28th October 2019
How is the House of Representatives different from the Senate?
Congress is split into two chambers—the House of Representatives and Senate. Congress writes national legislation by dividing work into separate committees which specialize in different areas. Some members of Congress are elected by their peers to be officers of these committees. The Senate has several distinct powers.
What does the House of Representatives do?
As per the Constitution, the U.S. House of Representatives makes and passes federal laws. The House is one of Congress's two chambers (the other is the U.S. Senate), and part of the federal government's legislative branch.
The United States Senate and House of Representatives are similar in that they are both elective bodies of a legislature established in Article I of the U.S. Constitution. Senators, per the Constitution, serve six-year terms; Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms.
The Two Houses of Congress. Congress is divided into two chambers, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is sometimes called the upper chamber and the House the lower chamber because the Founders thought that different sorts of people would be elected to these two bodies.
A Senator is a member of the Senate. There are two Senators for each state, elected for six years at a time. A Representative is a member of the House of representatives. Together they constitute Congress, and Congressman is the blanket term that covers them all.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
|Speakers of the United States House of Representatives|
|60||Nancy Pelosi||110th and 111th|
|61||John Boehner||112th, 113th, and 114th|
|62||Paul Ryan||114th and 115th|
For this reason, and in order to distinguish who is a member of which house, a member of the Senate is typically referred to as Senator (followed by "name" from "state"), and a member of the House of Representatives is usually referred to as Congressman or Congresswoman (followed by "name" from the "number" district of
Special, exclusive powers given to the Senate include the following:
- Major presidential appointments must be confirmed by the Senate.
- Treaties with other nations entered into by the President must be approved by a two-thirds vote by the Senate.
- An impeachment trial occurs in the Senate.
The House has several powers assigned exclusively to it, including the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officials, and elect the President in the case of an electoral college tie. The Senate is composed of 100 Senators, 2 for each state.
There are three, and only three, standing qualifications for U.S. Senator or Representative in Congress which are expressly set out in the U.S. Constitution: age (25 for the House, 30 for the Senate); citizenship (at least seven years for the House, nine years for the Senate); and inhabitancy in the state at the time
Each state elects two senators for six-year terms. The terms of about one-third of the Senate membership expire every two years, earning the chamber the nickname “the house that never dies.” The role of the Senate was conceived by the Founding Fathers as a check on the popularly elected House of Representatives.
The only legislative club in America more exclusive than the House of Representatives is the Senate. Home to only 100 members, each of them serving lengthy six-year terms, the Senate is usually considered to be the more elite and prestigious of the two houses of Congress.
Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives has the power to impeach a government official, in effect serving as prosecutor. The Senate has the sole power to conduct impeachment trials, essentially serving as jury and judge.
The Constitution sets three qualifications for service in the U.S. Senate: age (at least thirty years of age); U.S. citizenship (at least nine years); and residency in the state a senator represents at time of election.
This allows some voters to have more influence in an election than others. Compare the size of the Senate to the size of the House of Representatives. Senators were given a longer term (6 years) because their focus on foreign policy requires them to serve longer in order to see their decisions take effect.
The Constitution designates the Vice President of the United States as President of the United States Senate. The Constitution also calls for a President pro tempore to serve as the leader of the body when the President of the Senate (the Vice President) is absent.
Some of the factors that have been shown to influence voting behavior include age, gender, socioeconomic background, religion, legislative seniority, committee membership, party affiliation, staff interest groups, lobbyists, legislators' constituents, and personal views and values.
Congress has authority over financial and budgetary matters, through the enumerated power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.
Every state is represented by two Senators, but by different numbers of Representatives based on their population. The Senate gives small states equal representation, because the Senate is about representing the states. The House is about representing the people directly. Senators serve for 6-year terms.
President of the Senate: Vice President of the United States. Under the Constitution, the vice president serves as the president of the Senate and presides over the Senate's daily proceedings. In the absence of the vice president, the Senate's president pro tempore (and others designated by him) presides.
The Senate has several distinct powers. The “advice and consent ” powers, such as the power to approve treaties, are a sole Senate privilege. The House, however, can initiate spending bills and has exclusive authority to impeach officials and choose the President in an Electoral College deadlock.
The U.S. Congress is made up of two “chambers,” the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 100 members in the Senate. Each state elects two senators no matter the size or population of the state. In the House of Representatives there are 435 members.