Who Are Some Prominent Members of the U.S. Congress?


Quick Answer

As of Nov. 12, 2015, some prominent members of the U.S. Congress include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Each of these congressmen have executive roles in their parties, in the proceedings of their respective house, or both.

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Full Answer

Parties in the House and Senate regularly conduct secret ballots in order to name their respective party leaders. Party leaders in Congress prioritize planned bills to present to the floor and confer with their fellow party members to ensure their overall political aims and individual needs are met. Majority leaders in the Senate, such as the incumbent Mitch McConnell, have the elevated role of moderating debates and directing the examination of bills, and they now enjoy the benefits of "first recognition," allowing them to speak first and set the tone during deliberations. The minority leader in the Senate, a position currently occupied by Harry Reid, receives second recognition.

As Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan wields the authority to ensure the House's internal procedures are followed. The Speaker often takes over the executive role of the majority leader to varying degrees, and he has the effective power to prevent some bills contrary to his party's agenda from moving forward. House Speakers rarely participate in debate. They usually have a more prominent role in day-to-day partisanship and when opting out of votes.

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