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how many senators in congress

how many senators in congress

how many senators in congress

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United States Congress

The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is bicameral, comprising a lower body, the House of Representatives, and an upper body, the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a governor’s appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 100 senators and 435 representatives. The Vice President of the United States has a vote in the Senate only when senators are evenly divided; the House of Representatives has six non-voting members.

The sitting of a Congress is for a two-year term, at present beginning every other January; the current Congress is the 117th. Elections are held every even-numbered year on Election Day. The members of the House of Representatives are elected for the two-year term of a Congress. The Reapportionment Act of 1929 establishes that they be elected in single-member constituencies or districts by first-past-the-post and that Congressional districts be apportioned to states by  population every ten years using the United States Census results, provided that each state has at least one Congressional representative. Each senator is elected at-large in their state for a six-year term, with terms staggered, so every two years approximately one-third of the Senate is up for election. Each state, regardless of population or size, has two senators, so currently, there are 100 senators for the 50 states.

1789

Article One of the United States Constitution requires that members of Congress must be at least 25 years old (House) or 30 years old (Senate), have been a citizen of the United States for seven (House) or nine (Senate) years, and be an inhabitant of the state which they represent. Members in both chambers may stand for re-election an unlimited number of times.

how many senators in congress
how many senators in congress

The Congress was created by the Constitution of the United States and first met in 1789, replacing in its legislative function the Congress of the Confederation. Although not legally mandated, in practice since the 19th century, Congress members are typically affiliated with one of the two major parties, the Democratic Party or the Republican Party, and only rarely with a third party or independents affiliated with no party. In the case of the latter, the lack of affiliation with a political party does not mean that such members are unable to caucus with members of the political parties. Members can also switch parties at any time, although this is quite uncommon.

History

The First Continental Congress was a gathering of representatives from twelve of the thirteen colonies of North America. On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the “United States of America”. The Articles of Confederation in 1781 created the Congress of the Confederation, a unicameral body with equal representation among the states in which each state had a veto over most decisions. Congress had executive but not legislative authority, and the federal judiciary was confined to admiralty. and lacked authority to collect taxes, regulate commerce, or enforce laws.

What does a member of Congress do?


Members of Congress represent the people of their district in the United States Congress by holding hearings, as well as developing and voting on legislation. All bills must pass Congress before they can go to the President to be signed into law.

In order to provide the best representation for Michigan’s 7th District, I spend many hours each week meeting with people in South Central Michigan to discuss my current activities in Congress and listen to their concerns and ideas regarding a variety of issues.

In addition, I am also available to help you if you are experiencing difficulties dealing with a federal agency. To see how I can help you, click here.

What are the qualifications to run for office in the House of Representatives and Senate?

The required qualifications are found in Article 1 of the Constitution:

House of Representatives

  • 25 years of age
  • A citizen of the United States for at least 7 years
  • At the time of election, be a resident of the state

U.S. Senate

  • 30 years of age
  • A citizen of the United States for 9 years
  • At the time of election, be a resident of the state

How many members of Congress are there?
There are a total of 535 Members of Congress. 100 serve in the U.S. Senate and 435 serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

How long do members of Congress’ terms last?


Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms and are considered for reelection every even year. Senators however, serve six-year terms and elections to the Senate are staggered over even years so that only about 1/3 of the Senate is up for reelection during any election.

how many senators in congress
how many senators in congress

How many members of Congress come from each state?


Each state sends two Senators to represent their state in the U.S. Senate. However, in the House of Representatives, a state’s representation is based on its population.  For example, smaller states like Vermont and Delaware have one representative while large states like California have 53 representatives.

Currently, the Michigan Congressional Delegation is composed of 14 representatives in the House and two Senators in the U.S. Senate.

How many people do congressmen and senators represent?
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives each represent a portion of their state known as a Congressional District, which averages 700,000 people. Senators however, represent the entire state.

How do the House and Senate chambers differ?


In the House of Representatives, the majority party holds significant power to draft chamber rules and schedule bills to reach the floor for debate and voting. Most cases, House rules will limit debate so that important legislation can be passed during one legislative business day.

In the Senate however, the majority has the power to schedule when various bills come to the floor for voting but a single Senator can slow legislation from coming to the floor for a vote. Since debate in the Senate is not concluded until 60 senators vote for a cloture motion to approve a bill for consideration, the majority must also coordinate with the minority part to set the rules for debate on legislation. Under this system, legislation can be debated for one or two weeks on the Senate floor alone.

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

Congress has 535 voting members. The Senate has 100 voting officials, and the House has 435 voting officials, along with five delegates and one resident commissioner.

Click here to find your representatives with Ballotpedia’s “Who represents me?” tool.

HOW MANY SENATORS ARE THERE?

The United States Senate comprised of 100 Senators, two from each state.

While it may sound simple, developing this representative structure caused a lot of debate at the Constitutional Convention where the U.S. Constitution was drafted. Though only thirteen states existed at this point in 1787, the delegates from these thirteen would form the federal government whose authority would eventually span across fifty states.

These statesmen concluded that a body of elected representatives would be the best way to form laws for a country that broken up into smaller entities. Delegates from larger states created dissension by arguing for representation based on population. The delegates from smaller states felt cheated and refused to agree to this proposed structure, known as the Virginia Plan.

New Jersey

A delegate from New Jersey, a small state, responded by introducing a plan that proposed equal representation for each state. This suggestion called the New Jersey Plan and mirrored the structure outlined in the Articles of Confederation, the document acting as a sort of temporary constitution at that time. Both sides of the debate threatened to leave the convention if their plan used, and the situation looked grim.

It was Roger Sherman, a delegate from Connecticut, who offered the Great Compromise as a solution. His bicameral (two-bodied) system would satisfy both large and small states: he proposed a House of Representatives that would represent states proportionally by population and a Senate that would represent all states equally. Thus began the representative system seen in the U.S. today.

how many senators in congress
how many senators in congress

1959

As each new state added to the union over time, two more senators added to the Senate. In 1959, the present body of 100 senators was complete, with two senators representing each of the 50 states.

Each senator serves a six-year term with the chance of reelection at the end of this period.

Senators also belong to smaller bodies within the Senate called “committees” that handle specific tasks. These committees usually composed of 7 to 15 members, each of whom has extensive power.

A record number of women are serving in the 117th Congress

Women make up just over a quarter of all members of the 117th Congress – the highest percentage in U.S. history and a considerable increase from where things stood even a decade ago.

Counting both the House of Representatives and the Senate, 144 of 539 seats – or 27% – held by women. That represents a 50% increase from the 96 women who were serving in the 112th Congress a decade ago, though it remains far below the female share of the overall U.S. population. A record 120 women are serving in the newly elected House, accounting for 27% of the total. In the Senate, women hold 24 of 100 seats, one fewer than the record number of seats they held in the last Congress.

117th Congress

This analysis counts voting as well as nonvoting members of Congress. Figures for the 117th Congress exclude two House seats that were vacant as of early January. It also excludes Sens. Kamala Harris, who expected to resign her seat ahead of her inauguration as vice president on Jan. 20, and Kelly Loeffler, who lost a runoff election in Georgia earlier this month.

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