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018 How many U.S. Senators are there?

8. How many U.S. Senators are there?
Answer: One hundred (100)

The government of the United States was founded (or created) on the idea that the people who live in a country should be able to participate in the government. However, more than three hundred million people live in the United States. It would be virtually (or almost) impossible to get all of those people to meet together and make decisions as such a large group. That is why the U.S. government is based on a system of representation, with a few people voting and making decisions for arger groups of people. This representation is in two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The Senate has only 100 representatives and they are called senators. These senators represent the three hundred million people who live in the United States. This is a big job! Two senators are elected (or chosen) from each state, no matter how many people live in each state. This gives all fifty states equal representation. When people want to participate in their government, they should contact (or speak with or write to) their senators and other representatives.

Each of the senators has only one vote, so one senator is not more powerful than another senator. However, there are some special roles (or positions) in the Senate. For example, the vice president of the United States is the president of the Senate, but can vote only to break a tie, which is when an equal number of senators vote for and against something. The senators also elect a president pro tem who acts as the president of the Senate when the vice president of the United States cannot participate.

A political party is a group of people who have the same political beliefs and belong to the same political organization. In the U.S., there are currently two major political parties: the Democrats and the Republicans. In the Senate, each political party elects a leader. The leader of the party with the most number of senators is known as the majority leader and the leader for the party with fewer senators is called the minority leader. These people are sometimes called the floor leaders. They are the spokespeople, or the people who represent the political party in public.


virtually – almost; nearly; practically
* It was virtually impossible to get everyone to agree on which restaurant we would go to for dinner last night.

representation – having someone officially make decisions and vote for another person or for a group of people
* In a country with representation, it is very important for people to vote and decide who will represent them in making decisions.

to contact (someone) – to speak with someone or write to someone
* Please contact us if you have any questions or comments about our products.

a role – a position; a job; a function
* The project manager's role is to make sure that the engineers finish their work on time, without spending too much money.

to break a tie – to vote only when an equal number of people vote for or against something, so that one's vote decides the result
* Normally the four children vote to decide what to play, but when they cannot agree, their mother breaks the tie.

president pro tem – the member of the U.S. Senate who acts as the president of the Senate when the vice president of the United States cannot participate
* It is an honor to be named the president pro tem.

political party – a group of people who have the same political beliefs and belong to the same political organization
* Which political party do you belong to?

spokesperson – a person who officially represents and communicates to the public for a business, organization, or group
* When the company was having a lot of problems, only the spokesperson was allowed to speak to the reporters and journalists.