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Bicameral Legislature Essay

1289 words - 5 pages

Bicameral Legislature

Bicameral legislature- A congress made up of two houses. In the U.S. it is the senate and the House of Representatives. Constitutional convention agreed to a bicameral legislation. Congressional Sessions- Each term of congress starts on January 3 of odd numbered years and lasts for two years. Sessions- a meeting that takes place twice in congress and usually lasts for most of the year. Congress remains in session until its members vote to adjourn. After adjournment the president may call congress back into meeting as a special session. Membership of the House- a total of 435 members make up the house of representatives. Seats are allotted to each state and the number of seats that state is allowed to have is based on its population. Every state is entitled to at least one seat no matter how small the population is. To qualify to be a member of the house you must be at least 25 years of age, a resident of the US for 7 years and a legal resident of the state you represent.(Usually live in the district they represent.) Terms of the house are for two years. Representation and reapportionment- the census bureau takes a national census, or population count, every 10 years to assign representation according to population. The population of each state determines the new number of representatives, which is called reapportionment. Congressional Redistricting- The process of setting up new district lines after reapportionment has been completed. Gerrymandering- means that the political party controlling the state government draws a districts boundaries to gain an advantage in elections. The term gerrymandering can be traced to Elbridge Gerry, a governor of Massachusetts. Membership of the Senate- The senate is composed of two senators from each state, thus each state is represented equally. Today's senators includes 100 members—2 from each of the 50 states. To qualify as a senator you must at least 30 years old, a citizen of the US for 9 years, and a legal resident of the State they represent. All voters of each state elect senators at-large, or statewide. Unlike a representative of the house a senator serves his or her term for six years, inducting a new senator every two years. A congressman's pay must follow the 27 amendment, which says that the salary voted on by congress will not be in effect till the next session. Exclusion- the right of congress not to seat a member inducted by a majority vote. Censure- a formal disapproval of a member's actions. Characteristics- most of the members of congress are lawyers. The others usually in business, banking, and education. Incumbents- Those already in office that win reelection. Political action committees- Provide substantial campaign funds, usually supporting incumbents. Incumbents are successful in reelection because it is easier to raise funds, can represent districts that have been gerrymandered in their party's favor, incumbents are better known to voters, and they use...

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