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How long does Congress last?

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Quick Answer

Each term of Congress last two years, and each term consists of two sessions that are each a year long. Senators serve six-year terms, and representatives serve two-year terms.

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Full Answer

After a general election, a new Congress is convened on Jan. 3 of the following odd-numbered year. The start date is sometimes changed when Jan. 3 falls on a weekend. By law Congress should end no later than July 31 every year unless the country is at war. If it does not adjourn by July 31, Congress must take a break in August. Outside normal sessions, the president has the authority to call a special session of Congress when deemed necessary.

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