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Enactment of a Law

Senate Officials on the Floor

Various officials are present on the floor of the Senate when it convenes, including the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate, the Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms, the Legislative Clerk, the Journal Clerk, the Parliamentarian of the Senate, the Secretaries for the Majority and the Minority, the Official Reporters of Debate, and the Pages.

The Secretary of the Senate is the elected official of the Senate responsible for management of many legislative and administrative services. The Secretary is the disbursing officer for the Senate. The official seal of the Senate is in the custody of, and its use is prescribed by, the Secretary. In the absence of the Vice President, and pending the election of a President pro tempore, the Secretary performs the duties of the chair.

The Assistant Secretary is the chief assistant to the Secretary of the Senate. The Assistant Secretary performs the functions of the Secretary in the latter's absence, and in the event of the death or resignation of the Secretary would act as Secretary in all matters except those duties as disbursing officer of the Senate.

On the day after the first organization of the Senate, a Doorkeeper was chosen whose title was eventually changed to Sergeant at Arms. His duties are to execute the Senate's orders as to decorum on the floor and in the galleries. He is responsible for the enforcement of all rules made for the regulation of the Senate wing of the Capitol. He also is the custodian of all properties under the dominion of the Senate and supervises the messengers, pages and other workers who serve the Senate. If the Senate decides to issue warrants of arrest for its absent Members, it is the duty of the Sergeant of Arms to bring those Senators into custody.

Article 1, section 5, paragraph 3 of the Constitution provides that "Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House and any question shall, at the Desire of one-fifth of those Present be entered on the Journal." The Journal Clerk is charged with maintaining the Senate Journal under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate.

The Legislative Clerk is responsible for reporting all bills, messages from the House, conference reports, and amendments to the Senate. All record votes are taken by the Legislative Clerk and his assistants.

An appointed official of the Senate, the Parliamentarian functions under the direction of the Secretary of the Senate. The Parliamentarian's chief duty and responsibility is to advise the Presiding Officer on parliamentary aspects of Senate activity. The Parliamentarian advises Senators and senatorial committee staffs, and is called upon by other branches of Government, the press, and the public for information regarding procedural aspects of Senate activity.

The Official Reporters of Debates prepare the material concerning business of the Senate for inclusion in the Congressional Record. All proceedings in the Senate Chamber are reported verbatim by a staff of Official Reporters, who are under the supervision of the Editor in Chief. The Editor in Chief is the editor of all matter contained in the Senate proceedings. In addition to the verbatim proceedings in the Senate Chamber, the office of the Official Reporters processes for inclusion in the Congressional Record a description of the morning business conducted by the Senate (measures introduced, messages from the President and the House of Representatives, co-sponsors, communications received, and notices of hearings), and additional or unspoken statements of Senators. The Official Reporters of Debates are appointed by the Secretary of the Senate.

The Secretary for the Majority is an elected officer of the Senate who is responsible for providing many support services to the majority party leaders and members of the Senate. The floor-related duties of the Secretary include supervising the cloakroom, briefing Senators on votes and issues that are under consideration on the floor, obtaining pairs for Senators, and polling Senators when the Leadership so desires. Additionally, the Secretary is responsible for assigning Senate Chamber seats to the majority party Members; maintaining a file of committee assignment requests; staffing the committee which arranges majority party committee assignments; recommending to the Leadership majority party candidates for appointment to boards, commissions, and international conferences; maintaining records of such appointments; providing a repository for official minutes of majority party conferences and meetings of the Policy Committee, Steering Committee, and committee chairmen; monitoring the nominations on the Executive Calendar; and other duties as directed by the Leadership.

The Secretary for the Minority also is an elected officer of the Senate, and performs corresponding duties for the minority party leaders and other Senators.

The Republican Legislative Scheduling Office provides floor assistance to Republican Senators. The staff serves as a liaison between Republican Senators and the Republican leadership in dealing with Senators' legislative interests, unanimous consent requests, time agreements, and the scheduling of the Senate's proceedings. When the Republicans are in the majority, the Republican Legislative Scheduling Office also schedules Republican Senators to preside over the Senate.

Floor assistance for Democratic Senators is provided by the staff of the Democratic Policy Committee. This staff is available to provide information regarding the scheduling of legislation and to act as liaison between the legislative committees and the Democratic leadership. Assistance is given in the arrangement of unanimous consent requests on time agreements, amendments, and procedural issues on legislation being debated by the Senate. In addition, the staff provides advice on general parliamentary situations.

The Democratic Policy Committee provides other services to Democratic Senators, including detailed voting records for each Democratic Senator, an annual report on the major achievements of the session; an extensive index of record votes on legislation, both chronologically and by subject matter, and briefings on major bills and amendments.

Its counterpart, the Senate Republican Policy Committee, provides similar services for Republican Senators: maintenance of a research library; publication of legislative notices summarizing bills and resolutions on the Senate Calendar and proposed amendments thereto; publication of detailed analysis of all Senate record votes plus indexes, annual abstracts, and lists of voice votes; publication of the weekly Republican Counsel's Report; publication of policy papers on major issues; development of Republican legislative initiatives; research, legislative analysis, and speech writing for Republican Senators upon request; personnel placement and counselling; briefing officials from State and local governments on national issues; assisting new Senators with staff orientation; producing the information on the special television channel containing in-house updates on the Senate schedule; and assistance to the party leader in preparation of the End-of-Year Report.

Senate pages, male and female, when appointed, must be juniors in high school. They may not be appointed or serve after attaining the age of 17, except that if they are serving and enrolled in the Page School, they may continue their service through the session of the Senate in which the Page School terminates.

Riding Page Service is provided by a separate service, through the Senate Post Office, several times a day for delivery of Senators' letters to major Federal agencies in the District of Columbia only.

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