Along with the judicial and executive branches, the legislative branch is part of the federal government of the United States. The legislative branch is home to two similar but distinctly different groups: the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
The House of Representative features 435 total representatives. While there are members of Congress from every state, the number of congressmen a state receives is dependant upon the population of the state. For example, because California has a larger population than North Carolina, as of August 2014, California has 53 representatives, while North Carolina has 13. A member of Congress is elected for a period of two years. To run for Congress, a person must be at least 25 years old and must have been a citizen of the United States for seven years.
Each state is allowed two senators in the U.S. Senate. Senators serve terms of six years but may run for re-election as many times as they'd like. A senator must be at least 30 years old and must have been a citizen of the United States for at least nine years. In order for a bill to become a law, it goes through the legislative process, which means that both Congress and the Senate debate and approve it.Learn More
The vice president of the United States is the president of the Senate. In this capacity, the vice president acts as the presiding officer when present on the Senate floor. In the vice president's absence, a president pro tempore officiates Senate proceedings.Full Answer >
The formal qualifications to run for U.S. Congress are fewer than the informal qualifications that have been developed and altered over time. Informal qualifications change as new priorities emerge within the American political system. The formal qualifications for a candidate for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate are listed in Article I of the U.S. Constitution.Full Answer >
Anyone wishing to find his congressman should visit the Find Your Representative page at the official U.S. House of Representatives website. Enter the zip code, and the matching congressman's website and contact page will be displayed.Full Answer >
The United States Congress shares foreign relations power with the president. The legislative and the executive branches both play important and different roles in initiating and changing foreign policy.Full Answer >