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Congress, The Committees, And The House V.S. The Senate

1098 words - 4 pages

Congress has many functions to keep it working and functioning. They do many things to make laws, make sure they’re fair, and much more. There are also many committees with important jobs. There are many things that influence congressional elections such as reapportionment, redistricting, much more. There are many people who make up the House and Senate and they have many important jobs to keep things running smoothly.
One function of Congress is lawmaking. It is one of their main jobs to make rules for Americans, but they don’t initiate most of the bills they pass. Most are initiated in the Executive Branch or from interest groups and their political parties. Congress gets support for their bills by persuading other members to support them. It is called logrolling which basically means that if they support them, then they in turn will support them when they produce a bill. Debate, along with many other things are how they choose to pass a bill creating new laws. Another function is representation. Congress represents large national interests like national security and the environment. Representation can be positive or negative so representation is at odds with each other. There is the Trustee View of Representation. It says they should vote against narrow interest if their mind and eyes of national needs is against it. There are trustees who act on their beliefs. Also, there is the Instructed-Delegate View of Representation. They should vote according to the views of their constituents instead of following what they believe in. Neither fulfills all requirements of the people. Next is the Service to Constituents. They are expected to acts as the middle man for constituents and the federal government. They normally have to do personal casework for the constituents. For example, they track down social security checks, explain how bills affect different people, or promote local business interest. This is very important to Congress. Another function is oversight. It is a process in which Congress follows up the laws they enact to make sure that they are being properly enforced. They research this by holding hearings, doing investigations, changing the agency’s budget, and cross-examining presidential nominees to lead major agencies. It helps to sniff out problems. Then there is public-education. They do this when they have hearings, debates, or exercise oversight. It gives a variety of viewpoints and opens up important national questions for discussion. Lastly, there is conflict-resolution. Many people look to Congress for guidance and this helps solve the problem.
Firstly, there are standing committees. They are a permanent committee in house or senate that considers bills within a specific area. Each different committee is given a specific area of legislative policy jurisdiction. Members tend to seek committee seats that deal with matters of special interest to their constituents. There are select committees. It is a temporary legislative...

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