The United State legislature is known as the Congress. It consists of two chambers; the House of Representatives or the lower chamber, and the Senate or the upper chamber. Both chambers congregate at the United States Capitol. Article one of the constitution establishes the composition of the two chambers.
The House of Representatives
Each of the fifty states in the US is divided into congressional districts; the population of the state determines the number of districts. Each district is allocated a representative. The state of California is the most populous in the country and therefore has the largest number of districts; 53 in total. Wyoming, Montana, Delaware, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and South Dakota have a single representative each. There are 435 members of the House of Representatives that are allowed to vote on bills. There are also six non-voting members who represent non-state territories of the United States; they include the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico, the representative of Washington DC, and the representatives of Samoa, Guam, US Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Each of the 435 voting members of the lower chamber is elected by the occupants of the district they represent.
Functions of the Lower Chamber
The House is tasked with the responsibility of formulating and passing federal legislation which after in concurrence with the Senate are availed to the president for assent. The house also has the exclusive power to initiate bills concerning federal revenue and the impeachment of federal officials including the president. In cases where the popular vote does not produce the president, the lower and upper houses and the three representatives of Washington DC form the Electoral College that elects one from the top three candidates. The party with the majority members produces the Speaker of the House although it is not a constitutional requirement. The constitution does not also require the speaker to be an elected member of the house but all the speakers so far have been appointed after being elected into the house.
All members of the House of Representatives are elected by popular vote to serve a term of two years while territory commissioners serve a four-year term. To vie for the post one must be 25 years or older, be a citizen of the US for more than seven years prior to the elections, and must be a resident of the district at the time of the elections. Traditionally, elections are held on the Tuesday after the first Monday of November. Each of the 435 districts elects a single representative. Members of the house are elected during the general elections that also votes in the president and the midterm election that is conducted at the midpoint of the presidential term. The last general election was held on November 8, 2016, while the midterm election is set to be conducted on November 6, 2018.
About the Author
Victor Kiprop is a writer from Kenya. When he's not writing he spends time watching soccer and documentaries, visiting friends, or working in the farm.
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