Sen. Stevens is Senate president pro tempore

Posted: Wednesday, January 08, 2003

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The U.S. Senate has elected Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, as president pro tempore.

After his election Tuesday Stevens received a lenghty round of applause from the floor then quicly began moving resolutions and legislation in cooperation with Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn.

As Senate president pro tempore Stevens will preside over Senate sessions and is third in the line of succession to the presidency, behind the vice president and the speaker of the House.

Vice President Dick Cheney, who is officially the president of the Senate, administered the president pro tempore's oath to Stevens over two Bibles-one that Stevens carried as a cargo plane pilot in World War II and one that belonged to his grandmother.

While the new position gives Stevens the authority to preside over the Senate when Cheney is not present, in practice most presidents pro tempore turn the duty over to other senators on a rotating basis.

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