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Civil War Sesquicentennial
The Great Uprising of the North--An Anniversary Picture--April 12, 1862.
In commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a continuing series of online features explores the Senate's wartime experience.
This Week in Senate History
Mountains and Clouds
November 22, 1982

The new Senate office building opened to its first occupants. The third office building joined the Richard B. Russell Senate Office Building, opened in 1909, and the Everett McKinley Dirksen Senate Office Building, opened in 1957, adding much-needed working space for senators and staff.

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2014 Session Schedule
Scheduled Hearings
Active Legislation
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Floor Schedule


Monday, Dec 01, 2014

2:00 p.m.: Convene and begin a period of morning business.


Previous Meeting

Thursday, Nov 20, 2014

The Senate convened at 9:30 a.m. and adjourned at 7:22 p.m. 3 record votes were taken.


Daily Digest(latest issue)


Senate Calendar(latest issue)


Executive Calendar(latest issue, PDF format)


Floor Activity
View the previous legislative day's Floor Activity.
Before Taking the Oath

Every two years, following the congressional elections, a new class of senators comes to the Capitol to assume the duties of United States senators. They take the oath of office in January, but the business of becoming a senator starts immediately after the election.


The United States Senate in Session


From 1789 until the 1970s, a new senator had to rely upon the friendly advice of senior members or Senate officers and staff to learn the traditions and folkways of the Senate. Beginning in the 1970s, however, the Senate instituted a formal orientation program designed to help newly elected members become acquainted with the Capitol, learn the Senate’s rules and procedures, set up an office and hire staff, and participate in leadership elections. For many years, Senator Robert C. Byrd, the Senate’s longest-serving member, spoke to each freshman class, offering his advice and historical perspective.


The Opening of the United States Senate


At times, senators have been appointed or have come to office in unusual ways or during difficult periods of our national history, but every new senator faces similar challenges. For this reason, as former Senate Parliamentarian Floyd Riddick explains, every two years the Senate creates a “mini-school” for its new members.

Past Feature Articles

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