Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate

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Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the U.S. Senate
Michael C. Stenger.jpg
Incumbent
Michael C. Stenger

since April 16, 2018
AppointerElected by the Senate
Term lengthUntil a successor is chosen
Inaugural holderJames Mathers
WebsiteSenate.gov/reference/office/sergeant_at_arms.htm

The Sergeant at Arms of the Senate or originally known as the Doorkeeper of the Senate[1] from the First Congress until the Eighth Congress (April 7, 1789 – March 3, 1803) is the highest-ranking federal law enforcement officer in the Senate of the United States. One of the chief roles of the sergeant at arms is to hold the gavel used at every session.[2] The Sergeant at Arms can also compel the attendance of an absent senator when ordered to do so by the Senate.[1]

With the Architect of the Capitol and the House Sergeant at Arms, he serves on the Capitol Police Board, responsible for security around the building.

The Sergeant at Arms can, upon orders of the Senate, arrest and detain any person who violates Senate rules,[1] or is found in contempt of Congress.[3]

The Sergeant at Arms is also the executive officer for the Senate and provides senators with computers, equipment, and repair and security services.[1]

In March 2014, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that Terrance W. Gainer was planning on retiring as Senate Sergeant at Arms, and would be replaced by Senate Deputy Sergeant at Arms Andrew B. Willison.[4] On January 6, 2015, the Senate swore in the sergeant at arms for the 114th Congress, Frank J. Larkin,[5] who later retired in early 2018.[6]

On April 16, 2018, after Frank J. Larkin retired, Michael C. Stenger was nominated as the 41st Sergeant at Arms under Senate Resolution 465, put forth by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. This resolution was submitted in the Senate, considered, and agreed to without amendment by unanimous consent.[7]

Sergeant at Arms Terrance Gainer (right) escorting President Obama to his 2011 State of the Union Address

Staff and organization

The office of the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate has between 800 and 900 staff, of the approximately 4,300 working for the Senate overall. Its budget is on the order of $200 million per year. Top officials reporting to the sergeant at arms include a deputy; a chief of staff; assistant sergeant at arms for intelligence and protective services; a CIO; an operations chief; Capitol operations; a general counsel; two legislative liaisons; and a CFO.[8]

The main office of the sergeant at arms is in the Postal Square Building in Washington, D.C. The core computer operations are in that building, and the staff manage Internet and intranet connections to offices of senators both in the Capitol complex and back in their home states.[8][9]

List of the Sergeants at Arms of the Senate

Officer State or Territory Tenure[1] Congress
James Mathers New York April 7, 1789 – September 2, 1811 1st12th
Mountjoy Bayly Maryland November 6, 1811 – December 9, 1833 12th23rd
John Shackford New Hampshire December 9, 1833 – August 16, 1837 23rd25th
Stephen Haight New York September 4, 1837 – January 12, 1841 25th26th
Edward Dyer Maryland March 8, 1841 – September 16, 1845 27th29th
Robert Beale Virginia December 9, 1845 – March 17, 1853 29th33rd
Dunning R. McNair Pennsylvania March 17, 1853 – July 6, 1861 33rd37th
George T. Brown Illinois July 6, 1861 – March 22, 1869 37th41st
John R. French New Hampshire March 22, 1869 – March 24, 1879 41st46th
Richard J. Bright Indiana March 24, 1879 – December 18, 1883 46th48th
William P. Canaday North Carolina December 18, 1883 – June 30, 1890 48th51st
Edward K. Valentine Nebraska June 30, 1890 – August 7, 1893 51st53rd
Richard J. Bright Indiana August 8, 1893 – February 1, 1900 53rd56th
Daniel M. Ransdell Indiana February 1, 1900 – August 26, 1912 56th62nd
E. Livingston Cornelius Maryland December 10, 1912 – March 4, 1913 62nd
Charles P. Higgins Missouri March 13, 1913 – March 3, 1919 63rd65th
David S. Barry Rhode Island May 19, 1919 – February 7, 1933 66th72nd
Chesley W. Jurney Texas March 9, 1933 – January 31, 1943 73rd78th
Wall Doxey Mississippi February 1, 1943 – January 3, 1947 78th79th
Edward F. McGinnis Illinois January 4, 1947 – January 2, 1949 80th
Joseph C. Duke Arizona January 3, 1949 – January 2, 1953 81st82nd
Forest A. Harness Indiana January 3, 1953 – January 4, 1955 83rd84th
Joseph C. Duke Arizona January 5, 1955 – December 30, 1965 84th89th
Robert G. Dunphy Rhode Island January 14, 1966 – June 30, 1972[10] 89th92nd
William H. Wannall Maryland July 1, 1972 – December 17, 1975 92nd94th
Frank "Nordy" Hoffman Maryland December 18, 1975 – January 4, 1981 94th97th
Howard S. Liebengood Virginia January 5, 1981 – September 12, 1983 97th98th
Larry E. Smith Virginia September 13, 1983 – June 2, 1985 98th99th
Ernest E. Garcia Kansas June 3, 1985 – January 5, 1987 99th100th
Henry K. Giugni Hawaii January 6, 1987 – December 31, 1990 100th101st
Martha S. Pope Connecticut January 3, 1991 – April 14, 1994 102nd103rd
Robert Laurent Benoit Maine April 15, 1994 – January 3, 1995 103rd
Howard O. Greene, Jr. Delaware January 4, 1995 – September 6, 1996 104th
Gregory S. Casey Idaho September 6, 1996 – November 9, 1998 104th105th
James W. Ziglar Mississippi November 9, 1998 – August 2, 2001 105th107th
Alfonso E. Lenhardt New York September 4, 2001 – March 16, 2003 107th108th
William H. Pickle Colorado March 17, 2003 – January 4, 2007 108th110th
Terrance W. Gainer Illinois January 4, 2007 – May 2, 2014 110th113th
Andrew B. Willison Ohio May 5, 2014 – January 6, 2015 113th114th
Frank J. Larkin Maryland January 6, 2015 – April 16, 2018 114th115th
Michael C. Stenger New Jersey April 16, 2018 – Present[7] 115th – present

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Sergeant at Arms". United States Senate. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  2. ^ "Office of the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper". United States Senate. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  3. ^ Wolfe, Jan (May 6, 2019). "Explainer: How hard-hitting are U.S. Congress subpoenas, contempt citations?". Reuters. Archived from the original on May 6, 2019. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Berman, Russell (March 20, 2014). "Senate sergeant at arms to retire". The Hill. Archived from the original on June 19, 2018.
  5. ^ "Frank J. Larkin". United States Senate. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
  6. ^ Lesniewski, Niels (February 26, 2018). "Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank Larkin to Retire". Roll Call. Archived from the original on February 27, 2018. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Mitch, McConnell (April 16, 2018). "S.Res.465 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A resolution electing Michael C. Stenger as Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate". Congress.gov. Archived from the original on February 12, 2019. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Testimony of Frank J. Larkin, Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the Senate to the Senate Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, Committee on Appropriations. March 1, 2016
  9. ^ Gantz, Stephen (March 8, 2010). "Senate sees exponential rise in computer attacks, might be time to rethink security posture, not just spend more to respond". Security Architecture. Archived from the original on October 6, 2019.
  10. ^ "Obituaries". The Washington Post. January 21, 2006. p. B05.[dead link]

External links

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