Senate Executive Business and the Executive Calendar Page: 1 of 2
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Order Code 98-709 GOV
Updated February 20, 2001
CRS Report for Congress
Received through the CRS Web
Senate Executive Business and the
Walter J. Oleszek
Government and Finance Division
In Article II of the Constitution, which addresses the executive branch, the Founding
Fathers assigned certain duties exclusively to the Senate. Among these obligations is
providing "advice and consent" to treaties and nominations. As the pertinent part of
Article II states:
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,
to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall
nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint [high
In effect, the Senate acts in a unicameral capacity when it is engaged in "executive
business" - so-called because the Senate and the chief executive are constitutionally
involved in considering treaties and nominations.
The Senate has responsibilities under both Article I (outlining legislative prerogatives)
and Article II of the Constitution. As a result, the upper body handles legislative and
executive business differently. Legislative business concerns measures and matters
associated with the Senate's lawmaking responsibilities under Article I; executive business,
as mentioned, consists of treaties and nominations. Some of the difference between the
two types can be illustrated by defining executive calendar, executive journal, and
executive session and then by discussing how treaties and nominations are handled by the
Executive Calendar and Executive Journal
The Senate maintains a separate Executive Calendar upon which treaties and
nominations are placed when they have been reported from committees. (Legislative
business is assigned to the Calendar of Business). The Executive Calendar is printed and
distributed separately to Senate offices when there is business on it. The Senate also keeps
a separate Executive Journal - as distinct from the Legislative Journal - for recording
executive session proceedings.
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Congressional Research Service
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Senate Executive Business and the Executive Calendar, report, February 20, 2001; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc815776/m1/1/: accessed April 25, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.