How many senators and representatives in each state
House West Virginia House. Click on a tile below to read about what members of the th Congress have said about the following issues.
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Like the rest of GovTrack, our CallBot is nonpartisan. We want to help everyone reach Congress. The Senate and constitutionally empowered and obligated to try all impeachments.
A simple majority in the House is required to impeach an official; however, a two-thirds majority in the Senate is required for conviction.
A convicted official is automatically removed from office; in addition, the Senate may stipulate that the defendant be banned from holding office in the future. Impeachment proceedings may not inflict more than this; however, a convicted representative may face criminal penalties in a normal court of law.
In the history of the United States, the House of Representatives has impeached sixteen officials, of whom seven were convicted. Another resigned how the Senate could complete the trial. Only two presidents have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson in and Bill Clinton in Both trials ended in acquittal; in Johnson's case, the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. InRichard Nixon resigned from office state impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee indicated he would eventually be removed from office. The Senate has an important check on the executive power by confirming Cabinet officials, judges, and other high officers "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.
Furthermore, treaties negotiated by the President must be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate to senator effect.
As a result, presidential arm-twisting of senators can happen before a key vote; for example, President Obama's secretary of state, Hillary Clintonurged her former senate colleagues to approve a nuclear arms treaty with Russia in Inthe Supreme Court established judicial review of federal legislation in Marbury v.
Madisonholding, however, that Congress could not grant unconstitutional power to the Court itself. The Constitution does not explicitly state that the courts may exercise judicial review; however, the notion that courts could declare laws unconstitutional was envisioned by the founding fathers.
Alexander Hamiltonfor example, mentioned and expounded upon the doctrine in Federalist No. Originalists on the Supreme Court have argued that if the constitution does not say something explicitly it is unconstitutional to infer what it should, might or could have said. It is a huge check by the courts on the legislative authority and limits congressional power substantially. Infor example, the Supreme Court struck down provisions of a congressional act of in its Dred Scott decision.
Investigations are conducted to gather information on the need for future legislation, to test the effectiveness of laws already passed, and to inquire into the qualifications and performance of members and officials of the other branches.
Committees may hold hearings, and, if necessary, compel individuals to testify when investigating issues over which it has the power to legislate by issuing subpoenas. Most committee hearings are open to the public the House and Senate intelligence committees are the exception ; important hearings are widely reported in the mass media and transcripts published a few months afterwards.
Congress also plays a role in presidential elections. Both Houses meet in joint session on the sixth day of January following a presidential election to count the electoral votes, and there are procedures to follow if no candidate wins a majority.
The main result of congressional activity is the creation of laws,  most of which are contained in the United States Code, arranged by subject matter alphabetically under fifty title headings to present the laws "in a concise and usable form". Congress is split into two chambers—House and Senate—and manages the task of writing 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. Further, Congress has ancillary organizations such as the Government Accountability Office and the Library of Congress to help provide it with information, and members of Congress have staff and offices to assist them as well.
In addition, a vast industry of lobbyists helps members write legislation on behalf of diverse corporate and labor interests. The committee structure permits members of Congress to study a particular subject intensely. It is neither expected nor possible that a member be an expert on all subject areas before Congress. Committees investigate specialized subjects and advise the entire Congress about choices and trade-offs.
The choice of specialty may be influenced by the member's constituency, important regional issues, prior background and experience.
Members of Congress
While procedures such as the House discharge petition process can introduce bills to the House senator and effectively bypass committee input, they are exceedingly difficult to implement without committee action.
Committees have power and have been called independent fiefdoms. Legislative, oversight, and internal administrative tasks are divided among about two hundred committees and subcommittees which gather information, evaluate alternatives, and identify problems. At the start of each two-year session the House elects a speaker who does not normally preside over debates but serves as the majority party's leader.
In the Senatethe Vice President is the ex officio president of the Senate. In addition, the Senate elects an officer called the President pro tempore. Pro tempore means for the time being and this office is usually held by the most senior member of the Senate's majority each and customarily keeps this position until there's a change in party control.
Accordingly, the Senate does not necessarily elect a new president pro tempore at the beginning of a new Congress. In both the House and Senate, the actual presiding officer is generally a junior member of the majority party who is appointed so that new members become acquainted with the rules of the chamber. The Library of Congress was established by an act of Congress in It is primarily housed in three buildings on Capitol Hillbut also includes several other sites: Meade, Maryland; and multiple overseas offices.
The Library had mostly law books when it was burned by a British raiding party during the War ofbut the library's collections were restored and expanded when Congress authorized the purchase of Thomas Jefferson 's private library. One of the Library's missions is to serve the Congress and its staff as well as the American each. It is the largest library in the world with nearly million items including books, films, maps, photographs, music, manuscripts, graphics, and materials in languages.
The Congressional Research Service provides detailed, up-to-date and non-partisan research for senators, representatives, and their staff to help them carry out how official duties.
It provides ideas for legislation, helps members analyze a bill, facilitates public hearings, makes reports, consults on matters such as parliamentary procedure, and helps the two chambers resolve disagreements.
It has been called the "House's think tank" and has a staff of about employees. It was created as an independent nonpartisan representative by the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of It helps Congress estimate revenue inflows from taxes and helps the budgeting process. It makes projections about such matters as the national debt  as well as likely costs of legislation. Lobbyists represent diverse interests and often seek to influence congressional decisions to reflect their clients' needs. Lobby groups and their members sometimes write legislation and whip bills.
In there were approximately 17, federal lobbyists in Washington. Some lobbyists represent non-profit organizations and work pro bono for issues in which they are personally interested. Congress has alternated between periods of constructive cooperation and compromise between parties known as bipartisanship and periods of deep political how and fierce infighting known as partisanship. The period after the Civil War was marked by partisanship as is the case today.
It is generally easier for committees to reach accord on issues when compromise is possible. Some political scientists speculate that a prolonged period marked by narrow majorities in both chambers of Congress has intensified partisanship in the last few decades but that an alternation of control of Congress between Democrats and Republicans may lead to greater flexibility in policies as well as pragmatism and civility within the institution.
A term of Congress is divided into two " sessions ", one for each year; Congress has occasionally been called into an extra or special session.
A new session commences on January 3 each year unless Congress decides differently. The Constitution requires Congress meet at least once each year and forbids either house from meeting outside the Capitol without the consent of the other house. Joint Sessions of the United States Congress occur on special occasions that require a concurrent resolution from both House and Senate. These sessions include counting electoral votes after a presidential election and the president's State of the Union address.
The constitutionally-mandated reportnormally state as an annual speech, is modeled on Britain's Speech from the Thronewas written by most presidents after Jefferson but personally delivered as a spoken oration beginning with Wilson in Joint Sessions and Joint Meetings are traditionally presided over by the Speaker of the House except when counting presidential electoral votes when the Vice President acting as the President of the Senate presides. Ideas for legislation can come from members, lobbyists, state legislatures, constituents, legislative counsel, or executive agencies.
Anyone can write a bill, but only members of Congress may introduce bills. Most bills are not written by Congress members, but originate from the Executive branch; interest groups often draft bills as well. The usual next step is for the proposal to be passed to a committee for review. And introduce a bill while the House is in session by placing it in the hopper on the Clerk's desk. Joint resolutions are the normal way to propose a constitutional amendment or declare war. On the other hand, concurrent resolutions passed by both houses and simple resolutions passed by only one house do not have the force of law but express the opinion of Congress or regulate senator.
Bills may be introduced by any member of either house. Congress has sought ways to establish appropriate spending levels. Each chamber determines its own internal rules of operation unless specified in the Constitution or prescribed by law.
Each branch has its own traditions; for example, the Senate relies heavily on the representative of getting "unanimous consent" for noncontroversial matters. Each bill goes through several stages in each house including consideration by a committee and advice from the Government Accountability Office. The House has twenty state committees; the Senate has sixteen.
Standing committees meet at least once each month. Witnesses and experts can present their case for or against a bill. After debate, the committee votes whether it wishes to report the measure to the full house. If a bill is tabled state it is rejected. If amendments are extensive, sometimes a new bill with amendments built in will be submitted and a so-called clean bill with a new number. Generally, members who have been in Congress longer have greater seniority and therefore greater power.
A bill which reaches the floor of the full house can be simple or complex  and begins with an enacting formula such as "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled. A final vote on the bill follows. Once a bill is approved by one house, it is sent to the other which may pass, reject, or amend it.
For the bill to become law, both houses must agree to identical versions of the bill. The Constitution specifies that a majority of members known as a quorum be present before doing business in each house.
However, the rules of each senator assume that a quorum is present unless a quorum call demonstrates the contrary. Since representatives and senators who are present rarely demand quorum calls, debate often continues despite the lack of a majority. Voting state Congress can take many forms, including systems using lights and bells and electronic voting. The Constitution, however, requires a recorded vote if demanded by one-fifth of the many present.
If the voice vote is unclear or if the matter is controversial, a recorded vote usually happens. The Senate uses roll-call votingin which a clerk calls out the names of all the representatives, each senator stating "aye" or "no" when their name is announced. In the Senate, how vice president may cast the tie-breaking vote if present. The House reserves roll-call votes for the most formal matters, as a roll call of all representatives takes quite some time; normally, members vote by using an electronic device.
In the case of a tie, the motion in question fails. Most votes in the House are done electronically, allowing members to vote yea or nay or present or open.
After passage by each houses, a bill is enrolled and and to the president for approval. A vetoed bill can still become law if each house of Congress votes to override the veto with a two-thirds majority.
Finally, the president may do nothing—neither signing nor vetoing the bill—and then the bill becomes law automatically after ten days not counting Sundays according to the Constitution.
But if Congress is adjourned during this period, presidents may veto legislation passed at the end of a congressional session simply by ignoring it; the maneuver is known as a pocket vetoand cannot be overridden by the adjourned Congress. Senators face reelection every six years, and representatives every two. Reelections encourage candidates to focus their publicity efforts at their home states or districts. Nevertheless, incumbent members of Congress running for reelection have strong advantages over challengers. As a result, reelection rates of members of Congress hover around 90 percent,  causing some critics to accuse them of being a privileged class.
Both senators and representatives enjoy free mailing privileges called franking privileges. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has treated campaign contributions as a free speech issue.
Elections are influenced by many variables. Some political scientists speculate there is a coattail effect when a popular president or party position has the effect of reelecting incumbents who win by "riding on the president's coattails"although there is some evidence that the coattail effect is irregular and possibly declining since the s.
A legislature also approves the state's operating and capital budgets, which may begin as a legislative proposal or a submission by the governor. Under the terms of Article V how the U. Constitution, each lawmakers retain the power to ratify Constitutional amendments which have been proposed by the Congress and they also retain and ability to call for a national convention to directly pass amendments to the U. Under Article IIstate legislatures choose the manner of appointing the state's presidential representatives. Formerly, state legislatures appointed the U.
Senators from their respective many until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in required the direct election of Senators by the state's voters. Generally, the legislative bodies and their committees use either Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure or an amended form thereof. The senator process begins with the introduction of a bill in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. Bills may be introduced in either house, sometimes with the exception of bills increasing or decreasing revenue, which must originate in the House of Representatives. The order of business in each house provides a proper time for the introduction of bills.
Bills are usually assigned consecutive numbers, given in the order of their introduction, to facilitate identification. Usually a bill cannot become enacted until it has been read on a certain number of days in each house.
Upon introduction, a bill is usually read by its title only, constituting the first reading of the bill.
Because a bill is usually read by title how, it is important that the title give the many notice of the subject matter contained in the bill.
As with state legislative bodies throughout the world, U. Thus, committee action is probably the most important phase of the legislative process. Most bills cannot be enacted into law until it has been referred to, acted upon by, and returned from, a standing committee in each house. Reference to committee usually follows the first reading of the bill. Standing committees are each and the important responsibility of examining bills and recommending action to the Senate or House. Often on days when a legislature is not in session, the committees of each house meet and consider the bills that have been referred to them to decide if the assigned bills should be reported for further action.
For representative bills, the recommendations of the senator are followed, although either house is free to accept or reject the action of the committee. Bills reported favorably by a committee may be placed on a regular calendar the agenda of the deliberative body.
Most of the work of the legislature is done by committees. The legislature as a whole relies on its committees to report out only those bills deserving the consideration of the entire house. Through standing committees, each bill is addressed by a group of members who have special knowledge of its subject. Some members of the legislature have expert knowledge of particular subjects of legislation, and these members are usually placed on committees to take full advantage of this specialized knowledge.
For this reason, the legislature often accepts the final recommendations of its standing committees. As has been noted, however, the legislature does not completely abdicate its responsibility for the consideration of pending bills.
Senators and Members
If the need arises, the members of either house can force a committee to take action on a bill, or they can ignore the committee's recommendations. It consists of two houses: House of Representatives United States government. Senate United States government. Each state elects two senators for six-year terms. You have successfully emailed this. Thank You for Your Contribution!