two years of the second term of President George W. Bush, it was composed of the House of Representatives. The apportionment of seats in the House was based on the 2000 U. S. Census; the Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995. Although the Democrats held fewer than 50 Senate seats, they had an operational majority because the two independent senators caucused with the Democrats for organizational purposes. No Democratic-held seats had fallen to the Republican Party in the 2006 elections. Democrat Nancy Pelosi became the first woman Speaker of the House; the House received the first Muslim and Buddhist members of Congress. Members debated initiatives such as the Democrats' 100-Hour Plan and the Iraq War troop surge of 2007. Following President Bush's 2007 State of the Union Address, Congress debated his proposal to create a troop surge to increase security in Iraq.
The House of Representatives passed a non-binding measure opposing the surge and a $124 billion emergency spending measure to fund the war, which included language that dictated troop levels and withdrawal schedules. President Bush, vetoed the bill as promised, making this his second veto while in office. Both houses of Congress subsequently passed a bill funding the war without timelines, but with benchmarks for the Iraqi government and money for other spending projects like disaster relief. January 23, 2007: President Bush delivered the 2007 State of the Union Address August 2, 2007: The Republican minority disputed the results of a vote to recommit; this led to an investigation by the House Select Committee on Voting Irregularities. December 18, 2007: The Senate set a record for the most cloture votes. January 2008: Start of the Great Recession January 28, 2008: President Bush delivered the 2008 State of the Union Address September 15, 2008: The precipitation of global financial crisis intensifies a recession that began in January.
November 4, 2008: General elections - Democrats increased their congressional majorities and Senator Barack Obama was elected President. These are partial lists of prominent enacted legislation and pending bills. See also: 2008 Congressional Record, Vol. 154, Page D845, Resume of Congressional Activity February 2, 2007 — House Page Board Revision Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–2, 121 Stat. 4 May 25, 2007 — U. S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007, Pub. L. 110–28, 121 Stat. 112, including Title VIII: Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007, 121 Stat. 188 June 14, 2007 — Preserving United States Attorney Independence Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–34, 121 Stat. 224 July 26, 2007 — Foreign Investment and National Security Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–49, 121 Stat. 246 August 3, 2007 — Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–53, 121 Stat. 266 August 5, 2007 — Protect America Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–55, 121 Stat. 552 September 14, 2007 — Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, Pub.
L. 110–81, 121 Stat. 735 November 8, 2007 — Water Resources Development Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–114, 121 Stat. 1041 December 19, 2007 — Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–140, 121 Stat. 1492 February 13, 2008 — Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110–185, 122 Stat. 613 May 21, 2008 — Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, Pub. L. 110–233, 122 Stat. 881 May 22, 2008 — Food and Energy Security Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110–234, 122 Stat. 923 June 30, 2008 — Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110–252, 122 Stat. 2323, including Title V: Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 July 10, 2008 — FISA Amendments Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110–261, 122 Stat. 2436 July 29, 2008 — Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110–286, 122 Stat. 2632 July 30, 2008 — Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110–289, 122 Stat. 2654 October 3, 2008 — Public Law 110-343, 122 Stat. 3765, including: Div. A: Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, H. R. 1424. B: Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.
C: Tax Extenders and Alternative Minimum Tax Relief Act of 2008 October 15, 2008 — Pub. L. 110–430: Setting the beginning of the first session of the 111th Congress and the date for counting Electoral College votes, 122 Stat. 4846 December 19, 2008 — Pub. L. 110–455: A Saxbe fix, reducing the compensation and other emoluments attached to the office of Secretary of State to that, in effect on January 1, 2007: allowing Hillary Clinton to serve as Secretary of State despite the Ineligibility Clause of the United States Constitution. More information: Public Laws for the 110th Congress and Complete index of Public and Private Laws for 110th Congress at GPO in America's Climate Security Act of 2007 Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007 Employee Free Choice Act Employment Non-Discrimination Act Executive Branch Reform Act of 2007 Family and Consumer Choice Act of 2007 Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 Iraq War De-Escalation Act of 2007 Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007 Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act of 2007 Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults Act of 2008 Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act of 2007 State Children's Health Insurance Program C
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is part of the Western and the Mountain states, it is the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah and New Mexico. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912, coinciding with Valentine's Day. Part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848; the southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase. Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, spruce trees. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, national monuments.
About one-quarter of the state is made up of Indian reservations that serve as the home of 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens. Although federal law gave all Native Americans the right to vote in 1924, Arizona excluded those living on reservations in the state from voting until the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Native American plaintiffs in Trujillo v. Garley; the state's name appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, derived from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning "small spring", which applied only to an area near the silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora. To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like "Arissona"; the area is still known as alĭ ṣonak in the O'odham language. Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona, as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area. A native Mexican of Basque heritage established the ranchería of Arizona between 1734 and 1736 in the current Mexican state of Sonora, which became notable after a significant discovery of silver there, c.
1737. There is a misconception. For thousands of years before the modern era, Arizona was home to numerous Native American tribes. Hohokam and Ancestral Puebloan cultures were among the many that flourished throughout the state. Many of their pueblos, cliffside dwellings, rock paintings and other prehistoric treasures have survived, attracting thousands of tourists each year; the first European contact by native peoples was with Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, in 1539. He explored parts of the present state and made contact with native inhabitants the Sobaipuri; the expedition of Spanish explorer Coronado entered the area in 1540–1542 during its search for Cíbola. Few Spanish settlers migrated to Arizona. One of the first settlers in Arizona was José Romo de Vivar. Father Kino was the next European in the region. A member of the Society of Jesus, he led the development of a chain of missions in the region, he converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the Pimería Alta in the 1690s and early 18th century.
Spain founded presidios at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of its Territory of Nueva California known as Alta California. Descendants of ethnic Spanish and mestizo settlers from the colonial years still lived in the area at the time of the arrival of European-American migrants from the United States. During the Mexican–American War, the U. S. Army occupied the national capital of Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what became Arizona Territory in 1863 and the State of Arizona in 1912; the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified that, in addition to language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants of former Mexican citizens being considered as inviolable, the sum of US$15 million dollars in compensation be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1853, the U. S. acquired the land south below the Gila River from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase along the southern border area as encompassing the best future southern route for a transcontinental railway.
What is now known as the state of Arizona was administered by the United States government as part of the Territory of New Mexico until the southern part of that region seceded from the Union to form the Territory of Arizona. This newly established territory was formally organized by the Confederate States government on Saturday, January 18, 1862, when President Jefferson Davis approved and signed An Act to Organize the Territory of Arizona, marking the first official use of the name "Territory of Arizona"; the Southern territory supplied the Confederate government with men and equipment. Formed in 1862, Arizona scout companies served with the Confederate States Army duri
Lebanon known as the Lebanese Republic, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered by Syria to the north and east and Israel to the south, while Cyprus is west across the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon's location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean Basin and the Arabian hinterland facilitated its rich history and shaped a cultural identity of religious and ethnic diversity. At just 10,452 km2, it is the smallest recognized sovereign state on the mainland Asian continent; the earliest evidence of civilization in Lebanon dates back more than seven thousand years, predating recorded history. Lebanon was the home of the Canaanites/Phoenicians and their kingdoms, a maritime culture that flourished for over a thousand years. In 64 BC, the region came under the rule of the Roman Empire, became one of the Empire's leading centers of Christianity. In the Mount Lebanon range a monastic tradition known as the Maronite Church was established; as the Arab Muslims conquered the region, the Maronites held onto their identity.
However, a new religious group, the Druze, established themselves in Mount Lebanon as well, generating a religious divide that has lasted for centuries. During the Crusades, the Maronites re-established contact with the Roman Catholic Church and asserted their communion with Rome; the ties they established with the Latins have influenced the region into the modern era. The region was ruled by the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918. Following the collapse of the empire after World War I, the five provinces that constitute modern Lebanon came under the French Mandate of Lebanon; the French expanded the borders of the Mount Lebanon Governorate, populated by Maronites and Druze, to include more Muslims. Lebanon gained independence in 1943, establishing confessionalism, a unique, Consociationalism-type of political system with a power-sharing mechanism based on religious communities. Bechara El Khoury, President of Lebanon during the independence, Riad El-Solh, first Lebanese prime minister and Emir Majid Arslan II, first Lebanese minister of defence, are considered the founders of the modern Republic of Lebanon and are national heroes for having led the country's independence.
Foreign troops withdrew from Lebanon on 31 December 1946, although the country was subjected to military occupations by Syria that lasted nearly thirty years before being withdrawn in April 2005 as well as the Israeli military in Southern Lebanon for fifteen years. Despite its small size, the country has developed a well-known culture and has been influential in the Arab world, powered by its large diaspora. Before the Lebanese Civil War, the country experienced a period of relative calm and renowned prosperity, driven by tourism, agriculture and banking; because of its financial power and diversity in its heyday, Lebanon was referred to as the "Switzerland of the East" during the 1960s, its capital, attracted so many tourists that it was known as "the Paris of the Middle East". At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure. In spite of these troubles, Lebanon has the 7th highest Human Development Index and GDP per capita in the Arab world after the oil-rich economies of the Persian Gulf.
Lebanon has been a member of the United Nations since its founding in 1945 as well as of the Arab League, the Non-Aligned Movement, Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie. The name of Mount Lebanon originates from the Phoenician root lbn meaning "white" from its snow-capped peaks. Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla, three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh; the name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn, where R stood for Canaanite L. The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן. Lebanon as the name of an administrative unit was introduced with the Ottoman reforms of 1861, as the Mount Lebanon Mutasarrifate, continued in the name of the State of Greater Lebanon in 1920, in the name of the sovereign Republic of Lebanon upon its independence in 1943; the borders of contemporary Lebanon are a product of the Treaty of Sèvres of 1920. Its territory was the core of the Bronze Age Phoenician city-states.
As part of the Levant, it was part of numerous succeeding empires throughout ancient history, including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Achaemenid Persian, Hellenistic and Sasanid Persian empires. After the 7th-century Muslim conquest of the Levant, it was part of the Rashidun, Abbasid Seljuk and Fatimid empires; the crusader state of the County of Tripoli, founded by Raymond IV of Toulouse in 1102, encompassed most of present-day Lebanon, falling to the Mamluk Sultanate in 1289 and to the Ottoman Empire in 1517. With the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, Greater Lebanon fell under French mandate in 1920, gained independence under president Bechara El Khoury in 1943. Lebanon's history since independence has been marked by alternating periods of political stability and prosperity based on Beirut's position as a regional center for finance and trade, interspersed with political turmoil and
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators and members of the party leadership of the United States Senate. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for the political parties holding the majority and the minority in the United States Senate, manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate, they are elected to their positions in the Senate by the party caucuses: the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference. 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 their party in the Senate, sometimes in all of Congress if the House of Representatives and thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party. The Assistant Majority and Minority Leaders of the United States Senate are the second-ranking members of each party's leadership; the main function of the Majority and Minority Whips is to gather votes on major issues.
Because they are the second ranking members of the Senate, if there is no floor leader present, the whip may become acting floor leader. Before 1969, the official titles were Minority Whip; the Senate is composed of 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats, 2 independents, both of whom caucus with the Democrats. The current leaders are Chuck Schumer from New York; the current Assistant Leaders/Whips are Senators John Thune from South Dakota and Dick Durbin from Illinois. Democrats began the practice of electing floor leaders in 1920. John W. Kern was a Democratic Senator from Indiana. While the title was not official, he is considered to be the first Senate party leader from 1913 through 1917, while serving concurrently as Chairman of the Senate Democratic Caucus. In 1925 the majority Republicans adopted this language when Charles Curtis became the first Majority Leader, although his immediate predecessor Henry Cabot Lodge is considered the first Senate Majority Leader; the Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the United States Senate.
The Constitution calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate is absent. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore—customarily the most senior Senator in the majority party—actually presides over the Senate on a daily basis. Since the Vice President may be of a different party than the majority and is not a member subject to discipline, the rules of procedure of the Senate give the presiding officer little power and none beyond the presiding role. For these reasons, it is the Majority Leader; this is in contrast to the House of Representatives where the elected Speaker of the House has a great deal of discretionary power and presides over votes on bills. The Democratic Party first selected a leader in 1920; the Republican Party first formally designated a leader in 1925. Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives President pro tempore of the United States Senate Vice President of the United States Party divisions of United States Congresses List of political parties in the United States Women in the United States Senate Majority and Minority Leaders and Party Whips, via Senate.gov Republican Majority Democratic Minority