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Political Parties

A political party is made up of individuals who organize to win elections, operate government, and influence public policy. The Democratic and Republican parties are currently the primary parties in Congress.


Political Parties in the Senate

Learn more about political party divisions in the U.S. Senate.

Party Division in the Senate, 1789-present

Senators Who Were Members of Third Parties

Senators Who Have Switched Parties since 1890

President's Death Eases Gridlock, September 20, 1881

Senate Policy Committees

In 1946, the Joint Committee on the Organization of Congress proposed that each house of Congress create party policy committees to develop a “unity of command” in Congress.

History of the Creation of Senate Policy Committees

Democratic Policy Committee Home Page

Republican Policy Committee Home Page

A History of the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, 1947-1997 (pdf)

Bibliography on Resources on Elections and Political Parties (pdf)

Related Items

Interested in related materials? Take a look at these Virtual Reference Desk subjects for more information.


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