How Do I Describe the Five Roles of a Member of Congress?

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Members of Congress have five roles they are expected to assume throughout their terms: legislator, representative, committee member, servant of their constituents and politician. Each role entails specific responsibilities and duties, but many of the elements of these roles overlap.

As legislators, members of Congress are expected to pass and propose laws that have a positive impact on the state or district they represent. Along the same lines, the role of committee member is an important Congressional role because laws are analyzed in committees before they are voted on.

The role of representative means a member of Congress represents the legal interests and choices of their constituents. However, there are two styles of representation in Congress: delegate and trustee. A delegate style of representation involves responding to the wishes of constituents. A trustee style involves the individual members of Congress using their own judgment when making decisions without specific reference to their constituents’ wishes. The role of servant to constituents is very similar and involves serving constituents through representing a state or district in Congress.

The final role of politician involves campaigning to find out what voters want and working toward those goals. The role of politician also involves representation of the member’s political party in Congress.