Party leaders of the United States Senate
The positions of Majority Leader and Minority Leader are held by two United States senators and members of the party leadership of the United States Senate. They serve as the chief spokespersons for their respective political parties holding the majority and the minority in the United States Senate. They are each elected as majority leader and minority leader by the senators of their party caucuses: the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference.
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By Senate precedent, the presiding officer gives the Majority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate. The majority leader serves as the chief representative of their party, and is considered the most powerful member of the Senate. They also serve as the chief representative of their party in the entire Congress if the House of Representatives, and thus the office of the speaker of the House, is controlled by the opposition party. The Senate's executive and legislative business is also managed and scheduled by the majority leader.
The assistant majority leader and assistant minority leader of the United States Senate, commonly called whips, are the second-ranking members of each party's leadership. The main function of the majority and minority whips is to gather votes of their respective parties on major issues. As the second-ranking members of Senate leadership, if there is no floor leader present, the whip may become acting floor leader.