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Thursday, August 29, 2013

Guide to Individuals Seated on the Senate Dais

Valerie Heitshusen
Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process

The Senate meets in the Senate chamber of the Capitol. Seated at the head of the chamber
on the top of a two-tiered dais is the presiding officer. Members are assigned to one of the
100 desks that are arranged in a semicircle facing the presiding officer. The center aisle in
the Senate chamber divides the political parties. Facing the presiding officer, Republicans sit to
the right of the center aisle, Democrats to the left. Senior Members usually sit the closest to the
dais and along the center aisle, although some choose other desks. The party floor leaders occupy
the front aisle desks, which may also be used by Senators who are managing floor consideration
of a bill or nomination. Seated around the presiding officer are various officers and employees of
the Senate who have defined roles, some of which are prescribed in Senate rules and others of
which are derived from precedent. A panoramic photograph of the Senate chamber can be found

Date of Report: August 13, 2013
Number of Pages: 4
Order Number: 98-397
Price: $19.95

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