FLOOR LEADER. Floor leaders are senators and representatives elected at the beginning of each Congress by their respective parties. They champion party positions, drive legislative strategy, rally support and orchestrate roll call votes. Although key members of Congress were referred to by the press as party leaders in the nineteenth century, the Democrats did not formally designate floor leaders until 1920, the Republicans in 1925.
The ruling party's selection becomes the majority leader. This person establishes the daily legislative schedule. When several members seek to address the chamber, the majority leader has the right of first recognition. This power allows the leader to propose amendments, substitutes, and motions before any other.
Ardis, Lawrence, ed. Party Leaders in Congress, 1789–2002: Vital Statistics and Biographical Sketches. New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2002.