The leadership in Congress consists of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, majority and minority leaders for both houses, majority and minority whips for both houses and the President of the Senate, who is also the Vice President of the United States.

Presiding Officers

The President of the Senate, being the vice president, is elected by the Electoral College during presidential election years. The Speaker of the House, who presides over the House of Representatives, is officially elected by the representatives. In practicality, the decision regarding who will become Speaker of the House – and third in the line of succession to the presidency – is made before Congress meets by the party that holds the majority in the House.

Majority and Minority Leaders

Members of Congress from both major political parties choose a leader to represent them in each house of Congress. The party which holds a majority of the seats in a given house chooses the majority leader. The party which holds fewer seats chooses the minority leader. The majority leader of the House of Representatives serves as an assistant to the Speaker of the House. The minority leader of the House and both leaders of the Senate serve as their parties chief spokesperson to their respective chamber of Congress.

Majority and Minority Whips

Members of Congress from each party and chamber of Congress also select whips for their party. Whips are responsible for motivating congressional members of their party to vote in line with their party's priorities and for keeping track of how opposing members of Congress are likely to vote.