The Corner

The Senate and the VP

Is the VP of the Senate?  Well, he has offices right off the Senate floor.  Golly, even I got to check out Cheney’s not-so-secret lair in the Capitol Building when I worked there for the Senate Majority Leader — and I was a just a lowly staffer.  Surely Biden, in his three decades in the Senate, has ducked in once or twice.    It’s really nice and spacious.

The vice president has a staff and offices in the Everett M. Dirksen Senate Office Building, near the Capitol, to assist with legislative matters, as well as a personal office near the Senate lobby.

The cornerstone of the first Senate Office Building was laid without fanfare on July 31, 1906, and the building admitted its first occupants on March 5, 1909… The vice president also occupied a small suite of rooms.

While tradition dictates that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court administers the oath of office to the President-elect, a variety of officials have administered the oath to Vice Presidents. The president pro tempore of the Senate administered the oath to the first three Vice Presidents—John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Aaron Burr—and to many Vice Presidents from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century.

Until 1937, most Vice Presidents took the oath of office in the Senate chamber, prior to the President’s swearing-in ceremony. This made the Vice President’s swearing-in ceremony distinct and separate from the President’s.


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