Difference between revisions of "United States Congress"

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====Word meaning====
 
====Word meaning====
The term ''congress'' not only refers to the collective legislative body, but also to a specific two-year period. For example, the congress for the years 2011-2012 is also called the ''112th U.S. Congress''.<ref>[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/congress?s=t ''Dictionary.com'', "Congress"]</ref><ref>[http://www.house.gov/ ''The U.S. House of Representatives'']</ref>
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The term ''congress'' not only refers to the collective legislative body, but also to a specific two-year period. For example, the congress for the years 2011-2012 is also called the ''[[112th U.S. Congress]]''.<ref>[http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/congress?s=t ''Dictionary.com'', "Congress"]</ref><ref>[http://www.house.gov/ ''The U.S. House of Representatives'']</ref>
  
 
===U.S. Constitution===
 
===U.S. Constitution===

Revision as of 16:09, 3 May 2014

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the United States of America federal government. It consists of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives, with members chosen through direct election.
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Overview

General overview

Congress meets in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C..

Senate

See also: United States Senate

The Senate is the upper house of Congress. Each U.S state is represented by two senators, regardless of population. This ensures equal representation of each state in the Senate. U.S. Senators serve staggered six-year terms.

According to the U.S. Constitution, Senators must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 30 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen for at least nine years
  • Be a resident of the state he or she represents

House of Representatives

See also: United States House of Representatives

The United States House of Representatives, commonly referred to as "the House," is the lower house of Congress. Each state receives representation in the House in proportion to its population, but is entitled to at least one Representative. The total number of voting representatives is currently fixed at 435. There are also five delegates and one resident commissioner, who do not have full voting rights. House representatives serve two-year terms.[1]

According to the U.S. Constitution, Representatives must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 25 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen for at least seven years
  • Be a resident of the state he or she represents

Word meaning

The term congress not only refers to the collective legislative body, but also to a specific two-year period. For example, the congress for the years 2011-2012 is also called the 112th U.S. Congress.[2][3]

U.S. Constitution

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.[4]

United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 1

Senate amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

The formation and powers of congress are laid out in ten sections of Article I of the United States Constitution:

  • Section 1: Gives all legislative powers to Congress
  • Section 2: Defines the basic formation of the House of Representatives and the qualifications for its members
  • Section 3: Defines the basic formation of the Senate and the qualifications for its members
  • Section 4: Defines how elections are held
  • Section 5: Defines how legislative meetings should be conducted
  • Section 6: Gives compensation for services to members, provides certain freedoms from arrest during sessions, limits membership in other civil offices
  • Section 7: Defines how bills originate and become law
  • Section 8: Lists specific powers granted to congress
  • Section 9: Provides limits to certain powers
  • Section 10: Limits certain powers of the states

Current leadership and partisan balance

Leadership

Partisan balance

Senate Partisan Balance
Party As of September 2014
Democratic 53
Republican 45
Independent 2
Total 100
House Partisan Balance
Party As of September 2014
Democratic 199
Republican 234
Vacancies 2
Total 435

Elections

2014

See also: United States Congress elections, 2014

A total of 471 seats will be up for election on November 4, 2014.

U.S. House

See also: United States House of Representatives elections, 2014 and U.S. House battleground districts, 2014

All 435 seats of the U.S. House are up for election in 2014. To regain control of the House, Democrats would need a pick-up of 15 seats. According to original analysis by Ballotpedia, only 27 congressional districts will be truly competitive in 2014.

U.S. Senate

See also: United States Senate elections, 2014

The 33 Class II U.S. Senate seats are up for election. Of those 33 seats, 20 are currently held by Democrats and 13 by Republican senators. Additionally, three special elections will take place in 2014 to fill vacancies that occurred during the 113th Congress (Hawaii, Oklahoma and South Carolina). All three of these special elections will also take place on November 4, 2014, for a total of 36 Senate elections.

2012

See also: United States Congress elections, 2012

A total of 468 seats in the U.S. Congress were up for election on November 6, 2012.

U.S. House

In a year where Barack Obama won re-election by 126 electoral votes, the Republican party maintained their control of the U.S. House winning 234 seats. The Democrats did make some gains, winning 201 seats. This is up from the 193 seats they held prior to the election.[5] This election marks only the fourth time in 100 years that the party that pulled the most total popular votes nationwide did not win control of the House.[6]

U.S. Senate

The Democratic Party retained control over the chamber, winning 25 of the 33 seats. With Republican candidates winning only eight seats, this was the worst performance by a major party since the 1950s.[5]

Congressional committees

U.S. House

Congressional committees (House)

Page:
United States House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Small Business    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Budget    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Intelligence (Permanent Select)    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Veterans' Affairs    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Ethics    
United States House of Representatives Committee on Rules    
United States House of Representatives Committee on House Administration    
United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources    

U.S. Senate

Congressional committees (Senate)

Page:
United States Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation    
United States Senate Committee on Appropriations    
United States Senate Committee on Armed Services    
United States Senate Committee on Aging (Special)    
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary    
United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs    
United States Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry    
United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions    
United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations    
United States Senate Committee on Budget    
United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works    
United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs    
United States Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources    
United States Senate Committee on Intelligence (Select)    
United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship    
United States Senate Committee on Finance    
United States Senate Committee on Ethics (Select)    
United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration    
United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs    
United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs    

Joint committees

Congressional committees (Joint)

Page:
United States Congress Joint Economic Committee    
United States Congress Joint Committee on Taxation    
United States Congress Joint Committee on the Library    
United States Congress Joint Committee on Printing    

Recent news

2014 news

See also

External links

References