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Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate
|Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the U.S. Senate|
|Appointer||Elected by the Senate|
|Term length||Until a successor is chosen|
|Inaugural holder||James Mathers|
|This article is part of a series on the|
|United States Senate|
|History of the United States Senate|
|Politics and procedure|
The Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the United States Senate (originally just known as the Doorkeeper of the Senate from April 7, 1789 – 1798) is the highest-ranking federal law enforcement officer in the Senate of the United States. The Sergeant at Arms is also the executive officer for the Senate and provides senators with computers, equipment, and repair and security services. The office of the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate has between 800 and 900 staff.
The Sergeant at Arms is also the executive officer for the Senate and provides senators with computers, equipment, and repair and security services.
Staff and organization
The office of the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate has between 800 and 900 staff,[clarification needed] 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.
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 manages Internet and intranet connections to offices of senators both in the Capitol complex and back in their home states.
The Office of the Doorkeeper was created on April 7, 1789 during the 1st United States Congress to address the Senate's inability to keep a majority of senators in the Capitol long enough to meet quorum and conduct business. The Senate had first convened on March 4, 1789, but only met quorum for the first time on April 6, 1789, one day before the appointment of the first Doorkeeper, James C. Mathers. Because Senate sessions were held in private for the first six years, the Doorkeeper was in charge of access to those sessions. When the sessions became public, the Doorkeeper became in charge of security in the chamber and the gallery.
In 1798, the title of Sergeant at Arms was appended to the Office of the Doorkeeper after Mathers was authorized to compel former senator William Blount to return to Philadelphia and face an impeachment trial. Shortly afterwards the Sergeant at Arms was given additional powers to compel absent senators to attend sessions, which has typically been used to summon members when ending filibusters in the United States Senate.
In 1829, the sergeant at arms began supervising Senate pages, after the appointment of the first page. In 1854, the Senate's first postmaster and post office initially operated out of the sergeant at arms's office.
In 1867 the sergeant at arms was given regulation-making power to maintain, protect, and police the Capitol and the Senate Office Buildings. The sergeant at arms's role was also expanded to include serving as the Senate's wagon master and keeper of the Senate stables. In 1913, when the Senate purchased its first automobile for use by the vice president, the sergeant at arms also became responsible for leasing, maintenance, traffic control, and parking of all cars around the Capitol.
In 1897, James D. Preston, a doorkeeper in the Senate Press Gallery working under the sergeant at arms, began helping the reporters with collecting legislative bills, gathering information, and organizing interviews with senators. Preston was eventually installed as the first superintendent of the Senate Press Gallery. As new forms of media emerged in the 1930s and 1940s, this superintendent role expanded in parallel.
On January 7, 2021, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer announced that he would fire the incumbent Sergeant at Arms, Michael C. Stenger, if he was not fired or did not resign prior to Schumer's being appointed as Senate Majority Leader. This announcement was made the day after the Capitol Building was infiltrated by a violent group of supporters of President Donald Trump. The act resulted in the death of at least 5 people and damage within the building itself. On the same day, Mitch McConnell, the outgoing Senate Majority Leader, asked for and received Stenger's resignation, effective immediately. Deputy Sergeant at Arms Jennifer Hemingway was announced by McConnell as the acting sergeant-at-arms.
List of the Sergeants at Arms of the Senate
|No.||Officer||State or Territory||Tenure||Congress|
|1||James Mathers||New York||April 7, 1789 – September 2, 1811||1st – 12th|
|2||Mountjoy Bayly||Maryland||November 6, 1811 – December 9, 1833||12th – 23rd|
|3||John Shackford||New Hampshire||December 9, 1833 – August 16, 1837||23rd – 25th|
|4||Stephen Haight||New York||September 4, 1837 – January 12, 1841||25th – 26th|
|5||Edward Dyer||Maryland||March 8, 1841 – September 16, 1845||27th – 29th|
|6||Robert Beale||Virginia||December 9, 1845 – March 17, 1853||29th – 33rd|
|7||Dunning R. McNair||Pennsylvania||March 17, 1853 – July 6, 1861||33rd – 37th|
|8||George T. Brown||Illinois||July 6, 1861 – March 22, 1869||37th – 41st|
|9||John R. French||New Hampshire||March 22, 1869 – March 24, 1879||41st – 46th|
|10||Richard J. Bright||Indiana||March 24, 1879 – December 18, 1883||46th – 48th|
|11||William P. Canaday||North Carolina||December 18, 1883 – June 30, 1890||48th – 51st|
|12||Edward K. Valentine||Nebraska||June 30, 1890 – August 7, 1893||51st – 53rd|
|13||Richard J. Bright||Indiana||August 8, 1893 – February 1, 1900||53rd – 56th|
|14||Daniel M. Ransdell||Indiana||February 1, 1900 – August 26, 1912||56th – 62nd|
|15||E. Livingston Cornelius||Maryland||December 10, 1912 – March 4, 1913||62nd|
|16||Charles P. Higgins||Missouri||March 13, 1913 – March 3, 1919||63rd – 65th|
|17||David S. Barry||Rhode Island||May 19, 1919 – February 7, 1933||66th – 72nd|
|18||Chesley W. Jurney||Texas||March 9, 1933 – January 31, 1943||73rd – 78th|
|19||Wall Doxey||Mississippi||February 1, 1943 – January 3, 1947||78th – 79th|
|20||Edward F. McGinnis||Illinois||January 4, 1947 – January 2, 1949||80th|
|21||Joseph C. Duke||Arizona||January 3, 1949 – January 2, 1953||81st – 82nd|
|22||Forest A. Harness||Indiana||January 3, 1953 – January 4, 1955||83rd – 84th|
|23||Joseph C. Duke||Arizona||January 5, 1955 – December 30, 1965||84th – 89th|
|24||Robert G. Dunphy||Rhode Island||January 14, 1966 – June 30, 1972||89th – 92nd|
|25||William H. Wannall||Maryland||July 1, 1972 – December 17, 1975||92nd – 94th|
|26||Frank "Nordy" Hoffman||Indiana||December 18, 1975 – January 4, 1981||94th – 97th|
|27||Howard Liebengood||Virginia||January 5, 1981 – September 12, 1983||97th – 98th|
|28||Larry E. Smith||Virginia||September 13, 1983 – June 2, 1985||98th – 99th|
|29||Ernest E. Garcia||Kansas||June 3, 1985 – January 5, 1987||99th – 100th|
|30||Henry K. Giugni||Hawaii||January 6, 1987 – December 31, 1990||100th – 101st|
|31||Martha S. Pope||Connecticut||January 3, 1991 – April 14, 1994||102nd – 103rd|
|32||Robert Laurent Benoit||Maine||April 15, 1994 – January 3, 1995||103rd|
|33||Howard O. Greene, Jr.||Delaware||January 4, 1995 – September 6, 1996||104th|
|34||Gregory S. Casey||Idaho||September 6, 1996 – November 9, 1998||104th – 105th|
|35||James W. Ziglar||Mississippi||November 9, 1998 – August 2, 2001||105th – 107th|
|36||Alfonso E. Lenhardt||New York||September 4, 2001 – March 16, 2003||107th – 108th|
|37||William H. Pickle||Colorado||March 17, 2003 – January 4, 2007||108th – 110th|
|38||Terrance W. Gainer||Illinois||January 4, 2007 – May 2, 2014||110th – 113th|
|39||Andrew B. Willison||Ohio||May 5, 2014 – January 6, 2015||113th – 114th|
|40||Frank J. Larkin||Maryland||January 6, 2015 – April 16, 2018||114th – 115th|
|41||Michael C. Stenger||New Jersey||April 16, 2018 – January 7, 2021||115th – 117th|
|acting||Jennifer Hemingway (acting)||January 7, 2021 – Present||117th – Present|
- "Sergeant at Arms". United States Senate. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- "Office of the Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper". United States Senate. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- "Sergeant At Arms". United States Senate. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
- Aide to Mitchell Selected by Senate as Its First Woman Sergeant-at-Arms, Los Angeles Times
- "Schumer says he will fire Senate sergeant-at-arms over Capitol breach: Politico". Reuters. 2021-01-07. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
- Steinberg, Jennifer Elias,Kevin Breuninger,Marty (2021-01-07). "More than 50 police officers were injured at the pro-Trump riot at the Capitol". CNBC. Retrieved 2021-01-07.
- Everett, Burgess; Cayble, Heather (January 7, 2021). "Top Capitol security officials sacked after deadly riot". Politico. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
- Carney, Jordain (January 7, 2021). "McConnell ousts Senate sergeant-at-arms after Capitol riots". The Hill. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
- "Obituaries". The Washington Post. January 21, 2006. p. B05.[dead link]
- 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.
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