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President Pro Tempore


A constitutionally recognized officer of the Senate who presides over the chamber in the absence of the vice president. The president pro tempore (or, "president for a time") is elected by the Senate and is, by custom, the senator of the majority party with the longest record of continuous service. This index page provides links to information on the origins and authority of the office and the pro tempore's role in presidential succession.


Origins and Development

   President Pro Tempore of the Senate: History and Authority of the Office (CRS) (pdf)

Constitutional Authority   Article 1, section 3
            President Pro Tempore Briefing: Constitutional Authority

Powers & Procedure

Rules:   Appointment of a senator to the chair, Rule 1
Role in the Senate
President Pro Tempore Briefing: Role in the Senate
The first Day of a New Congress: A Guide to Proceedings on the Senate Floor (CRS) (pdf)
Historical Minutes
Presiding Officer Stripped of Powers March 4, 1825
Senate Deadlocked May 11, 1911

Presidential Succession

President Pro Tempore Briefing: Presidential Succession
Selected Events
The Senate Passes the Presidential Succession Act February 20, 1792
President for a Day (Atchison) March 4, 1849
The President Signs the Presidential Succession Act (Truman) July 18, 1947

Presidents Pro Tempore

   List of Presidents Pro Tempore: 1789- Present   Current Senate Leadership

Related Links   President of the Senate