Politics Guide: Governors, US Senators, Representatives



The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the US Senate.

The composition and powers of the US House are established in Article One of the US Constitution. The House passes federal legislation that affects the entire country, although its bills must also be passed by the Senate and further agreed to by the President before becoming law (unless both the House and Senate re-pass the legislation with a two-thirds majority in each chamber to override the President's veto).

Each State receives representation in the House in proportion to its population and is entitled to at least one Representative. The total number of voting Representatives has been capped by law at 435 since 1911, and each Representative serves for two-year terms (there are no term limits for the United States Congress, although the idea was popular with many Founding Fathers and has been with many others since). The Speaker of the House, traditionally the leader of the majority party, is the presiding officer of the chamber and is elected by the members of the House.

The Constitution grants the House several exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, to impeach officials (the Senate sits as jury for actual trials of impeached officials), and to elect the President in case of an Electoral College deadlock. The House meets in the south wing of the US Capitol Building, with the Senate meeting in the north wing.

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