The U.S. Congress Summary

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Political Science ・APA ・3 Sources

The constitution of the United States is made up of the legislature's upper and lower houses of Congress. Article one of the United States Constitution sets down numerous powers, as well as the structure of the Upper Chamber, composed of senators who are elected and who serve for a term of six years. Despite the diverse demographics of states, each state is served by two senatorial delegates. The representative of the Upper House is the U.S. vice president. One must be 30 years of age, or at least nine years of United States residency, and must be a resident of that state to be elected as a senator. The Senate and the House of Representatives in the United States differ in the following ways; each state has two senatorial representatives and varying numbers of representatives, according to the different states population.  The Senate represents different states while the House of Representatives directly represents the people. Representatives and senators serve a term of office of 2 years and 6 years respectively, this helps to ensure that they perform their duties quickly and senators focus more on legislation. Senate approves some presidential treaties and decisions such as appointments of some government officials and senior civil servants. While the House has no say (Vile, 2014, p. 106). The speaker of the House is also the chair of the House and a member of the body too, while the vice president is the chair of the Senate and a member. Qualifications for the House of Representatives is that one must be 25years old and lived in the united states for 7years while that of the Senate is that one must be 30years old and above and live in the united states for at least 9years. The Senate is the smallest of the two chambers consisting of 100 Senators while the House is the largest chamber with 435 representatives lastly the Senate has unlimited debate due to its small numbers while the House has a limited debate.

The United States Congress is granted power by the constitution of United States in article 1 section 8 as follows (Blakesley Lindsay, 2012, p. 87); Congress has the power of declaring war on other nations and also has the authority of borrowing money on behalf of united states, it also has the responsibility of establishing post roads and offices. Congress has powers of formulating and regulating rules for the government, land and naval forces which is granted by the constitution. Another role of the Congress is to encourage and promote the growth and development of useful arts and science by securing inventors and authors time, lastly, Congress provide and maintain the navy and to regulate commerce within and outside the United States.

The Congress checks the president by rejecting treaties negotiated by the president, rejecting judges appointed by the president, refusal of authorizing presidential initiative fund and lastly Congress can impeach the president. Similarly, the Congress checks the judiciary by proposing constitutional amendments to overrule the judicial decision, rejecting presidential appointments of the federal judiciary, impeaching federal judges and making expectation to judiciary’s appellate jurisdiction.

Political parties in the United States are organized in different ways. This is where different parties have different principals, platforms, goals and objectives, and slogans. There are also different parties like Democratic Party, Republican Party etc. The leader of the party becomes presidential flag bearer. The speaker of the house has the following role administering the oath of office and calling the house to order among others while the role of the Senate majority leader is being a chief spokesperson for the majority party.

A bill passes the following steps before becoming a law; the bill is introduced in the house of representatives by a representative and the speaker sends the bill to the standing committee, the committee revise, research and review it, they approve it and send it to the house floor where the bill is debated by representatives whom may change some clauses and then the bill is ready to be voted. If the bill is elected by the majority it is delivered to the US Senate, where it goes similar process like that of the representatives’ stage and now presented to the president. The president may decide to sign and pass the bill, veto or pocket veto. If a bill passes both US Senate and House of Representatives and approved by the President or in case of an overridden Presidential veto, the bill becomes a law (Hampton, 2014, p. 65).


Blakesley Lindsay, E. (2012). Biographical Directory of the US Congress, 1774‐present2002185Biographical Directory of the US Congress, 1774‐present. Washington, DC: US Congress 2002. Gratis URL: Last visited January 2002. Reference Reviews, 16(4), 16-16. doi:10.1108/rr.2002.

Hampton, T. (2014). VA Overhaul Bill Becomes Law. JAMA, 312(10), 991. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.12271

Vile, J. R. (2014). The Nation and the States. The United States Constitution. doi:10.1057/9781137513502.0007

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