Type in a career question:

What does a Senator do?

1 Answer(s)
Top Answer
Talent.com talent.com
Answered March 01 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Senators perform a vital role in the functioning of the legislature. In the United States, there are two Senators per state. Because the work of Senators is quite complicated and labor-intensive, the Senate is divided into committees. These include Veteran Affairs, Budget, and Housing. Within these committees, Senators review the proposed bill, attend expert hearings, propose amendments, and bring amended bills to a vote in front of the Senate. There are sixteen standing or permanent committees, joint committees between the House and the Senate, and select committees tasked with a specific issue to investigate. The party decides committee assignments.  

For bills to become laws, the Senate and the House of Representatives need to agree on the law's format and wording before sending it to the President for approval. Therefore, both branches have equal powers in bill amendments and approvals.  

Senators have exclusive power to confirm or deny presidential appointments, including judges who sit on the Supreme Court and members of the President's cabinet, federal judges, and ambassadors.  

Senators also must consent to all international relations treaties, a deliberate design to check on the President's powers and ensure that all states are well represented in foreign relations. 

Average Day of a Senator

Senators do most of their Washington-based work on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. There is a standing expectation that they go back to their home states and meet with constituents in their communities for the rest of the week. While in Washington, their days are full of committee hearings, floor votes, working lunches, and public appearances. Fundraiser dinners are often held in the evenings, which Senators are expected to attend for their campaigns or one of their fellow party members' campaigns. 

Their staff sets up briefings for them to understand what kind of votes are coming up on the Senate floor and how their party expects them to vote.  

Senators are also the leaders of large teams of staff. While their Chief of Staff handles most of the day-to-day work operations, Senators need to be present to answer questions from their staff and guide their office management.  

Senators often start their days very early in the morning, sometimes as early as 4 am, and work well past 8 or 9 pm in the evenings.