(PoliticalLookout.com)- The Senate Majority Leader is the chief spokesperson for the party that represents the majority in the Senate. That individual represents the general view of the biggest party in the Senate, outlined legislative goals, cooperates with other branches with governments and gives press conferences.
The Senate Minority Leader is much the same but represents the party that does not have a majority in the Senate.
Both of these offices are fairly recent developments, as they were not established when the Senate itself was first established. Over the years, Senate Majority and Minority leaders have gained increasing levels of relevance and powers in their parties, acting as de-facto leaders.
The Role of the Senate Majority Leader
While the power and influence of a Senate Majority Leader are based entirely on precedent and deference, the office comes with important responsibilities. Technically, the leaders of the parties in the Senate have little in the way of power, but much in the way of responsibility.
The first of this is speaking for the Senate, and working with ranking members, the minority leader, and committee chairs to form schedules on the floor. Bills will be called by the Majority Leader, and consent agreements will be formulated with the Minority Leader.
Majority Leaders may also be able to file for cloture to end long debates and work to ensure that debates are orderly and on schedule.
The Majority Leader is also responsible for opening the proceedings of each day and keeping votes on legislation moving along. During a debate, the Majority Leader is typically called on first, and then the senates who speak afterwards nay be chosen by the leader.
Both leaders of the parties also meet regularly with the president, to discuss legislative matters.
How Is A Leader Chosen?
The Senate Majority Leader is elected right at the beginning of every new Congress by members of their party. That means an unpopular leader may be voted out in the next Congress if their behavior was considered unacceptable. This keeps the Majority Leader accountable to their party.
Regardless, however, the role is not defined by the Constitution. The role instead appeared over time, as parties slowly realized that their legislative agenda and schedule could be better represented, controlled, and communicated to the public.