When members of Congress are elected to office, many, not all, seek leadership positions within the party. In other words, there are often two roles that congressional members hold: (1) representative, and (2) party leader. The most prominent leadership positions are: Speaker of the House, Majority leader, Minority leader, Majority Whip, Minority Whip. These positions exist in the House of Representatives as well as the Senate (Except for the position of Speaker). The purpose of these positions is to organize the party members to strategize legislative votes, priorities and overall agenda. The parties like their congressional members to remain loyal and unified. However, as we have discussed in the first chapter, individuals (including elected officials) maintain differing political ideologies, even if they are from the same political party. Consequently, party leaders have many things to contemplate as they enact and pursue legislation.
An analogy for better understanding would be myself in my role as a full-time college professor. I play various roles on campus. Primarily, I am an instructor of Political Science. However, I also undertake many administrative functions for the Political Science Department, serve on the Academic Senate, act as advisor to the Political Science Club etc…..Many of these duties are meant to service the teaching side of my duties and to better facilitate the mission the College attempts to achieve day in and day out. This division of labor duties is the same division of labor, but on a much larger scale, that members of congress undertake in their dual roles.
Remember, not all congressional members maintain leadership positions. The most ambitious and senior members assume these roles.
Your assignment is the following:
(1)Properly identify the current Majority Leader, Minority Leader, Majority Whip, and Minority Whip from both the House of Representatives and the Senate,
(2) Define and describe the functions of those primary leadership positions,
(3) State how many leadership positions there in fact are in both the House and the Senate. List all of the leadership roles.