November 18, 2004
The President Pro Tempore is traditionally the longest-serving member of the majority party in the Senate. Senator Stevens became the most senior Republican in the Senate upon the retirement of Senator Strom Thurmond in 2002; Stevens has served in the Senate for 36 years. Stevens replaced Senator Robert Byrd (D-W.VA.), the longest-serving Democrat in the Senate, as President Pro Tempore when the Republicans became the majority party in the Senate in 2002.
The U.S. Constitution provides for a President Pro Tempore to preside over the Senate in the absence of the Vice President. The President Pro Tempore is also the third person in line of succession for the Presidency, following the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. In addition, the President Pro Tempore serves as a member of his party's leadership team.
"It is an honor to continue to serve this very distinguished Republican leadership team. As President Pro Tem, I am committed to working with our Majority Leader to fulfill the obligations he has undertaken. I am delighted to serve as President Pro Tem," said Stevens.
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