West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

The Senate Majority Leader is the United States Senator who is elected by the party conference that holds the majority. This leader serves as the chief Senate spokespeople for his parties and manages and schedules the legislative and executive business of the Senate. By rule, the Presiding Officer gives the Majority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate.

The Majority Leader customarily serves as the chief representative of his or her party in Senate, and sometimes even in all of Congress if the House of Representatives and thus the office of Speaker of the House is controlled by the opposition party.

Many state senates are organized in the same way as the United States Senate.

The Senate is currently composed of 52 Republicans and 48 Democrats. The incumbent majority leader is Robert Royce of Pennsylvania.


The Democrats began the practice of electing floor leaders in 1920 while they were in the minority. In 1925 the majority (at the time) Republicans also adopted this language when Charles Curtis became the first (official) Majority Leader although his immediate predecessor Henry Cabot Lodge is considered the first (unofficial) Majority Leader.

The Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the Senate. The Constitution also calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate (the Vice President) is absent. In practice, neither the Vice President nor the President pro tempore—customarily the most senior (longest-serving) Senator in the majority party—actually presides over the Senate on a daily basis; that task is given to junior Senators of the majority party, in part so they may learn proper procedure. For these reasons, it is the Majority Leader who in practice manages the Senate.

List of party leaders

The Democratic Party first selected a leader in 1920. The Republican Party first formally designated a leader in 1925.

# Majority Leader Party Home state Term of Office
1 Charles Curtis Republican Kansas 1925-1929
2 James E. Watson Republican Indiana 1929-1933
3 Joseph T. Robinson Democrat Arkansas 1933-1937
4 Alben W. Barkley Democrat Kentucky 1937-1947
5 Wallace H. White Jr. Republican Maine 1947-1949
6 Scott W. Lucas Democrat Illinois 1949-1951
7 Ernest McFarland Democrat Arizona 1951-1953
8 Robert A. Taft Republican Ohio 1953
9 William F. Knowland Republican California 1953-1955
10 Lyndon B. Johnson Democrat Texas 1955-1961
11 Mike Mansfield Democrat Montana 1961-1977
12 Robert Byrd Democrat West Virginia 1977-1979
13 Joseph Furman Republican South Carolina 1979-1987
14 Bob Dole Republican Kansas 1987-1997
15 John Hoynes Democrat Texas 1997-1999
16 Jack Moseley Republican Colorado 1999-2003
17 Robert Royce Republican Pennsylvania 2003-present