In U.S. politics, the majority floor leader is a partisan position in a legislative body.
In the federal Congress, the roles differ slightly in the two houses: the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives and the Majority Leader of the Senate, respectively. In the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader is elected by the Representatives of the Majority Party; while the responsibilities vary depending upon the political climate, the Majority Leader typically sets the floor agenda and oversees the committee Chairmen. In the United States Senate, its president is ex officio the Vice-President of the United States, and the President pro tempore is a largely ceremonial position, so the majority leader is the actual leader of the majority party.
The role of majority leaders thus differs slightly between the two chambers.
Given the two-party nature of the U.S. system, the majority leader is almost inevitably either a Republican or a Democrat.
The majority leader is often assisted in his role by whips, whose job is to enforce party discipline on votes deemed to be crucial by the party leadership and to ensure that members do not vote in a way not approved of by the party. Some votes are deemed to be so crucial as to lead to punitive measures (such as demotion from choice committee assignments) if the party line is violated; decisions such as these are often made by the majority leader in conjunction with other senior party leaders.
In the various states, the majority leader of a state legislative chamber usually performs a similar role to the federal counterpart.
Famous quotes containing the words majority and/or leader:
“The majority of persons choose their wives with as little prudence as they eat. They see a trull with nothing else to recommend her but a pair of thighs and choice hunkers, and so smart to void their seed that they marry her at once. They imagine they can live in marvelous contentment with handsome feet and ambrosial buttocks. Most men are accredited fools shortly after they leave the womb.”
—Edward Dahlberg (19001977)
“People ask the difference between a leader and a boss.... The leader works in the open, and the boss in covert. The leader leads, and the boss drives.”
—Theodore Roosevelt (18581919)