Vice President

The Vice President of the United States is second highest executive officer of the United States government, after the President.  The Vice President is the first person in the presidential line of succession, who will take over as President of the United States upon death, resignation, or removal of the President.  The Vice President is also the President of the Senate.  The Vice President presides over the Senate, but is allowed to vote in the Senate only when it is necessary to break a deadlock.  The Vice President also presides over joint sessions of Congress. 

The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people through an Electoral College for a term of four years.  The Twelfth Amendment states that “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice President of the United States.”  Therefore, to serve as Vice President, an individual must:

1)     Be a natural born citizen, or a citizen of United States.

2)     Have attained the age of thirty five years, and

3)     Have resided within the United States for a period of at least fourteen years.

Duties of the Vice President are:

1)     To cast a tie-breaking vote when the senate is in deadlock.

2)     To preside over and certify the official vote count of the U.S. Electoral College. 

3)     To preside over most of the impeachment trials of federal officers.

4)     To perform certain executive duties assigned either by President or Congress.

Article 1, Section 3 Clause 6 of the Constitution gives the Senate the power to remove impeached officials from office, given a two-thirds vote to convict.  No Vice President has ever been impeached.

Section 2 of the Twenty fifth Amendment provides that whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President nominates a Vice President who takes office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

The Vice President is a member of the National Security Council and serves on the board of the Smithsonian (which is an educational institution).  The Vice President is the first person in the presidential line of succession.  Upon incapacity, death, resignation, or removal from office of the President, the Vice President acts as the President of the United States.


Inside Vice President