Bicameral Congress Essay

753 words - 4 pages

Today the U.S. government’s legislative branch, Congress, is divided into two independent chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The system is called a bicameral system, which means it is divided into two chambers. The Framers of the Constitution created the system because was it successful in Britain, the two separate chambers could ensure that each side would not abuse their power, and the system created a compromise between the New Jersey and Virginia Plan. Although both chambers can initiate laws, they were created independent of each other and different in authority. In the House, “committees consider bills and issues and oversee agencies, programs, and activities within their jurisdictions” (House of Representatives). The Senate is in charge of giving guidance and approval of treaties or presidential appointments and holding impeachment trials (American Politics).

The Framers chose a bicameral system for the legislative branch of government. When still deciding what kind of system to input, the Framers looked to other countries. They observed that Great Britain had a bicameral parliament, and the system seemed to be very successful. They also weighed common sense. They knew that if they had two different chambers, each chamber would be able to “check up” on the other, preventing any abuse of power from taking place. The bicameral Congress was also a result of the Connecticut Compromise, a compromise between The New Jersey and Virginia Plans. The disagreement on those plans had led to many issues within The Articles or Confederation, a document that had been written before the Constitution. Once the compromise was established, the Constitution was much closer to being written. The Framers chose a bicameral legislative system once they weighed its good factors.

One half of the bicameral Congress, the House of Representatives has several functions. It is given the power to create all revenue bills in Article I Section 7 of the Constitution (American Politics). The bills are, “introduced into ‘the hopper’ and referred to committee by the Speaker”(American Politics). The House is also given the power to create all impeachment bills, according to Article I Section 2 of the Constitution. Besides its duties laid out in the Constitution, the House oversees bills, and other functions within its...

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