United States Government: Senate

The Senate is the second part of the Congress that is essentially the legislative branch of the federal government. The Senate comprises of 2 senators from each state, irrespective of the population. Therefore there are always 100 senators and each of the senators serves a 6 year term. However, every 2 years a third of the senate is dissolved and new members are elected from specific states. 

The Vice President of the country has formal control over the Senate and therefore the Vice President of the country is also known as the president of the Senate. While this is a formality, the Vice President is actually present during the proceedings of the Senate only when there is something important or special that is taking place or when a tie breaking vote needs to be cast.

To be able to stand for elections to be a senator, one needs to be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the country for at least 9 years and a resident of the state that he or she is representing.  There are some responsibilities of the Senate that no other government body can fulfill. These include confirming treaties that are drafted by the President. The Senate therefore also has the power to disapprove a treaty if that is what the voting throws up. The Senate also confirms or disapproves appointments made by the President with regards to Cabinet officers, Supreme Court Justices and ambassadors to other countries.


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