|United States Congress|
House of Representatives
|President of the Senate|
President pro tempore
|Dick Cheney, (R)|
since January 20, 2001
Robert C. Byrd, (D)
since January 4, 2007
|Speaker of the House||Nancy Pelosi, (D)|
since January 4, 2007
|Members||535 plus 4 Delegates and 1 Resident Commissioner|
|Political groups||Democratic Party|
|Last elections||November 7, 2006|
|Meeting place||United States Capitol|
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. In Government, bicameralism (bi + Latin la ''camera'' chamber is the practice of having two legislative or Parliamentary chambers Thus a bicameral The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. The President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer speaker or chairman of a Senate. The President pro tempore of the Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate and the highest-ranking senator Richard Bruce "Dick" Cheney (born January 30 1941 is the forty-sixth and current Vice President of the United States. Events 250 - Emperor Decius begins a widespread persecution of Christians in Rome. Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar. Robert Carlyle Byrd (born November 20 1917 is the senior United States Senator from West Virginia and a member of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is one of two major Political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. Events 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer&mdashor speaker &mdashof the United States House of Representatives. Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi (born March 26 1940 is the current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. The Democratic Party is one of two major Political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. Events 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. A Delegate to Congress is a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives who is elected from a U The Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico (Spanish El Comisionado Residente de Puerto Rico) is a non-voting member of the United States House of Representatives elected The Democratic Party is one of two major Political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. Events 1492 - The Ensisheim Meteorite the oldest Meteorite with a known date of impact strikes the Earth around noon in a Wheat Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. In Government, bicameralism (bi + Latin la ''camera'' chamber is the practice of having two legislative or Parliamentary chambers Thus a bicameral A legislature is a type of representative Deliberative assembly with the power to create amend and change Laws The law created by a legislature is called Legislation The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election. Direct election is a term describing a system of choosing political officeholders in which the voters directly cast ballots for the person persons or political party that they desire to
Each of the 435 members of the House of Representatives represents a district and serves a two-year term. A congressional district is an electoral Constituency that elects a single member of a Congress. "House" seats are apportioned among the states by population. United States congressional apportionment is the redistribution of the 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives among the 50 states in consequence A US state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the United States of America that share Sovereignty with the federal government In Politics, representation describes how political power is alienated from most of the members of a group and vested for a certain time period in the hands of a small subset The 100 Senators serve staggered six-year terms. Each state has two senators, regardless of population. Every two years, approximately one-third of the Senate is elected.
The United States Constitution vests all legislative power in the Congress. The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States. A congress is a formal meeting of representatives from different countries (or by extension Constituent States, or independent organisations (such as different Trade The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process (legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers); however, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate is empowered to approve treaties and Presidential appointments. Revenue-raising bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which also has the sole power of impeachment, while the Senate has the sole power to try impeachment cases. Impeachment in the United States is an expressed power of the Legislature which allows for formal charges to be brought against a civil officer of government for conduct
The term Congress actually refers to a particular meeting of the national legislature, reckoned according to the terms of representatives. Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D Therefore, a "Congress" covers two years. The current 110th Congress first convened on January 4, 2007. Events 46 BC - Titus Labienus defeats Julius Caesar in the Battle of Ruspina. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century.
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The Congress of the United States has its roots from the First Continental Congress, a meeting of representatives of twelve of Great Britain's thirteen North American colonies, in the autumn of 1774. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Politics of the United States takes place in the framework of a presidential, Federal republic where the President of the United States (the Head of The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States. Taxation in the United States is a complex system which may involve payment to at least four different levels of government and many methods of taxation The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer&mdashor speaker &mdashof the United States House of Representatives. Party leaders of the United States House of Representatives are elected by their respective parties in a closed-door (private Caucus. This is a complete list of congressional districts for representation in the United States House of Representatives. The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives The President pro tempore of the Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate and the highest-ranking senator The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders (also called Senate Floor Leaders) are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by The Vice President of the United States is the first person in the presidential line of succession, becoming the new President of the United States upon the death The United States Cabinet (usually simplified as "the Cabinet" is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the Executive branch of the Federal government This is an incomplete list of United States federal agencies. The United States federal courts are the system of Courts organized under the Constitution and laws of the Federal government of the United States The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. The United States courts of appeals (or circuit courts) are the intermediate appellate courts The United States district courts are the general Trial courts of the United States federal court system. The United States has a federal government, with elected officials at federal (national state and local level Elections for President and Vice President of the United States are This article presents the main political parties in United States politics. The Democratic Party is one of two major Political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. See also Third party (United States presidential candidates 2008 The term third party is used in the United States for a political party other than one State governments in the United States (sometimes referred to as "The State" is generally structured in accordance with the laws of the various individual states The following is a list of incumbent United States Governors. In the United States of America, a state legislature is a generic term referring to the legislative body of any of the country's 50 states. Each State in the United States has a Legislative branch as part of its form of civil government In the United States, a state court has Jurisdiction over disputes with some connection to a U Local government in the United States is generally structured in accordance with the laws of the various individual states. Information on politics by country is available for every Country, including both De jure and De facto independent The Continental Congresses Although one can trace the history of the Congress of the United States to the First Continental Congress, which met in the autumn of 1774 the The First Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen British North American colonies that met on September 5 1774 in The Kingdom of Great Britain, also known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain, was a State in northwest Europe, in existence from 1707 to 1800  On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, referring to the new nation as the "United States of America". Events 836 - Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples Year 1776 ( MDCCLXXVI) was a Leap year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a The Second Continental Congress was a convention of delegates from the Thirteen Colonies that met beginning in May 10 1775 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania The United States Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4 1776 announcing that the thirteen American colonies then
Under the Articles of Confederation, which came in to effect in 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a unicameral body with equal representation among the states in which each state had a veto over most decisions. The Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, also the Articles of Confederation was the governing Constitution of the alliance of thirteen independent and The Congress of the Confederation or the United States in Congress Assembled was the governing body of the United States of America from March 1, Unicameralism is the practice of having only one legislative or Parliamentary chamber With no executive or judicial branch, and minimal authority given to the Congress, this government was weak compared to the states. A state is a political association with effective Sovereignty over a geographic Area and representing a Population. That Congress had authority over foreign affairs and military matters, but not to collect taxes, regulate interstate commerce, or enforce laws. Article 1 Section 8 Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, states that Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign  States remained sovereign and were thus free to ignore any legislation passed by Congress.  This system of government led to economic troubles in the states and dispute among the states. 
The ineffectiveness of the federal government under the Articles of Confederation led the Congress to summon the Convention of 1787. The Philadelphia Convention (now also known as the Constitutional Convention, the Federal Convention, or the " Grand Convention at Philadelphia Originally intended to revise the Articles of Confederation, it ended up writing a completely new constitution. Virginia delegate James Madison called for a bicameral Congress in his Virginia Plan: the lower house elected directly by the people, and the upper house elected by the lower house. The Commonwealth of Virginia ( is an American state James Madison Jr (March 16 1751 – June 28 1836 was an American Politician, the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817 and one of the Founding In Government, bicameralism (bi + Latin la ''camera'' chamber is the practice of having two legislative or Parliamentary chambers Thus a bicameral The Virginia Plan (also known as the Randolph Plan, after its sponsor or Large-State Plan) was a proposal by Virginia delegates drafted by The smaller states, however, favored a unicameral Congress with equal representation for all states; William Paterson countered Madison's proposals with the New Jersey Plan. William Paterson ( December 24 1745 September 9, 1806) was a New Jersey statesman a signer of the United States Constitution The New Jersey Plan (also known as the Small State Plan or Paterson Plan) was a proposal for the structure of the United States Government proposed Eventually, a compromise was reached: the House of Representatives was to provide representation proportional by population, whereas the Senate would provide equal representation by states. The Connecticut Compromise, also known as the Great Compromise, was an essential agreement between large and small states reached during the Philadelphia Convention In Politics, representation describes how political power is alienated from most of the members of a group and vested for a certain time period in the hands of a small subset In Politics, representation describes how political power is alienated from most of the members of a group and vested for a certain time period in the hands of a small subset In order to preserve further the authority of the states, it was provided that state legislatures, rather than the people, would elect senators.
The Constitution gave more powers to the federal government, such as regulating interstate commerce, managing foreign affairs and the military, and establishing a national currency. These were seen as essential for the success of the new nation, but the states retained sovereignty over other affairs. Sovereignty is the exclusive Right to control a Government, a country, a people or oneself  To protect against abuse of power at the federal level, the Constitution mandated separation of powers, with responsibilities divided among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Separation of powers, a term ascribed to French Enlightenment Political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the Governance Furthermore, the legislative body would be bicameral, so there would be checks and balances. In Government, bicameralism (bi + Latin la ''camera'' chamber is the practice of having two legislative or Parliamentary chambers Thus a bicameral Separation of powers, a term ascribed to French Enlightenment Political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the Governance  The Constitution was ratified by the end of 1788, and its full implementation was set for March 4, 1789. Events 51 - Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title Princeps iuventutis (head of the youth Year 1789 ( MDCCLXXXIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common
The post Civil War Gilded Age was marked by Republican dominance of the Congress. Causes of the war See also Origins of the American Civil War, Timeline of events leading to the American Civil War The coexistence of a slave-owning South In American history, the Gilded Age refers to major growth in population in the United States and extravagant displays of wealth and excess of America's upper-class during The History of the United States Republican Party is an account of the second oldest currently existing Political party in the United States The Progressive Era saw the Seventeenth Amendment (ratified in 1913), which provided for the direct election of senators. The Progressive Era in the United States was a period of reform which lasted from the 1890s to the 1920s The Seventeenth Amendment ( Amendment XVII) of the United States Constitution was passed by the Senate on June 12 1911 and by the House on May 13 1912 The early twentieth century witnessed the rise of strong party leadership in both houses of the Congress. In the House of Representatives, the office of Speaker became extremely powerful. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer&mdashor speaker &mdashof the United States House of Representatives. Leaders in the Senate were somewhat less powerful; individual senators still retained much of their influence. After the revolt against Speaker Joe Cannon in 1910, the seniority system emerged. For other people named Joseph Cannon see Joseph Cannon (disambiguation Joseph Gurney Cannon ( May 7, 1836 &ndash Members became powerful chairmen through years of seniority regardless of the leadership. Committee chairmen remained particularly strong in both houses until the reforms of the 1970s and 1990s. A Congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress
Franklin Delano Roosevelt's election as President in 1932 marked a shift in power towards the presidency. Numerous New Deal initiatives were proposed from the White House and sent to Congress for approval, rather than legislation originating in Congress. The New Deal was the name that United States President Franklin D See also Executive Office of the President of the United States The White House, formerly known as the Executive Mansion, is the Official residence  After the Watergate scandal and other abuses of power by the Nixon administration, Congress began to reassert its power to oversee the executive branch and develop legislation. The Watergate scandals were a series of Political scandals during the presidency of Richard Nixon that resulted in the Indictment of several of Nixon's 
During the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–45), the Democratic Party controlled both houses of Congress. The Democratic Party is one of two major Political parties in the United States, the other being the Republican Party. The Republicans won control of both houses in the 1946 elections, only to lose them in 1948; with Dwight D. Eisenhower's election to the presidency in 1952, the Republicans again won both houses. Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower (October 14 1890 – March 28 1969 was President of the United States from 1953 until 1961 and a five-star general The United States presidential election of 1952 took place in an era when the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union was in one of its most tense However, after the Democrats again won back control in the elections of 1954, it was the majority party in both houses of Congress for most of the next forty years; the Republicans were only able to win control of the Senate for a six-year period, 1981–87. The Republicans won a majority position, in both houses of Congress, in the elections of 1994. The Republicans controlled both houses until 2006, except in the Senate for most of 2001 and 2002, when the Democrats had the majority after Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party to become an independent and caucus with the Democrats. James Merrill "Jim" Jeffords (born May 11, 1934) is a former U In 2006, the Democratic Party regained control of the House of Representatives, and the results of the Senate elections yielded a Senate makeup of 49 Republicans, 49 Democrats, and two independents. In the 110th Congress (2007–08), the Democratic voting bloc has a 51 to 49 majority in the Senate because the two senators who ran and were elected as independents, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, align themselves with the Democratic Party. Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24 1942 is the junior United States Senator from Connecticut. Connecticut ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is the junior United States Senator from Vermont, elected on November Vermont ( is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America.
Article I of the Constitution sets forth most of the powers of Congress, which include numerous explicit powers enumerated in Section 8. Article One of the United States Constitution describes the powers of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as Congress Constitutional amendments have granted Congress additional powers. Congress also has implied powers derived from the necessary-and-proper clause of the Constitution. "Implied powers"are those powers authorized by a legal document which while not stated are deemed to be implied by powers expressly stated The Necessary-and-Proper Clause (also known as the Elastic Clause, the Basket Clause, the Coefficient Clause, and the Sweeping Clause) is the
Congress has authority over financial and budgetary matters, through the enumerated power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. " (power of the purse) The Sixteenth Amendment extended power of taxation to include income taxes. The power of the purse is the ability of one group to Manipulate and control the actions of another group by withholding Funding, or putting stipulations on the use The  The Constitution also gives Congress power over appropriating funds, with all government spending required to be included in congressional appropriations. This power is an important way for Congress to keep the executive branch in check.  Other powers granted to Congress include the authority to borrow money on the credit of the United States, regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states, and coin money. Article 1 Section 8 Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, known as the Commerce Clause, states that Congress has the power to regulate commerce with foreign
The Constitution also gives Congress an important role in national defense, including the exclusive power to declare war, to raise and maintain the armed forces, and to make rules for the military. The United States Armed Forces are the overall unified military forces of the United States Congress also has the power to establish post offices and post roads, issue patents and copyrights, fix standards of weights and measures, establish courts inferior to the Supreme Court, and "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. A patent is a set of Exclusive rights granted by a State to an inventor or his assignee for a fixed period of time in exchange for a disclosure of an Copyright is a legal concept enacted by Governments, giving the creator of an original work of authorship Exclusive rights to control its distribution usually for The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and leads the federal judiciary. " Congress also has the power to admit new states to the Union (Article Four). Article Four of the United States Constitution relates to the states
One of the foremost non-legislative functions of the Congress is the power to investigate and to oversee the executive branch. This is called congressional oversight. Congressional Oversight refers to oversight by the United States Congress of the Executive Branch, including the numerous U This power is usually delegated to United States congressional committees—standing committee, select and special committee, select committees, or joint committee composed of members of both houses. A Congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress In the United States Congress, standing committees are permanent legislative panels established by the United States House of Representatives and United States See also Committee A select or special committee of the United States Congress is a Congressional committee appointed to perform a special function See also Committee A Joint Committee is a term used in politics to refer to a committee made up of members of both chambers of a Bicameral parliament Congress also has the exclusive power of removal, allowing impeachment and removal of the President. Impeachment in the United States is an expressed power of the Legislature which allows for formal charges to be brought against a civil officer of government for conduct Impeachment is the first of two stages in a specific process for a legislative body to forcibly remove a Government official The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by
Among the enumerated powers given Congress in Article I Section 8, are:
The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
- To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
- To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
- To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
- To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
- To establish post offices and post roads;
- To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
- To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;
- To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
- To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
- To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
- To provide and maintain a navy;
- To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
- To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
- To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
- To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles (16 km) square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings. Taxation in the United States is a complex system which may involve payment to at least four different levels of government and many methods of taxation See also Taxation, Indirect Tax In Economics, a duty is a kind of Tax, often associated with Customs, a payment due to the For other uses of this word see Tariff (disambiguation. A tariff is a tax imposed on goods when they are moved across a political boundary Excise tax, sometimes called an excise duty, is a type of Tax. The United States total public debt, commonly called the national debt, or U This article is for the legal term For regulation of genes see Regulation of gene expression. Article I section 8 clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization The United States Constitution (Article 1 Section 8 Clause 4 authorizes Congress to enact "uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout The United States Mint primarily produces circulating coinage for the United States to conduct its Trade and Commerce. A counterfeit is an imitation that is made usually with the intent to deceptively represent its content or origins A post office is a facility authorized by a Postal system for the posting receipt sorting handling transmission or delivery of Mail. Intellectual property ( IP) is a legal field that refers to creations of the mind such as musical literary and artistic works inventions and symbols names The United States federal courts are the system of Courts organized under the Constitution and laws of the Federal government of the United States Piracy is Robbery committed at sea or sometimes on shore without a commission from a sovereign Nation (as distinct from Privateering International waterways Several international treaties have established freedom of navigation on semi-enclosed seas Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of States and Intergovernmental organizations. A letter of marque is an official warrant or commission from a Government authorizing the designated agent to search seize or destroy specified assets Prize is a term used in Admiralty law to refer to Equipment, Vehicles, and Vessels captured during armed conflict The United States Armed Forces are the overall unified military forces of the United States An insurgency is a violent internal uprising against a sovereign government that lacks the organization of a revolution An invasion is a military offensive consisting of all or large parts of the Armed forces of one geopolitical entity aggressively entering territory The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary Citizens to provide defense emergency law enforcement or Paramilitary service Fortifications are Military Constructions and Buildings designed for defense in Warfare Humans have constructed defensive works for See also firearms magazine for an explanation of the magazines used to load man-portable weapons An arsenal is an establishment for the construction repair storage and issue of Weapons and Ammunition. Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships These can be Yachts military
Other congressional powers have been granted, or confirmed, by constitutional amendments. The Thirteenth (1865), Fourteenth (1868), and Fifteenth Amendments (1870) gave Congress authority to enact legislation in order to enforce rights of African Americans, including voting rights, due process, and equal protection under the law. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution officially abolished and continues to prohibit Slavery, and with limited exceptions such as those The Fourteenth Amendment ( Amendment XIV) to the United States Constitution is one of the post- Civil War Reconstruction Amendments, first The Fifteenth Amendment ( Amendment XV) of the United States Constitution prohibits each government in the United States to prevent a citizen from voting based on that African Americans or Black Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa Suffrage (from the Latin suffragium, meaning "voting tablet" and figuratively "right to vote" probably from suffrago "hough" and originally Due process (more fully due process of law) is the principle that a person has a right to receive notice and be heard in an orderly proceeding in order to protect his or her The Equal Protection Clause, part of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, provides that "no state shall… deny to any person 
Congress also has implied powers derived from the necessary-and-proper clause of the Constitution which permits Congress "To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof. "Implied powers"are those powers authorized by a legal document which while not stated are deemed to be implied by powers expressly stated The Necessary-and-Proper Clause (also known as the Elastic Clause, the Basket Clause, the Coefficient Clause, and the Sweeping Clause) is the " The Supreme Court has interpreted the necessary-and-proper clause broadly, to recognize the Congress has all the power and delegates it rather than being burdened with a separation of powers.
The Constitution provides checks and balances among the three branches of the federal government. Separation of powers, a term ascribed to French Enlightenment Political philosopher Baron de Montesquieu, is a model for the Governance The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. The authors of the Constitution expected the greater power to lie with Congress and it has been theorized that that is one reason they are described in Article One. 
The influence of Congress on the presidency has varied from one period to another; the degree of power depending largely on the leadership of the Congress, political influence by the president, or other members of congress and the boldness of the president's initiatives. Under the first half-dozen presidents, power seems to have been evenly divided between the president and Congress, in part because early presidents largely restricted their vetoes to bills that were unconstitutional.
The impeachment of Andrew Johnson made the presidency much less powerful than Congress. Impeachment is the first of two stages in a specific process for a legislative body to forcibly remove a Government official Andrew Johnson (December 29 1808 – July 31 1875 was the seventeenth President of the United States (1865-69 succeeding to the Presidency upon the assassination During the late nineteenth century, President Grover Cleveland aggressively attempted to restore the executive branch's power, vetoing over 400 bills during his first term. Stephen Grover Cleveland (March 18 1837 June 24 1908 was both the twenty-second and twenty-fourth President of the United States. The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have seen the rise of the power of the Presidency under Theodore Roosevelt (1901–09), Woodrow Wilson (1913–21), Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933–45), Richard Nixon (1969–74), Ronald Reagan (1981–89), and George W. Bush (2001–) (see Imperial Presidency). Theodore Roosevelt (ˈroʊzəvɛlt October 27 1858 January 6 1919 also known as T Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28 1856—February 3 1924 was the twenty-eighth President of the United States. George Walker Bush ( born July 6 1946 is the forty-third and current President of the United States. Imperial Presidency is a term that became popular in the 1960s and that served as the title of a 1973 volume by historian Arthur M  In recent years, Congress has restricted the powers of the President with laws such as the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and the War Powers Resolution; nevertheless, the Presidency remains considerably more powerful than during the nineteenth century. The Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 (,) is a United States federal law that governs the role of the Congress in the United States The War Powers Act of 1973 ( also referred to as the War Powers Resolution is a resolution of the Congress of The United States of America that stated that the President of 
The Constitution concentrates removal powers in the Congress by empowering and obligating the House of Representatives to impeach federal officials (both executive and judicial) for "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors. Impeachment is the first of two stages in a specific process for a legislative body to forcibly remove a Government official " The Senate is 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. A defendant or defender ( Δ in Legal shorthand) is any party who is required to answer the Complaint of a Plaintiff
Impeachment proceedings may not inflict more than this; however, the party 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 before the Senate could complete the trial). Only two Presidents of the United States have ever been impeached: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1999. Andrew Johnson (December 29 1808 – July 31 1875 was the seventeenth President of the United States (1865-69 succeeding to the Presidency upon the assassination William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III, August 19 1946 served as the forty-second President of the United States Both trials ended in acquittal; in Johnson's case, the Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority required for conviction. In Criminal law, an acquittal is a verdict of not guilty, or some similar end of the proceeding that terminates it with prejudice without a verdict In Law, a conviction is the Verdict that results when a Court of law finds a Defendant guilty of a Crime. In 1974, Richard Nixon resigned from office after impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee indicated he would eventually be removed from office. United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary US House Committee on the Judiciary, or (more commonly the House Judiciary Committee, is a Standing committee of
The Constitution entrusts certain powers to the Senate alone. The President may only nominate for appointment Cabinet officials, judges, and other high officers with the "by and with the advice and consent" of the Senate. The United States Cabinet (usually simplified as "the Cabinet" is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the Executive branch of the Federal government An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it in an Organisation or A judge, or justice, is an Official who presides over a Court of law The Senate confirms most presidential nominees, but rejections are not uncommon. Furthermore, treaties negotiated by the President must be ratified by a two-thirds majority vote in the Senate to take effect. The House of Representatives has no formal role in either the ratification of treaties or the appointment of federal officials, other than filling vacancies in the office of Vice-President. The Twenty-fifth Amendment ( Amendment XXV) to the United States Constitution partially replaced the ambiguous wording of Article II Section 1 Clause
In 1803, the Supreme Court established judicial review of federal legislation in Marbury v. Madison, holding, however, that Congress could not grant unconstitutional power to the Court itself. Judicial review is the power of the courts to annul the acts of the executive and/or the legislative power where it finds them incompatible with a higher norm Marbury v Madison, is a Landmark case in United States law. It formed the basis for the exercise of Judicial review in the United States under 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. Constitutionality is the status of a law, a procedure or an act's accordance with the laws or guidelines set forth in the applicable Constitution. The Founding Fathers of the United States are the Political leaders who signed the Declaration of Independence or otherwise participated in the Alexander Hamilton, for example, mentioned and expounded upon the doctrine in Federalist No. 78. Federalist No 78 is an Essay by Alexander Hamilton, the seventy-eighth of the Federalist Papers. Originalists on the Supreme Court have argued that if the constitution doesn't say something explicitly it is unconstitutional to infer what it should, might or could have said. 
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 by issuing subpoenas. A subpoena (səˈpiːnə is commonly defined as a written command to a person to Testify before a Court or be punished Witnesses who refuse to testify may be cited for contempt of Congress, and those who testify falsely may be charged with perjury. Contempt of Congress is the act of obstructing the work of the United States Congress or one of its committees. Perjury, also known as forswearing, is the act of lying or making verifiably false statements on a material matter under Oath or Affirmation in a 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. The United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is a committee of the United States House of Representatives, currently chaired by Silvestre The United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (sometimes referred to as SSCI) is "Popular press" redirects here note that the University of Wisconsin Press publishes under the imprint "The Popular Press"
The House of Representatives elects a Speaker to preside over debates. The President pro tempore of the Senate, by contrast, holds office continuously; normally, a new President pro tempore is only elected if the previous one retires, or if there is a change in the majority party.
A term of Congress is divided into two "sessions," one for each year; Congress has occasionally also been called into an extra, (or special) session. A parliamentary session is a period of time where the Legislature in a Parliamentary government is sitting (The Constitution requires Congress to meet at least once each year. ) A new session commences on January 3 (or another date, if Congress so chooses) each year. Events 1431 - Joan of Arc is handed over to the Bishop Pierre Cauchon. Before the Twentieth Amendment, Congress met from the first Monday in December to April or May in the first session of their term (the "long session"); and from December to March 4 in the second "short session". The Twentieth Amendment ( Amendment XX) of the United States Constitution establishes some of the details dealing with the beginning and ending of the terms of Events 51 - Nero, later to become Roman Emperor, is given the title Princeps iuventutis (head of the youth (The new Congress would then meet for some days, for the inauguration, swearing in new members, and organization. )
The Constitution forbids either house from meeting any place outside the Capitol, or from adjourning for more than three days, without the consent of the other house. The provision was intended to prevent one house from thwarting legislative business simply by refusing to meet. To avoid obtaining consent during long recesses, the House or Senate may sometimes hold pro forma meetings, sometimes only minutes long, every three days. The term pro forma ( Latin "as a matter of form" is a term applied to practices that are perfunctory, or seek to satisfy the minimum requirements The consent of both bodies is required for Congress's final adjournment, or adjournment sine die, at the end of each congressional session. Adjournment sine die (from the Latin, " without day " occurs when an organized body's existence terminates If the two houses cannot agree on a date, the Constitution permits the President to settle the dispute.
Joint Sessions of the United States Congress occur on special occasions that require a concurrent resolution from both House and Senate. Joint sessions of the United States Congress are the gatherings together of both houses of the United States Congress (the House of Representatives These sessions include the counting of electoral votes following a Presidential election and the President's State of the Union address. The Electoral College consists of 538 popularly elected representatives who formally select the President and Vice President of the United States. Other meetings of both House and Senate are called Joint Meetings of Congress, held after unanimous consent agreements to recess and meet. Meetings of Congress for Presidential Inaugurations may also be Joint Sessions, if both House and Senate are in session at the time, otherwise they are formal joint gatherings. An inauguration is a ceremony of formal Investiture whereby an individual assumes an office or position of authority or power
At some time during the first two months of each session, the President customarily delivers the State of the Union Address, a speech in which he assesses the situation of the country and outlines his legislative proposals for the congressional session. A legislature is a type of representative Deliberative assembly with the power to create amend and change Laws The law created by a legislature is called Legislation The speech is modeled on the Speech from the Throne given by the British monarch, and is mandated by the Constitution of the United States—though it is not necessarily required to be delivered each year or in the customary manner. TalkCommonewalth realm.--> The monarchy Thomas Jefferson discontinued the original practice of delivering the speech in person before both houses of Congress, deeming it too monarchical. Thomas Jefferson (April 13 1743 – July 4 1826 was the third President of the United States (1801–1809 the principal author of the Declaration of Independence Instead, Jefferson and his successors sent a written message to Congress each year. In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson reestablished the practice of personally attending to deliver the speech; few Presidents have deviated from this custom since. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28 1856—February 3 1924 was the twenty-eighth President of the United States.
Joint Sessions and Joint Meetings are traditionally presided over by the Speaker of the House except for the joint session to count electoral votes for President, when the Constitution requires the President of the Senate (the Vice President of the United States) to preside. Speaker of the House is a political term referring to a number of people In the United Kingdom and Canada, the Speaker of the House
A proposal may be introduced in Congress as a bill, a joint resolution, a concurrent resolution, or a simple resolution. For other uses see Bill. A bill is a proposed new law introduced within a Legislature that has not been ratified, adopted In the United States Congress, a joint resolution is a legislative measure that requires approval by the Senate and the House and is presented In the United States, a concurrent resolution is a legislative measure passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This article concerns the legal meaning of the term resolution. Most legislative proposals are introduced as bills, but some are introduced as joint resolutions. There is little practical difference between the two, except that joint resolutions may include preambles but bills may not. Joint resolutions are the normal method used to propose a constitutional amendment or to 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. Law is a system of rules enforced through a set of Institutions used as an instrument to underpin civil obedience politics economics and society Instead, they serve to express the opinion of Congress, or to regulate procedure. Parliamentary procedure is the body of Rules Ethics, and Customs governing meetings and other operations of Clubs Organizations
Members of Congress often introduce legislation at the behest of lobbyists. Lobbying includes all attempts to influence Legislators and officials whether by other legislators constituents or organized groups Lobbyists advocate the passage (or rejection) of bills affecting the interest of a particular group (such as a corporation or a labor union). A corporation is a separate legal entity usually used to conduct business A trade union or labour union is an organization of workers who have banded together to achieve common goals in key areas such as wages hours and working conditions forming In many cases, the lobbyists write legislation and submit it to a member for introduction. Legislation (or " Statutory law " is law which has been promulgated (or " Enacted quot by a Legislature or other Governing Congressional lobbyists are legally required to be registered in a central database, and are employed by political organizations, corporations, state governments, foreign governments, and numerous other groups. A Computer Database is a structured collection of records or data that is stored in a computer system A political party is any organization or group that is concerned with or involved in the political process A corporation is a separate legal entity usually used to conduct business A state government ( provincial government in Canada is the Government of a Subnational entity in States with federal In 2005, there are almost 35,000 registered Congressional lobbyists, representing a doubling since 2000.  Some of the most prominent lobbyists are ex-members of Congress, others are family members of sitting members. As an example, Harry Reid, Dennis Hastert, former Representative Tom DeLay, and Roy Blunt all have immediate family members who are (or were) lobbyists. Harry Mason Reid (born December 2 1939 is the senior United States Senator from Nevada and a member of the Democratic Party, as well as See also Illinois's 14th congressional district special election 2008 John Dennis "Denny" Hastert (born January 2, 1942) is an Thomas Dale DeLay (born April 8 1947 is a former member of the United States House of Representatives from Sugar Land, Texas. Roy D Blunt (born January 10, 1950) is a Republican Politician from Missouri, representing ( map 
Bills (and other proposals) may be introduced by any member of either house. However, the Constitution provides that: "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. " As a result, the Senate does not have the power to initiate bills imposing taxes. Furthermore, the House of Representatives holds that the Senate does not have the power to originate appropriation bills, or bills authorizing the expenditure of federal funds. An appropriation bill or supply bill is a legislative motion ( Bill) which authorizes the Government to spend money The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. Historically, the Senate has disputed the interpretation advocated by the House. However, whenever the Senate originates an appropriations bill, the House simply refuses to consider it, thereby settling the dispute in practice. Nevertheless, while the Senate cannot originate revenue and appropriation bills, it does retain the power to amend or reject them. In business revenue or revenues is Income that a company receives from its normal business activities usually from the sale of goods and services
Each bill goes through several stages in each house. The first stage involves consideration by a committee. Most legislation is considered by standing committees, each of which has jurisdiction over a particular subject matter, such as Agriculture or Appropriations. The House has twenty standing committees; the Senate has sixteen. In some cases, bills may be sent to select committees, which tend to have more narrow jurisdictions than standing committees. See also Committee A select or special committee of the United States Congress is a Congressional committee appointed to perform a special function Each standing and select committee is led by a chair (who belongs to the majority party) and a ranking member (who belongs to the minority party). A two-party system is a form of Party system where two major Political parties dominate voting in nearly all Elections at every A two-party system is a form of Party system where two major Political parties dominate voting in nearly all Elections at every Committees are permitted to hold hearings and collect evidence when considering bills. Congressional hearings are the principal formal method by which committees collect and analyze information in the early stages of legislative policymaking They may also amend the bill, but the full house holds the power to accept or reject committee amendments. After considering and debating a measure, the committee votes on whether it wishes to report the measure to the full house.
A decision not to report a bill amounts to a rejection of the proposal. Both houses provide for procedures under which the committee can be bypassed or overruled, but they are rarely used. If reported by the committee, the bill reaches the floor of the full house. The house may debate and amend the bill; the precise procedures used by the House of Representatives and the Senate differ. 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. In order for the bill to become law, both houses must agree to identical versions of the bill. If the second house amends the bill, then the differences between the two versions must be reconciled in a conference committee, an ad hoc committee that includes both senators and representatives. In the United States, a Conference committee is a committee of the Legislature Appointed by both chambers of the United States In many cases, conference committees have introduced substantial changes to bills and added unrequested spending, significantly departing from both the House and Senate versions. President Ronald Reagan once quipped, "If an orange and an apple went into conference consultations, it might come out a pear. " If both houses agree to the version reported by the conference committee, the bill passes; otherwise, it fails.
After passage by both houses, a bill is submitted to the President. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by The President may choose to sign the bill, thereby making it law. The President may also choose to veto the bill, returning it to Congress with his objections. A veto, Latin for "I forbid" is used to Denote that a certain party has the right to stop unilaterally a certain piece of Legislation. In such a case, the bill only becomes law if each house of Congress votes to override the veto with a two-thirds majority. Finally, the President may choose to take no action, neither signing nor vetoing the bill. In such a case, the Constitution states that the bill automatically becomes law after ten days (excluding Sundays). However, if Congress adjourns (ends a legislative session) during the ten day period, then the bill does not become law. Thus, the President may veto legislation passed at the end of a congressional session simply by ignoring it; the maneuver is known as a pocket veto, and cannot be overridden by the adjourned Congress. A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver in American federal Lawmaking that allows the President to indirectly Veto a bill
Every Act of Congress or joint resolution begins with an enacting formula or resolving formula stipulated by law. An enacting formula, or enacting clause, is a short phrase that introduces the main provisions of a Law enacted by some Legislatures It usually These are:
The Constitution specifies that a majority of members constitutes a quorum to do business in each house. In Law, a quorum is the minimum number of members of a Deliberative body necessary to conduct the business of that group The rules of each house provide that a quorum is assumed to be present unless a quorum call demonstrates the contrary. Representatives and senators rarely force the presence of a quorum by demanding quorum calls; thus, in most cases, debates continue even if a majority is not present.
Both houses use voice voting to decide most matters; members shout out "aye" or "no," and the presiding officer announces the result. The Constitution, however, requires a recorded vote on the demand of one-fifth of the members present. A recorded vote is a vote in which the names of those voting for and against a motion may be recorded If the result of the voice vote is unclear, or if the matter is controversial, a recorded vote usually ensues. The Senate uses roll call votes; a clerk calls out the names of all the senators, each senator stating "aye" or "no" when his or her name is announced. Roll call is the calling of the names of people from a list ( Roll) to determine the presence or absence of the listed people (also known as a register in countries such as the The House reserves roll call votes for the most formal matters, as a roll-call of all 435 representatives takes quite some time; normally, members vote by electronic device. In the case of a tie, the motion in question fails. In the Senate, the Vice President may (if present) cast the tiebreaking vote.
It is neither expected nor possible that a member of Congress be an expert on all matters and subject areas that come before Congress. A Congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress  Congressional committees provide invaluable informational services to Congress by investigating and reporting back in regard to specialized subject matter. A Congressional committee is a legislative sub-organization in the United States Congress that handles a specific duty (rather than the general duties of Congress
While this investigatory function is indispensable to Congress, procedures such as the House discharge petition process (the process of bringing a bill onto the floor without a committee report or mandatory consent from its leadership) are so difficult to implement that committee jurisdiction over particular subject matter of bills has expanded into semi-autonomous power. Of the 73 discharge petitions submitted to the full House from 1995 through 2007, only one was successful in securing an definitive yea-or-nay vote for a bill on the floor of the House of Representatives.  Not without reason have congressional committees been called independent fiefdoms.
In 1931 a reform movement did temporarily reduce the number of signatures required on discharge petitions in the U. S. House of Representatives from a constitutional majority of 218 down to 145, i. e. from one-half to one-third of the House membership. This reform was abolished in a 1935 counterattack led by the intra-House oligarchy.  Thus the era of the Great Depression marks the last across-the-board change, albeit a short-lived one, in the autonomy of House standing committees.  On strategy for an enduring reform in the system of semi-autonomous committees see the citation. 
In the course of committee work, members will often develop personal expertise on the matters under the jurisdiction of their respective committee(s). Such expertise, or claims thereof, are invariably cited during disputes over whether the parent body should bow to obdurate committee negatives.
Congress divides its legislative, oversight, and internal administrative tasks among approximately 200 committees and subcommittees. A Congressional subcommittee in the United States Congress is a subdivision of a United States Congressional committee that considers specified matters and reports Within assigned areas, these functional sub-units gather information, compare and evaluate legislative alternatives, identify policy problems and propose solutions, select, determine, and report measures for full chamber consideration, monitor executive branch performance (oversight), and investigate allegations of wrongdoing. 
Decision on which areas individual members choose to specialize may be influenced by their constituency and regional issues of importance to them, as well as prior background and experience of the member.  Senators will also try to differentiate themselves from the other senator from the same state, so that areas of specialization do not overlap. 
A major aspect of the job for a Senator and a Congressman consists of services to his or her constituency. A constituency is any cohesive corporate unit or body bound by shared structures goals or loyalty Members receive thousands of letters, phone calls, and e-mails, with some expressing opinion on an issue, or displeasure with a member's position or vote. Other constituents request help with problems, or ask questions. Members of Congress want to leave a positive impression on the constituent, rather than leave them disgruntled. Thus, their offices will be responsive, and go out of their way to help steer the citizen through the intricacies of the bureaucracy. Here the Congressman and his staffers perform the function of an Ombudsman, at the Federal level. An ombudsman ( English plural conventionally ombudsmen) is an official usually (but not always appointed by the government or by parliament who is charged with This unofficial job has become increasingly time consuming, and has significantly reduced the time that Congressmen have for the preparation or inspection of bills. 
It is noteworthy that an incumbent member of Congress has considerably more clout than most official ombudsmen at the state level, and in other countries, given the appointive and relatively diminutive character of such offices. As Morris Fiorina notes, the involvement of the legislative branch in the ombudsman process carries one major advantage: members of Congress exercise "control over what bureaucrats value most – higher budgets and new program authorizations. " This kind of leverage over the bureaucracy is a potent tool that appointed ombudsmen lack.
Accordingly, to improve on today's 435 de facto ombudsmen -- constituent services by overworked Congressmen -- congressional reforms have been proposed that would approximate the legislative leverage now exercised by Congressmen, but in an office where the intra-bureaucratic troubleshooting duties are full time.  Along these lines, some Congressmen themselves have suggested that each congressional district should elect a second U. S. Representative to handle constituent services. 
Under the Constitution, members of both houses enjoy the privilege of being free from arrest in all cases, except for treason, felony, and breach of the peace. A privilege &mdashetymologically "private law" or law relating to a specific individual&mdashis a special Entitlement or immunity granted by a government An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the investigation and prevention of crime In Law, treason is the Crime that covers some of the more serious acts of disloyalty to one's sovereign or Nation. In Common law legal systems a felony is a serious Crime, often contrasted with a Misdemeanor. Breach of the peace is a legal term used in Constitutional law in English-speaking countries and in a wider public order sense in Britain This immunity applies to members during sessions and when traveling to and from sessions.  The term "arrest" has been interpreted broadly, and includes any detention or delay in the course of law enforcement, including court summons and subpoenas. Police are agents or agencies usually of the executive, empowered to enforce the law and to effect public and social order through the legitimatized use of force A summons (also in Britain known as a claim form) is a legal document issued by a court (a judicial summons) or by an administrative agency of government (an The rules of the House strictly guard this privilege; a member may not waive the privilege on his or her own, but must seek the permission of the whole house to do so. Senate rules, on the other hand, are less strict, and permit individual senators to waive the privilege as they see fit.
The Constitution also guarantees absolute freedom of debate in both houses, providing, "for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place. " Hence, a member of Congress may not be sued for slander because of remarks made in either house. However, each house has its own rules restricting offensive speeches, and may punish members who transgress them.
Obstructing the work of Congress is a crime under federal law, and is known as contempt of Congress. In the sociological field, crime is the breach of a rule or Law for which some governing authority or force may ultimately prescribe a Punishment Federal law is the body of Law created by the Federal government of a country Contempt of Congress is the act of obstructing the work of the United States Congress or one of its committees. Each house of Congress has the power to cite individuals for contempt, but may not impose any punishment. Instead, after a house issues a contempt citation, the judicial system pursues the matter like a normal criminal case. If convicted in court, an individual found guilty of contempt of Congress may be imprisoned for up to one year.
From 1789 to 1815, members of Congress received only a per diem (daily payment) of $6 while in session. Members began receiving an annual salary in 1815, when they were paid $1,500 per year.  As of 2006 rank and file Members of Congress received a yearly salary of $165,200.  Congressional leaders are paid $183,500 per year. The Speaker of the House of Representatives earns $212,100 per annum. The salary of the President pro tempore for 2006 is $183,500, equal to that of the Majority Leader and Minority Leader of both Houses of Congress. The President pro tempore of the Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the United States Senate and the highest-ranking senator 
Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching for FERS. As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1. 3% of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6. 2% of their salary in Social Security taxes. The amount of a Congressperson's pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary. In 2006, the average annual pension for retired senators and representatives under CSRS was $60,972, while those who retired under FERS, or in combination with CSRS, was $35,952. 
Another privilege is the use of the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is the De facto National library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress One of the Library's missions is to serve the Congress and its staff. To do this, the Congressional Research Service provides detailed, up-to-date and non-partisan research for senators, representatives, and their staff to help them carry out their official duties. The Congressional Research Service (CRS is the Public policy research arm of the United States Congress. The franking privilege allows members of Congress to send official mail to constituents at government expense. Franking (or "Franks") are any and all devices or markings such as Postage stamps (including printed and/or embossed on Postal stationery Mail, or post, is a method for transmitting information and tangible objects wherein written Documents typically enclosed in Envelopes and also Though, they are not permitted to send election materials, borderline material is often sent, especially in the run-up to an election by those in close races. 
A legislator in either house is a "member of Congress", though usually only a representative is called a congressman, congresswoman, or congressperson. A Member of Congress is a Politician who is a member of a Congress. A Member of Congress is a Politician who is a member of a Congress. A Member of Congress is a Politician who is a member of a Congress.
Many of the world's democracies and republics operate not within a congressional model of government, but rather a parliamentary system. A presidential system is a System of government where an executive branch exists and presides (hence the term separately from the Legislature A parliamentary system, also known as parliamentarianism (and parliamentarism in American English) is a System of government in which The most significant difference between a parliamentary government and the U. S. Congress is that a parliament typically encompasses the entire governmental regime, containing legislative, executive, and judicial branches within its structure (the executive organs are often referred to as "The Government"), as well as the monarch, if one exists. The U. S. Congress exercises only legislative powers, and is but one of three co-equal and independent branches of the larger federal government.
In a parliament, the executive branch of the government is chosen from or by the representative branch. This generally comprises the prime minister and the governing cabinet. This article is about the government position For other uses see Prime Minister (disambiguation. A cabinet is a body of high-ranking members of Government, typically representing the executive branch. Congressional leaders merely administrate the daily business of Congress itself, while it is in session, and not the functioning of the national government as a whole. So, while in structure the Speaker of the House of Representatives resembles a prime minister, in substance and practice he or she only moderates the functioning of the U. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives is the presiding officer&mdashor speaker &mdashof the United States House of Representatives. S. Congress, while the wholly separate executive branch of government administrates the daily functioning of the federal government. In the U. S. Congress, legislation originates within the legislative branch, whereas in a parliamentary system, legislation is drafted by the government in power and then sent to parliament for debate and ratification. 
Members of the U. S. Congress are generally elected from one of two parties, but its members are free to vote their own conscience or that of their constituents. Many members can and do cross party lines frequently. In a parliamentary system, members may be compelled to vote with their party's bloc, and those who vote against are often cast out of their respective parliamentary parties and become less influential independents. Parliamentary group and parliamentary party are terms used to refer to the representation of a Political party or Electoral fusion of parties in a Theoretically, the lack of superpowerful political parties allows U. S. members to more faithfully represent their constituents than members of parliament can—a member is ultimately responsible to their constituents alone, not to their party.  Additionally, as Congress does not wield executive power, dissenting votes from the majority party cannot result in the collapse of the ruling Government and new elections, as occasionally happens in parliamentary systems. A motion of no confidence (also vote of no confidence, censure motion, no-confidence motion, or confidence motion) is a Parliamentary motion Conversely, the congressional system also allows for a larger role for extra-governmental actors such as lobbyists, as the lack of strong party whips present in parliamentary systems exposes members of Congress to greater outside influence. Whip is a role in party-based politics whose primary purpose is to ensure control of the formal decision-making process in a parliamentary legislature
The Library of Congress is the De facto National library of the United States and the research arm of the United States Congress The United States Department of Education (also referred to as ED, for Education Department is a Cabinet -level department of the United States