The House and the Senate both create legislation and vote on it. They are also filled by elected representatives. The House and the Senate also have investigatory powers.Continue Reading
The Constitution originally stated that senators would be selected by legislatures in the states they represent. This was largely due to the authors' reluctance to make the United States too democratic. Changes that occur too quickly, they reasoned, can be counterproductive, and unelected senators serving lengthy terms could prevent bad legislation from passing.
Since the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators have been directly elected by eligible citizens of the states they represent. Unlike members of the House, however, senators are elected to six-year terms instead of two-year terms. There are also two senators per state compared to a number of representatives based on the state's population, which gives smaller states comparatively more power. Senators have more oversight than their counterparts in the House; presidential appointees must be approved by the Senate before they can serve.
The fundamentals of both the House and the Senate, however, are similar. The meet at the same time, and they often work together when crafting legislation. While certain types of bills can only start in the House, most legislation can start in either body.Learn more about Branches of Government
Today, the two houses of Congress, the House of Representatives and the Senate, are broadly similar, and they both craft and vote on legislation. The House must initiate budget-related bills, and the Senate has oversight for presidential nomination.Full Answer >
A quorum requires that there must be 51 senators present in order for the Senate to do business, while the House requires that the majority of the membership - or 218 representatives - are present. The number required for the House of Representatives may vary if there are absences.Full Answer >
The U.S. Senate passes and votes on legislation, approves international agreements from the executive branch, confirms presidential appointees and conducts hearings against government officials suspected of wrongdoing. A senator must also interact with constituents.Full Answer >
The Senate is mandated to carry out a number of functions including legislation, assenting to treaties, impeaching public officials, expulsion of members, vetting government appointments and investigating malpractice. The Senate has 100 officially elected members with each state producing two.Full Answer >