What is United State Congress?


Congress refers to the legislative branch of the United States federal government. It is a bicameral institution composed of two separate chambers:

1. House of Representatives:

  • The House of Representatives, often called the House, consists of 435 voting members.
  • Representation in the House is based on population, with each state allocated a number of representatives proportional to its population.
  • Members of the House serve two-year terms and are elected directly by constituents in specific districts within their respective states.

2. Senate:

  • The Senate is composed of 100 senators, with each state represented by two senators, regardless of the state’s population.
  • Senators serve staggered six-year terms, with approximately one-third of the Senate’s seats up for election every two years.
  • Senators are elected by the entire electorate of their respective states.

Functions of Congress:

  1. Lawmaking: Congress is responsible for proposing, debating, and passing federal legislation. Both chambers must pass identical versions of a bill for it to become law, after which it goes to the President for approval or veto.
  2. Representation: Members of Congress represent their constituents’ interests, address their concerns, and advocate for policies and laws that benefit the people they serve.
  3. Oversight: Congress conducts oversight of the executive branch, ensuring that government agencies and departments are operating efficiently, effectively, and within the law.

Role in Checks and Balances:

  • Congress acts as a check on the executive branch by approving presidential appointments, ratifying treaties, and overseeing the implementation of laws.
  • It holds the power of the purse, controlling federal spending and taxation, and can declare war.

United States Congress meets at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Capitol
The U.S. Capitol

Congress serves as the legislative body of the federal government, divided into two chambers—the House of Representatives and the Senate.

It plays a crucial role in lawmaking, representation, oversight, and maintaining the system of checks and balances within the U.S. government.

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