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What is a U.S. representative?

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Quick Answer

A U.S. representative serves in the United States House of Representatives on behalf of the people of a specific congressional district. Also known as congressmen or congresswomen, representatives introduce and vote on bills and resolutions and serve on commissions. U.S. representatives must be at least 25 years old, live in the states they represent and be U.S. citizens for at least seven years before running for election.

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Full Answer

The U.S. House of Representatives is part of the legislative branch of the government, and one of the major duties of representatives is introducing and voting on federal laws. Representatives listen to their constituents and members of their political parties and attempt to introduce and pass bills and laws that benefit them. Representatives also attempt to raise revenue for their districts through taxes.

Representatives also serve on House committees. These groups have legislative authorities in different areas of government, including agriculture, budget, science, transportation and veterans’ affairs. Representatives on different committees consider relevant issues and recommend bills and other measures to the rest of the House. Committee members also monitor and supervise agencies and programs related to their jurisdictions.

House representatives may also serve on commissions, which are temporary or permanent advisory bodies created to address specific issues. The House typically creates the commissions through the passage of laws or House resolutions. Examples of House commissions include the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and the Congressional Executive Commission on China.

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