He was elected to the 103rd, 104th, and 105th General Assemblies. He is Vice-Chair of the Senate Commerce, Labor and Agriculture Committee. He serves as a member of the Senate Transportation Committee, the Senate Environment, Conservation and Tourism Committee, the Senate Ethics Committee, and the Joint Fiscal Review Committee. He is currently the Republican Caucus Chaplain, and he has been appointed to the Financial Services Standing Committee of the National Conference on State Legislatures. In a March 2004 interview with The Tennessean, Steve Southerland stated that he is against abortion and he does not believe that civil unions and domestic partnerships should be allowed in Tennessee.