What Does a Legislator Do?


Quick Answer

A legislator is an elected official who writes and votes on laws. The Legislative branch, or Congress, is one of the three arms of the government in the United States. Congress has the power to enact the legislation process. The other two arms of the U.S. government are the Executive and Judicial branches.

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Full Answer

The Legislative branch of the United States contains the House of Representatives and the Senate. These bodies form the U.S. Congress.

The 435 members of the House of Representatives are divided among the 50 states. In addition, six other nonvoting members of the House represent U.S. territories such as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The members of the House have the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officers and elect the President of the United States in the case of an electoral vote tie.

Similarly, two senators from each state form the Senate. The Senate has the power to ratify treaties and confirm Presidential appointments.

The Legislative process begins when a legislator introduces a bill to Congress, either in the House or the Senate. The bill then goes to various committees and subcommittees for review and revisions. When a committee approves a bill, it moves on to the House or Senate for consideration. When both houses of Congress approve a bill, it goes to the President for approval or veto.

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