Addison Mitchell McConnell Jr. is an American politician serving as Kentucky’s senior United States Senator and as Senate Majority Leader. McConnell is the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the Senate, is the longest-serving U. S. Senator from Kentucky in history, is the longest-serving Republican U. S. Senate leader in history. A member of the Republican Party, McConnell was elected to the Senate in 1984 and has been re-elected five times since then. During the 1998 and 2000 election cycles, McConnell was chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. McConnell was elected as Majority Whip in the 108th Congress and was re-elected to the post in 2004. In November 2006, McConnell was elected Senate Minority Leader. McConnell was known as a pragmatist and a moderate Republican early in his political career but veered to the right over time. McConnell led opposition to stricter campaign finance laws, culminating in the Supreme Court ruling that overturned the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act in 2009.
During the Obama presidency, McConnell worked to withhold Republican support for major presidential initiatives. McConnell described his decision to block the Garland nomination as "the most consequential decision I've made in my entire public career." In 2015, McConnell was included in the Time 100 annual list of the most influential people in the world. McConnell endorsed Rand Paul in the 2016 Republican primaries before supporting then-presumptive nominee Donald Trump. In 2016, after being approached by U. S. intelligence community officials, McConnell refused to give a bipartisan statement with President Obama warning Russia not to interfere in the upcoming election. During the Trump presidency, Senate Republicans, under McConnell's leadership, broke records on the number of judicial nominees confirmed. McConnell's approval rating, as reflected by both national and statewide poll results, is among the lowest of all U. S. senators. McConnell is of Scots-Irish and English descent, the son of Addison Mitchell McConnell, his wife, Julia Odene "Dean".
McConnell was born on February 20, 1942, in Sheffield and grew up in nearby Athens. His ancestor had emigrated from Ireland to North Carolina. McConnell's upper left leg was paralyzed by a polio attack at the age of 2, he received treatment at the Warm Springs Institute in Georgia, which saved him from being disabled for the rest of his life. McConnell has stated; when he was eight, McConnell moved with his family from Athens to Augusta, Georgia when his father, in the Army, was stationed at Fort Gordon. In 1956, his family moved to Louisville. McConnell was elected student council president at his high school during his junior year, he graduated with honors from the University of Louisville with a B. A. in political science in 1964. McConnell was president of the Student Council of the College of Arts and Sciences and a member of the Phi Kappa Tau fraternity, he has maintained strong ties to his alma mater and is still "a rabid fan of the U of L Cardinals football and basketball teams."In 1964, at the age of 22, McConnell began interning for Senator John Sherman Cooper, his time with Cooper inspired him to run for the Senate himself.
In 1967, McConnell graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law, where he was president of the Student Bar Association. In March 1967, shortly before the expiration of his educational draft deferment upon graduation from law school, McConnell enlisted in the U. S. Army Reserve as a private at Louisville, Kentucky; this was a coveted position because the Reserve units were kept out of combat during the Vietnam War. McConnell's first day of training at Fort Knox was July 9, 1967—two days after taking the bar exam—and his last day was August 15, 1967. Shortly after his arrival, McConnell was diagnosed with optic neuritis and was deemed medically unfit for military service as a result. After just five weeks at Fort Knox, he was honorably discharged. McConnell's brief time in service has been put at issue by his political opponents during his electoral campaigns. Although McConnell has allowed reporters to examine parts of his military record and take notes, he has refused to allow copies to be made or to disclose his entire record, despite calls by his opponents to do so.
McConnell's time in service has been the subject of criticism because his discharge was accelerated after his father placed a call to Senator John Sherman Cooper, who sent a wire to the commanding general at Fort Knox on August 10, advising that "Mitchell anxious to clear post in order to enroll in NYU." He was allowed to leave post just five days though McConnell maintains that no one helped him with his enlistment into or discharge from the reserves. According to McConnell, he struggled through the exercises at basic training and was sent to a doctor for a physical examination, which revealed McConnell's optic neuritis. McConnell did not attend NYU. From 1968 to 1970, McConnell worked as an aide to Senator Marlow Cook, managing a legislative department consisting of five members as well as assisting with speech writing and constituent services. In 1971, McConnell returned from Washington, D. C. to Louisville, where he worked for Tom Emberton's candid
Secretary of State of Kentucky
The Secretary of State of Kentucky is one of the constitutional officers of the U. S. state of Kentucky. It is now an elected office, but was an appointed office prior to 1891; the current Secretary of State is Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, elected to her first term on November 8, 2011. Despite the fact that Kentucky designates itself a Commonwealth, the office itself is still referred to as "Secretary of State"; the office was created by Article II, Section 17 of the Kentucky Constitution of 1792 as "the secretary". Article III, Section 21, of the Kentucky Constitution of 1850 changed the title of the office to Secretary of State. Section 91 of the Kentucky Constitution of 1891, changed the method by which the Secretary of State is selected. Prior to 1891, the secretary was appointed by the governor; the most recent election was in 2015. In 1992, the Constitution was amended to allow the Secretary of State to serve two successive terms. Emma Guy Cromwell ran for the office of Secretary of State, defeating another woman, Mary Elliott Flanery, two men in the 1923 Democratic primary.
In the general election, Cromwell went on to defeat Eleanor Wickliffe. She was sworn in on January 10, 1924 and became the first woman elected to statewide office in Kentucky; the Secretary of State's Office is composed of five divisions: The Business Services Division is responsible for maintaining records regarding creation and status of corporations and business entities, registration of trademarks and service marks, recording liens made pursuant to the Uniform Commercial Code. The Elections Division certifies the name, party affiliation and ballot position of all candidates filed with him to the appropriate county clerks for ballot printing; the actual administration of elections is conducted by a separate, independent agency, the Kentucky State Board of Elections, of which the Secretary of State serves as chair. The Administrative Services Division appoints notaries public, issues apostilles, serves as the registered agent for service of process in cases involving foreign corporations, as well as service of summons and petitions in actions against non-resident motorists.
Kentucky Land Office is an archive of land patents and land grants dating back to the colonial era. Executive Branch of the Office of the Secretary of State files and maintains legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly and executive orders of the Governor of Kentucky, including appointments to the Order of Kentucky Colonels; this division is the keeper of the Seal of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the personal seal of the Secretary of State. List of company registers Official homepage of the Kentucky Secretary of State List of past Secretaries of State of Kentucky
Martha Layne Collins
Martha Layne Collins is an American former businesswoman and politician from the U. S. state of Kentucky. Prior to that, she served as the 48th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky, under John Y. Brown, Jr, her election made her the highest-ranking Democratic woman in the U. S, she was considered as a possible running mate for Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale in the 1984 presidential election, but Mondale chose Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro instead. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, Collins worked as a school teacher while her husband finished a degree in dentistry, she became interested in politics, worked on both Wendell Ford's gubernatorial campaign in 1971 and Walter "Dee" Huddleston's U. S. Senate campaign in 1972. In 1975, she was chosen secretary of the state's Democratic Party and was elected clerk of the Kentucky Court of Appeals. During her tenure as clerk, a constitutional amendment restructured the state's judicial system, the Court of Appeals became the Kentucky Supreme Court.
Collins continued as clerk of the renamed court and worked to educate citizens about the court's new role. Collins was elected lieutenant governor in 1979, under Governor John Y. Brown, Jr. Brown was out of the state, leaving Collins as acting governor for more than 500 days of her four-year term. In 1983, she defeated Republican Jim Bunning to become Kentucky's first woman governor, her administration had two primary focuses: economic development. After failing to secure increased funding for education in the 1984 legislative session, she conducted a statewide public awareness campaign in advance of a special legislative session the following year, she used economic incentives to bring a Toyota manufacturing plant to Georgetown, Kentucky in 1986. Legal challenges to the incentives – which would have cost the state the plant and its related economic benefits – were dismissed by the Kentucky Supreme Court; the state experienced record economic growth under Collins' leadership. At the time, Kentucky governors were not eligible for reelection.
Collins taught at several universities after her four-year term as governor. From 1990 to 1996, she was the president of Saint Catharine College near Kentucky; the 1993 conviction of Collins' husband, Dr. Bill Collins, in an influence-peddling scandal, damaged her hopes for a return to political life. Prior to her husband's conviction it had been rumored that she would be a candidate for the U. S. Senate, or would take a position in the administration of President Bill Clinton. From 1998 to 2012, Collins served as an executive scholar-in-residence at Georgetown College. Martha Layne Hall was born December 7, 1936, in Bagdad, the only child of Everett and Mary Hall; when Martha was in the sixth grade, her family moved to Shelbyville and opened the Hall-Taylor Funeral Home. Martha was involved in numerous extracurricular activities both in school and at the local Baptist church, her parents were active in local politics, working for the campaigns of several Democratic candidates, Hall joined them, stuffing envelopes and delivering pamphlets door-to-door.
Martha attended Shelbyville High School where she was a cheerleader. She competed in beauty pageants and won the title of Shelby County Tobacco Festival Queen in 1954. After high school, Hall enrolled at Lindenwood College an all-woman college in Saint Charles, Missouri. After one year at Lindenwood, she transferred to the University of Kentucky in Kentucky, she was active in many clubs, including the Chi Omega social sorority, the Baptist Student Union, the home economics club, was the president of her dormitory and vice president of the house presidents council. In 1957, Hall met Billy Louis Collins while attending a Baptist camp in Shelby County, he was a student at Georgetown College in Georgetown, about 13 miles from Lexington. Hall earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics in 1959. Having won the title of Kentucky Derby Festival Queen earlier that year, she considered a career in modeling. Instead and Collins married shortly after her graduation. While Billy Collins pursued a degree in dentistry at the University of Louisville, Martha taught at Seneca and Fairdale high schools, both located in Louisville.
While living in Louisville, the couple had two children and Marla. In 1966, the Collinses moved to Versailles, where Martha taught at Woodford County Junior High School; the couple became active in several civic organizations, including the Jaycees and Jayceettes and the Young Democratic Couples Club. Through the club, they worked on behalf of Henry Ward's unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign in 1967. By 1971, Collins was the president of the Jayceettes. Huddleston asked Collins to co-chair Wendell Ford's gubernatorial campaign in the 6th District. J. R. Miller, then-chairman of the state Democratic Party, commented that "She organized that district like you wouldn't believe." After Ford's victory, he named Collins as a Democratic National Committeewoman from Kentucky. She quit her teaching job and went to work full-time at the state Democratic Party headquarters, as secretary of the state Democratic party and as a delegate to the 1972 Democratic National Convention; the following year, she worked for Huddleston's campaign for the U.
S. Senate. In 1975, Collins won the Democratic nominati
United States Army
The United States Army is the land warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces. It is one of the seven uniformed services of the United States, is designated as the Army of the United States in the United States Constitution; as the oldest and most senior branch of the U. S. military in order of precedence, the modern U. S. Army has its roots in the Continental Army, formed to fight the American Revolutionary War —before the United States of America was established as a country. After the Revolutionary War, the Congress of the Confederation created the United States Army on 3 June 1784 to replace the disbanded Continental Army; the United States Army considers itself descended from the Continental Army, dates its institutional inception from the origin of that armed force in 1775. As a uniformed military service, the U. S. Army is part of the Department of the Army, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense; the U. S. Army is headed by a civilian senior appointed civil servant, the Secretary of the Army and by a chief military officer, the Chief of Staff of the Army, a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
It is the largest military branch, in the fiscal year 2017, the projected end strength for the Regular Army was 476,000 soldiers. S. Army was 1,018,000 soldiers; as a branch of the armed forces, the mission of the U. S. Army is "to fight and win our Nation's wars, by providing prompt, land dominance, across the full range of military operations and the spectrum of conflict, in support of combatant commanders"; the branch participates in conflicts worldwide and is the major ground-based offensive and defensive force of the United States. The United States Army serves as the land-based branch of the U. S. Armed Forces. Section 3062 of Title 10, U. S. Code defines the purpose of the army as: Preserving the peace and security and providing for the defense of the United States, the Commonwealths and possessions and any areas occupied by the United States Supporting the national policies Implementing the national objectives Overcoming any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United StatesIn 2018, the Army Strategy 2018 articulated an eight-point addendum to the Army Vision for 2028.
While the Army Mission remains constant, the Army Strategy builds upon the Army's Brigade Modernization by adding focus to Corps and Division-level echelons. Modernization, reform for high-intensity conflict, Joint multi-domain operations are added to the strategy, to be completed by 2028; the Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander. The army was led by men who had served in the British Army or colonial militias and who brought much of British military heritage with them; as the Revolutionary War progressed, French aid and military thinking helped shape the new army. A number of European soldiers came on their own to help, such as Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, who taught Prussian Army tactics and organizational skills; the army fought numerous pitched battles and in the South in 1780–1781, at times using the Fabian strategy and hit-and-run tactics, under the leadership of Major General Nathanael Greene, hit where the British were weakest to wear down their forces.
Washington led victories against the British at Trenton and Princeton, but lost a series of battles in the New York and New Jersey campaign in 1776 and the Philadelphia campaign in 1777. With a decisive victory at Yorktown and the help of the French, the Continental Army prevailed against the British. After the war, the Continental Army was given land certificates and disbanded in a reflection of the republican distrust of standing armies. State militias became the new nation's sole ground army, with the exception of a regiment to guard the Western Frontier and one battery of artillery guarding West Point's arsenal. However, because of continuing conflict with Native Americans, it was soon realized that it was necessary to field a trained standing army; the Regular Army was at first small and after General St. Clair's defeat at the Battle of the Wabash, the Regular Army was reorganized as the Legion of the United States, established in 1791 and renamed the United States Army in 1796; the War of 1812, the second and last war between the United States and Great Britain, had mixed results.
The U. S. Army did not conquer Canada but it did destroy Native American resistance to expansion in the Old Northwest and it validated its independence by stopping two major British invasions in 1814 and 1815. After taking control of Lake Erie in 1813, the U. S. Army seized parts of western Upper Canada, burned York and defeated Tecumseh, which caused his Western Confederacy to collapse. Following U. S. victories in the Canadian province of Upper Canada, British troops who had dubbed the U. S. Army "Regulars, by God!", were able to capture and burn Washington, defended by militia, in 1814. The regular army, however proved they were professional and capable of defeating the British army during the invasions of Plattsburgh and Baltimore, prompting British agreement on the rejected terms of a status quo ante bellum. Two weeks after a treaty was signed, Andrew Jackson defeated the British in the Battle of New Orleans and Siege of Fort St. Philip, became a national hero. U. S. troops and sailors captured HMS Cyane and Penguin in the final engagements of the war.
Per the treaty, both sides (the United S
Jefferson County, Kentucky
Jefferson County is a county located in the U. S. Commonwealth of Kentucky; as of the 2010 census, the population was 741,096. It is the most populous county in the commonwealth. Since a city-county merger in 2003, the county's territory and government have been coextensive with the city of Louisville, which serves as county seat; the administrative entity created by this merger is the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, abbreviated to Louisville Metro. Jefferson County is the anchor of the Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, sometimes referred to as Kentuckiana. Jefferson County—originally Jefferson County, Virginia—was established by the Virginia General Assembly in June 1780, when it abolished and partitioned Kentucky County into three counties: Fayette and Lincoln. Named for Thomas Jefferson, governor of Virginia at the time, it is one of Kentucky's nine original counties. In 1778, during the American Revolutionary War, George Rogers Clark's militia and 60 civilian settlers, established the first American settlement in the county on Corn Island in the Ohio River, at head of the Falls of the Ohio.
They moved to the mainland the following year. Richard Mentor Johnson, the 9th Vice President of the United States, was born in Jefferson County in 1780, while the family was living in a settlement along the Beargrass Creek; the last major American Indian raid in present-day Jefferson County was the Chenoweth Massacre on July 17, 1789. Whenever possible, the metro government avoids any self-reference including the name "Jefferson County" and has renamed the Jefferson County Courthouse as Metro Hall. Prior to the 2003 merger, the head of local government was the County Judge/Executive, a post that still exists but now has few powers; the office is held by Queenie Averette. Local government is now led by the Mayor of Louisville Metro, Greg Fischer. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 398 square miles, of which 380 square miles is land and 17 square miles is water; the Ohio River forms its northern boundary with the state of Indiana. The highest point is South Park Hill, elevation 902 feet, located in the southern part of the county.
The lowest point is 383 feet along the Ohio River just north of West Point. As of the census of 2000, there were 693,604 people, 287,012 households, 183,113 families residing in the county; the population density was 1,801 per square mile. There were 305,835 housing units at an average density of 794 per square mile; the racial makeup of the county was 77.38% White, 18.88% Black or African American, 0.22% Native American, 1.39% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, 1.42% from two or more races. 1.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. There were 287,012 households out of which 29.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.20% were married couples living together, 14.70% had a female householder with no husband present, 36.20% were non-families. 30.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.30% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.97. In the county, the population was spread out with 24.30% under the age of 18, 8.90% from 18 to 24, 30.40% from 25 to 44, 22.80% from 45 to 64, 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.60 males. The median income for a household in the county was $43,789, the median income for a family was $49,161. Males had a median income of $36,484 versus $26,255 for females; the per capita income for the county was $22,352. About 9.50% of families and 12.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.10% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over. NOTE: Since the formation of Louisville Metro on January 6, 2003, residents of the cities below became citizens of the newly expanded Metro, but none of the incorporated places dissolved in the process; the functions served by the county government for the towns were assumed by Louisville Metro. However, the former City of Louisville was absorbed into the new city-county government. † Formerly a census-designated place in the county, but, in 2003, these places became neighborhoods within the city limits of Louisville Metro.
Jefferson County Public Schools Jefferson County Sunday School Association Louisville/Jefferson County metro government, Kentucky National Register of Historic Places listings in Jefferson County, Kentucky Jefferson County Clerks Office Jefferson County Sheriff's Office Louisville/Jefferson County Information Consortium Louisville Metro
Louisville is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the 29th most-populous city in the United States. It is one of two cities in Kentucky designated as first-class, the other being Lexington, the state's second-largest city. Louisville is the historical seat and, since 2003, the nominal seat of Jefferson County, located in the northern region of the state, on the border with Indiana. Louisville, named for King Louis XVI of France, was founded in 1778 by George Rogers Clark, making it one of the oldest cities west of the Appalachian Mountains. Sited beside the Falls of the Ohio, the only major obstruction to river traffic between the upper Ohio River and the Gulf of Mexico, the settlement first grew as a portage site, it was the founding city of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, which grew into a 6,000-mile system across 13 states. Today, the city is known as the home of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Fried Chicken, the University of Louisville and its Louisville Cardinals athletic teams, Louisville Slugger baseball bats, three of Kentucky's six Fortune 500 companies, being Humana, Kindred Healthcare and Yum!
Brands. Its main airport is the site of United Parcel Service's worldwide air hub. Since 2003, Louisville's borders have been the same as those of Jefferson County, after a city-county merger; the official name of this consolidated city-county government is the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government, abbreviated to Louisville Metro. Despite the merger and renaming, the term "Jefferson County" continues to be used in some contexts in reference to Louisville Metro including the incorporated cities outside the "balance" which make up Louisville proper; the city's total consolidated population as of the 2017 census estimate was 771,158. However, the balance total of 621,349 excludes other incorporated places and semiautonomous towns within the county and is the population listed in most sources and national rankings; the Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area, sometimes referred to as Kentuckiana, includes Louisville-Jefferson County and 12 surrounding counties, seven in Kentucky and five in Southern Indiana.
As of 2017, the MSA had a population of 1,293,953. The history of Louisville spans hundreds of years, has been influenced by the area's geography and location; the rapids at the Falls of the Ohio created a barrier to river travel, as a result, settlements grew up at this stopping point. The first European settlement in the vicinity of modern-day Louisville was on Corn Island in 1778 by Col. George Rogers Clark, credited as the founder of Louisville. Several landmarks in the community are named after him. Two years in 1780, the Virginia General Assembly approved the town charter of Louisville; the city was named in honor of King Louis XVI of France, whose soldiers were aiding Americans in the Revolutionary War. Early residents lived in forts to protect themselves from Indian raids, but moved out by the late 1780s. In 1803, explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark organized their expedition across America in the town of Clarksville, Indiana at the present-day Falls of the Ohio opposite Louisville, Kentucky.
The city's early growth was influenced by the fact that river boats had to be unloaded and moved downriver before reaching the falls. By 1828, the population had grown to 7,000 and Louisville became an incorporated city. Early Louisville was slaves worked in a variety of associated trades; the city was a point of escape for slaves to the north, as Indiana was a free state. During this point in the 1850s, the city was growing and vibrant, but that came with negativity, it was the center of planning, supplies and transportation for numerous campaigns in the Western Theater. By the year 1855, ethnic tension was arising. Nobody knew. On August 6, 1855 "Bloody Monday" happened. By 1861, the civil war broke out. During the Civil War, Louisville was a major stronghold of Union forces, which kept Kentucky in the Union. By the end of the war, Louisville had not been attacked, although skirmishes and battles, including the battles of Perryville and Corydon, took place nearby. After Reconstruction, returning Confederate veterans took political control of the city, leading to the jibe that Louisville joined the Confederacy after the war was over.
The first Kentucky Derby was held on May 1875, at the Louisville Jockey Club track. The Derby was shepherded by Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr. the grandson of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, grandnephew of the city's founder George Rogers Clark. Horse racing had a strong tradition in Kentucky, whose Inner Bluegrass Region had been a center of breeding high-quality livestock throughout the 19th century. Ten thousand spectators watched the first Derby. On March 27, 1890, the city was devastated and its downtown nearly destroyed when an F4 tornado tore through as part of the middle Mississippi Valley tornado outbreak. An estimated 74 to 120 people were killed and 200 were injured; the damage cost the city $2.5 million. In 1914, the City of Louisville passed a racially-based zoning residential zoning code, following Baltimore, a handful of cities in the Carolinas; the NAACP challenged the ordinance in two cases. Two weeks after the ordinance enacted, an African-American named Arthur Harris moved into a house on a block designated for whites.
He was found guilty. The second case was planned to create a test case. William Warley, the president of the local chapter
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D. C; the composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators; each state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; as the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers.
In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for Vice President, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office. Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate; the name is derived from Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure.
An agrarian law would soon take place. If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent; the District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art