A senator’s term in the USA makes six years. They represent their state in the US Senate, attend meetings, pass bills and participate in other activities of this governmental body.
The US Senate consists of 100 senators, two senators of each state, irrespective of the number of people living here. Senators were originally chosen by members of the state legislatures. However, since coming into force of the 17th Amendment, they have been being elected by the inhabitants of the corresponding state for a period of 6 years.
The elections to the Senate of the United States are held on Election Day, synchronically with the elections to the US House of Representatives. The qualifications to become a Senator include being at least 30 years old, having been a United States citizen for a minimum term of 9 years and living in the state the candidate is going to represent.
The Senate age requirement is strict but the US Senate saw cases of violation of this regulation. For instance, in the year 1972, Joe Biden became a senator at the age of 29. Still, by the moment of taking the oath, all senators should take, he had turned 30.
Each state has been given the right to decide on the method, according to which its senators are elected. 45 states have the following procedure: at first, a primary election is conducted for the Republicans and the Democrats. It is followed by the Senate general election, which is won by acquiring the majority of voices.
Other states have their own rules, for example, in Georgia and Louisiana, a candidate must receive over half of voices in order to become one of US Senate members. Due to this provision, a runoff is sometimes required in the states. This is how senators in the United States are elected.
Speaking about the work of senators, their work consists mainly of consideration of bills, participation in permanent and temporary committees and commissions. The Senate membership is incompatible with the occupation of any other public or state posts.
The basic rights and obligations of US senators are comparable to those of members of the upper houses of parliament of other countries. These include the right of legislative initiative and petitions, participation in the activities of committees and commissions, and personal presence and voting at the Senate meetings.
Nevertheless, the Constitution of the United States lodges senators with special powers to “check and balance” the powers of other components of the Government. The Senate uses standing and temporary committees (and their subcommittees) for various purposes, including considering bills and overseeing the executive branch. Currently, the US Senate has 16 standing committees.
As for the daily sessions, Standing Rules are used for operation by the Senate of the United States. Meetings are held in Washington, D.C., in the US Capitol, just like those of the House of Representatives. The procedures of work of the governmental body are ruled also by traditions and customs. Some of such rules are waived by senators in a common and unanimous way.
During debates, a senator is allowed to speak only upon being called by the presiding officer. The first person who rises to speak is given this opportunity: however, according to a custom, a leader of the majority or a leader of the minority is prioritized. A senator can’t speak on a bill more than twice on the same legislative day. That is how the routine work of senators in the US is organized.