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Democracy and Power 110: Majority Leader of the Senate and the Speaker of the House

In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning, and cruelty. —Leo Tolstoy

The first vote in a legislative session is the most important. The Senate and the House of Representatives vote for their leaders. The leadership positions are consistently decided by which party has the majority.

Why are the Speaker of the House and the Majority Leader of the Senate so important? They appoint the committees. Making sure they have the majority in all the committees, they appoint their loyal party members. Then, the majority party controls legislation.