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United States Senate Minority Leader

The Senate Minority Leader is a member of the United States Senate who is elected by his party conference to serve as the chief Senate spokesmen for his party and to manage and schedule the legislative and executive business of the Senate. By custom, the Presiding Officer gives the Minority Leader priority in obtaining recognition to speak on the floor of the Senate.

The term Floor Leaders refers to both the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader.

The current Minority Leader is Tom Daschle. Minority Leaders since 1980:

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Robert Byrd  (D-WV)
Bob Dole (R-KS)
Tom Daschle (D-SD)
1995-January 3, 2001
Trent Lott (R-MS)
January 3-January 20, 20011
Tom Daschle (D-SD) January 20-June 6, 20012
Trent Lott (R-MS) June 6, 2001-20023
Bill Frist (R-TN)
Tom Daschle (D-SD) 2003-present

This information is from


1 Before the swearing in of George W. Bush, The Democrats held the Majority in a split Senate, due to Al Gore's deciding vote.

2 After the swearing in of George W. Bush, The Republicans held the Majority in a split Senate, due to Dick Cheney's deciding vote.

3 Jim Jeffords became an Independent who caucuses with Democrats on May 24, 2001. The change took effect on June 6, 2001. This gave the Democrats a working majority of 51 seats.