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Vice President of the United States

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Vice President of the
United States of America
US Vice President Seal.svg
Flag of the Vice President of the United States.svg
Carly Fiorina 2017 CPAC by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Incumbent
SELDOM237

since January 20, 2021
United States Senate
Executive branch of the U.S. Government
Office of the Vice President
StyleMadam Vice President
(informal)
The Honorable
(formal)
Madam President
(within the Senate)
Her Excellency
(diplomatic)
StatusSecond highest executive branch officer
President of the Senate
Member ofCabinet
National Security Council
National Space Counci
Residence Number One Observatory Circle
Seat Washington, D.C.
AppointerElection for a new term by the Electoral College or United States Senate
Nomination to fill a vacancy by the President of the United States with confirmation by Congress
Term lengthFour years, no term limit
Constituting instrumentConstitution of the United States
FormationMarch 4, 1789
(232 years ago)
 (1789-03-04)
First holderJohn Adams
SuccessionFirst
Salary$235,100 annually
Websitehttp://www.whitehouse.gov

The vice president of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government, after the president of the United States, and ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The vice president is also an officer in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate. In this capacity, the vice president is empowered to preside over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote. The vice president is indirectly elected together with the president to a four-year term of office by the people of the United States through the Electoral College.

The modern vice presidency is a position of significant power and is widely seen as an integral part of a president's administration. While the exact nature of the role varies in each administration, most modern vice presidents serve as a key presidential advisor, governing partner, and representative of the president. The vice president is also a statutory member of the National Security Council and thus plays a significant role in national security matters. As the vice president's role within the executive branch has expanded, the legislative branch role has contracted; for example, vice presidents now preside over the Senate only infrequently.

The role of the vice presidency has changed dramatically since the office was created during the 1787 Constitutional Convention. Originally something of an afterthought, the vice presidency was considered an insignificant office for much of the nation's history, especially after the Twelfth Amendment meant that vice presidents were no longer the runners-up in the presidential election. The vice president's role began steadily growing in importance during the 1930s, with the Office of the Vice President being created in the executive branch in 1939, and has since grown much further. Due to its increase in power and prestige, the vice presidency is now often considered to be a stepping stone to the presidency.

The Constitution does not expressly assign the vice presidency to any one branch, causing a dispute among scholars about which branch of government the office belongs to: 1) the executive branch, 2) the legislative branch, 3) both, or 4) neither.The modern view of the vice president as an officer of the executive branch – one isolated almost totally from the legislative branch – is due in large part to the assignment of executive authority to the vice president by either the president or Congress. Nevertheless, modern vice presidents have often previously served in Congress, and are often tasked with helping to advance an administration's legislative priorities.