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 qualifications of its members. According to eHow. com, “As of January 2009, the annual salary of a Representative is $174,000. The Speaker of the House earns an annual salary of $223,500. Further, Majority and Minority leaders earning $193,000 annually.
Representatives also receive lifetime benefits after they have served five years; which include a pension, health benefits and Social Security benefits. ” Therichest. org states that, “As of 2010, yearly salaries for United States Senators were $174,000 for Basic Senators, $193,400 for Majority and Minority Leaders, $223,500 for President Pro Tempore, and $230,700 for the Vice President. ” Boundless. com summarizes the constitution and states that, “Article I of the United States Constitution describes the powers of Congress, the legislative branch of the federal government.
To establish the powers of and limitations of the Congress, the Article addresses the creation of the House of Representatives, which is composed of Representatives from each state. The number of representatives for each state is dependent upon the size of the population. The Article also establishes that there will be two Senators from each state. ” The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process—legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers.
The Senate ratifies treaties and approves presidential appointments, while the House of Representatives initiates revenue-raising bills. The House initiates impeachment cases, while the Senate decides impeachment cases. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office. The Constitution also goes into detail and explains the jobs of the Senate by saying that each state is represented by two senators, regardless of population. Senators serve staggered six-year terms. The chamber of the United States Senate is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.
C. , the national capital. The Senate has several exclusive powers not granted to the House, including consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification. The Senate also confirms appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers, as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House. The Vice President of the United States is the ex officio President of the Senate, with authority to preside over the Senate’s sessions, although he can vote only to break a tie.
Senators are regarded as more prominent political figures than members of the House of Representatives because there are fewer of them, and because they serve for longer terms, usually represent larger constituencies. According to the Constitution the major power of the House is to pass federal legislation that affects the entire country, although its bills must also be passed by the Senate and further agreed to by the President before becoming a law. The House has several exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, to impeach officials, and to elect the U. S. President.
Each state is represented in the House in proportion to its population, but is entitled to at least one representative. The most populous state, California, currently has 53 representatives. The total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. Each representative serves for a two-year term. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, who presides over the chamber, is elected by the members of the House, and is therefore traditionally the leader of the House Democratic Caucus or the House Republican Conference, whichever of the two Congressional Membership Organizations has more voting members.
Elections for representatives are held in every even-numbered year, and on Election Day, the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. By law, Representatives must be elected from single-member districts by plurality voting. Most do not see the importance of the Legislative Branch because most of its actions are done behind closed doors but that does not take away from the important jobs of the House and the Senate. The Legislative Branch keeps the other two branches in order with Checks and Balances as well as each other. Without The Legislative Branch the government would not be able to function properly and orderly.