Tuesday, March 19, 2013
United States Senate
http://www.all-keyboard.com/,http://www.keyboards-shop.com/,http://www.laptop-fan-shop.com/ The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with theUnited States House of Representatives makes up the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Sony VGP-BPS13 Battery Each U.S. state is represented by two senators, regardless of population, who serve staggered six-year terms. The chamber of the United States Senate is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C., the national capital. The House of Representatives convenes in the south wing of the same building. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/B Battery The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification and consenting to or confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/B Battery and other federal uniformed officers, as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House. The Senate is both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives, due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13/S Battery The Senate is sometimes called the "world's greatest deliberative body." The framers of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress primarily as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be equally represented, and those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Britain. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/S Battery There was also 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, and 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. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/S Battery The Senate was thus not intended to represent the people of the United States equally. The Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. The Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13/Q Battery The name is derived from thesenatus, Latin for council of elders (from senex meaning old man in Latin). The Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffragein the Senate without that state's consent. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13A/Q Battery The District of Columbia and all other territories (including territories, protectorates, etc.) are not entitled to representation in either House of the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two shadow 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. Sony VAIO VGP-BPS13B/Q Battery 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. Sony VGP-BPS21 Battery In 1787, Virginia had roughly 10 times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has roughly 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are effectively two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Sony VGP-BPS21A Battery Seats in the House of Representatives are approximately proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Sony VGP-BPS21B Battery However, problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, and even bribery and intimidation gradually led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators. Sony VGP-BPS21/S Battery Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for senators: 1) they must be at least 30 years old, 2) they must have been citizens of the United States for at least the past nine years, and 3) they must be inhabitants of the states they seek to represent at the time of their election. Sony VGP-BPS21A/b Battery The age and citizenship qualifications for senators are more stringent than those for representatives. In Federalist No. 62, James Madison justified this arrangement by arguing that the "senatorial trust" called for a "greater extent of information and stability of character." Sony VGP-BPS26 Battery The Senate (not the judiciary) is the sole judge of a senator's qualifications. During its early years, however, the Senate did not closely scrutinize the qualifications of its members. As a result, three senators who failed to meet the age qualification were nevertheless admitted to the Senate: Henry Clay (aged 29 in 1806), Sony VGP-BPL26 Battery Armistead Thomson Mason (aged 28 in 1816), and John Eaton (aged 28 in 1818). Such an occurrence, however, has not been repeated since. In 1934,Rush D. Holt, Sr. was elected to the Senate at the age of 29; he waited until he turned 30 (on the following June 19) to take the oath of office. Sony VGP-BPS26A Battery In November 1972, Joe Biden was elected to the Senate at the age of 29, but he reached his 30th birthday before the swearing-in ceremony for incoming senators in January 1973. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution disqualifies from the Senate any federal or state officers who had taken the requisite oath to support the Constitution, Sony VGP-BPS22 Battery but later engaged in rebellion or aided the enemies of the United States. This provision, which came into force soon after the end of the Civil War, was intended to prevent those who had sided with the Confederacy from serving. That Amendment, however, also provides a method to remove that disqualification: a two-thirds vote of both chambers of Congress. Sony VGP-BPL22 Battery Originally, senators were selected by the state legislatures, not by popular elections. By the early years of the 20th century, the legislatures of as many as 29 states had provided for popular election of senators by referendums.Popular election to the Senate was standardized nationally in 1913 by the ratification of the 17th Amendment. Sony VGP-BPS22A Battery Senators serve terms of six years each; the terms are staggered so that approximately one-third of the seats are up for election every two years. This was achieved by dividing the senators of the 1st Congress into thirds (called classes), where the terms of one-third expired after two years, the terms of another third expired after four, Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery and the terms of the last third expired after six years. This arrangement was also followed after the admission of new states into the union. The staggering of terms has been arranged such that both seats from a given state are not contested in the same general election, except when a mid-term vacancy is being filled. Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery Current senators whose six-year terms expire on January 3, 2015, belong to Class II. A member who has been elected, but not yet seated, is called a "senator-elect"; a member who has been appointed to a seat, but not yet seated, is called a "senator-designate".Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery Elections to the Senate are held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in even-numbered years,Election Day, and coincide with elections for the House of Representatives. Senators are elected by their state as a whole. In most states (since 1970), a primary election is held first for the Republican and Democratic parties, Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery with the general election following a few months later. Ballot access rules for independent and minor party candidates vary from state to state. The winner is the candidate who receives a plurality of the popular vote. In some states, runoffs are held if no candidate wins a majority. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery The Seventeenth Amendment requires mid-term vacancies in the Senate to be filled by special election. If a special election for one seat happens to coincide with a general election for the state's other seat, each seat is contested separately. A senator elected in a special election takes office as soon as possible after the election and serves until the original six-year term expires (i.e. not for a full term). Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery The Seventeenth Amendment also allows state legislatures to give their governors the power to appoint temporary senators until the special election takes place. The official wording provides that "the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct." Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery As of 2009, forty-six states permit governors to make such appointments. For this reason, in most states, a special election for a U.S. Senate seat is not often held immediately after the vacancy arises, but is often held at the next biennial congressional election. The temporary appointee may run for the seat in his or her own right. Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery Oregon and Wisconsin require special elections for vacancies with no interim appointment, and Oklahoma permits the governor to appoint only the winner of a special election. In September 2009, Massachusetts changed its law to enable the governor to appoint a temporary replacement for the late Senator Kennedy until the special election in January 2010. Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery In 2004, Alaska enacted legislation and a separate ballot referendum that took effect on the same day, but that conflicted with each other. The effect of the ballot-approved law is to withhold from the governor authority to appoint a senator. Because the 17th Amendment vests the power to grant that authority to the legislature –Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery not the people or the state generally – it is unclear whether the ballot measure supplants the legislature's statute granting that authority. As a result, it is uncertain whether an Alaska governor may appoint an interim senator to serve until a special election is held to fill the vacancy. Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery In 2009, Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold announced he would introduce a bill proposing a constitutional amendment to rescind the power of interim appointment by governors. The Constitution requires that senators take an oath or affirmation to support the Constitution. Congress has prescribed the following oath for new senators: Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God. The annual salary of each senator, as of 2009, is $174,000; the president pro tempore and party leaders receive $193,400. In June 2003, at least 40 of the then-senators were millionaires. Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery Along with earning salaries, senators receive retirement and health benefits that are identical to other federal employees, and are fully vested after five years of service. Senators are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery As it is for federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Under FERS, senators contribute 1.3% of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2% of their salary in Social Security taxes. The amount of a senator's pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of their salary. Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery The starting amount of a senator's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of their final salary. In 2006, the average annual pension for retired senators and representatives under CSRS was $60,972, while those who retired under FERS, or in combination with CSRS, was $35,952. Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery Senators are regarded as more prominent political figures than members of the House of Representatives because there are fewer of them, and because they serve for longer terms, usually represent larger constituencies (the exception being House at-largedistricts, which similarly comprise entire states), sit on more committees, and have more staffers. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery Far more senators have been nominees for the presidency than representatives. Furthermore, three senators (Warren Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama) have been elected president while serving in the Senate, while only one Representative (James Garfield) has been elected president while serving in the House, Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery though Garfield was also a Senator-elect at the time of his election to the Presidency, having been chosen by the Ohio Legislature to fill a Senate vacancy.