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U.S. Senate procedures

U.S. Senate procedures refers to the parliamentary procedure used in the United States Senate. These procedures have a number of distinctive characteristics, some of which arise from the fact that it is a relatively small legislative body.

Within the Senate, debate is not strictly limited as it is in the House of Representatives. This allows a senator to talk about a bill indefinately by means of a fillibuster unless 60 senators agree to invoke the cloture rule[?].

The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice-President of the United States. By strong convention and in contrast to the procedure in the House of Representatives, the Vice-President does not use his powers in a partisan manner and does not lobby for legislation within the Senate.

Senators are also by convention allowed to place a hold on a bill, and appointments to local federal office are usually made with consultation with a senator if the senator is the President's party.

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