The United States Congress is divided into two chambers: the House of Representatives, and the Senate. The Congress normally meets in session once in a year, usually during the first week in January. Congress vacillates between houses every four years. Congress can be considered to be an institution that represents the people and elected officials of the United States, or it may just be a legislature, which chooses which bills they are going to pass and that they are not. It is a legislative body, which decides what laws are made, and that laws are not made.
Congress is made up of both a House of Representatives, and a Senate, which each have their own committees and members. When a bill is passed out of one house of Congress, it goes to the other house for further consideration. If it passes both Houses, it goes back to the committees for more discussion before it becomes a law. Congress then reconvenes in session to again discuss and make laws. Each member of Congress has certain responsibilities to make sure that the Congress can operate properly, by passing all laws.
Congress also gives the president the power to sign some bills. The members of Congress can be impeached for impeaching themselves if they fail to do what the constitution says. If a president may veto a bill which is passed by Congress, the legislature will have to vote again on the bill, to remove the president’s authorization.
Congress keeps the United States government running smoothly with checks and balances, which separate the powers of the legislative and executive branches of government. Without Congress, there would be no checks and balances, and therefore no protection from the executive branch. The framers of the constitution put Congress in charge of the executive branch. If congress does not have enough votes to pass a bill, the president will then send it back to them for another round of voting. This is how our system of checks and balances works.
Since each house of Congress is responsible for many functions of government, many members serve dual purposes, which makes it difficult to remove a member from Congress. Each state also elects members of congress through special voting procedures. Elected members are required to take an oath of office to support the constitution and to uphold the laws of the country. Many states have separate systems when it comes to the election of members to congress.
Congress enacts laws through statutory language contained in the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Congressional Budget. Congress writes annual budgets that help control the spending and control the national debt. Because members of Congress may be from different states, there are often cross district lines when it comes to legislating, so when there are issues between various districts, a candidate must win in every district that he or she will be a viable competitor for.