Government Legislative Branch

Topics: United States Senate, United States House of Representatives, United States Congress Pages: 5 (1411 words) Published: July 14, 2013
The Legislative Branch is made up of the two houses of Congress—the Senate and the House of Representatives. The most important duty of The Legislative Branch is to make laws on a particular Bill, which are written, discussed, and voted on amongst Congress.

In the Senate there are 100 senators, two from each state. Senators are elected by their states and serve six-year terms. The Vice President of the United States is considered the head of the Senate, but does not vote in the Senate unless there is a tie. The Senate approves nominations made by the President to the Cabinet, the Supreme Court, federal courts and other posts. The Senate must ratify all treaties by a two-thirds vote.

The House of Representatives contains 435 representatives. The number of representatives each state gets is based on its population. According to Factmonster.com, “California has many more representatives than Rhode Island. When Census figures determine that the population of a state has changed significantly, the number of representatives in that state may shift proportionately. Representatives are elected by their states and serve two-year terms. The Speaker of the House, elected by the representatives, is considered the head of the House.”

The Senate and the House of Representatives share several functions. Both regulate interstate commerce, interstate communication, interstate transportation, the U.S. Mint, and the supply of money. Both also create courts and declare war on foreign countries.

House members represent a certain district in each state. This means that members will stay in touch with their local state government allowing them to connect citizens with what is going on in Washington. In doing so, House members will be more aware of their opinions and needs and be able to advocate for them. Also, one major job duties of The House will be to raise revenue through taxes. They will also participate in committees to study bills, hold public hearings, get expert testimony, and listen to votes so that legislation can be passed.

The primary function of both the House of Representatives and the Senate is to make laws. First the bill is drafted, and then a senator introduces it. The bill is then referred to a committee for review. After the committee has reviewed the bill, it is debated in the Senate, and senators propose amendments in relation to the bill and determine whether it should be passed or not. If the bill passes, it is then sent to the House of Representatives and then returned to the Senate. If the House of Representatives do not change the bill, the Senate signs the bill and delivers it to the White House. The President either signs the bill to make it a law, or vetoes it.

Another important part of a senator's job is representing his or her state in national issues. Most senators spend a good amount of time talking to the residents of their home state about issues of importance to them.

“Part of being in The Senate it is their responsibility to hold all impeachment hearings for government officials. In impeachment hearings, the Senate Chamber is used as a courtroom, and a committee of representatives acts as the prosecutor. If two-thirds of the Senate votes to convict the official, he or she is removed from office,” states eHow.com.

The Senate also approves the executive branch's treaties. To make Senate negotiations easier, some presidents have brought senators with them to treaty negotiations.

The Constitution requires that U.S. senators must be at least 30 years of age, citizens of the United States for at least nine years, and residents of the states from which they are elected. Members of the House of Representatives must be at least 25, citizens for seven years, and residents of the states which send them to Congress. The states may set additional requirements for election to Congress, but the Constitution gives each house the power to determine the...

Cited: 1. http://www.factmonster.com/ipka/A0774837.html
2. http://www.ehow.com/job-description-house-representative.html
3. http://www.ehow.com/duties-responsibilities-senators.html
4. http://www.house.gov/content/learn/
5. http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/lists/celebrity-salary/senator-salary/
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