The United States Congress is an elected representative body of legislative assembly of the country and constitutes one of the most powerful governments in the world. The US Congress is a separate entity from the US President which was created by the Constituional Convention in 17framed by the United States Congress in order to safeguard American citizens from foreign influence. This confederated body of legislative assembly session began with the First Session of Congress in 17framed by the Second Continental Congress which was empowered by the United States Constitution. The Congress meets each year in session, although the Senate is not required to perform the actual voting.
The US Congress is made up of two chambers which are the House of Representatives and the Senate which are chosen by the voters through the election process. Each chamber has their own legislative process and functions independently. Each house of Congress can be voted for or against by the voters after the election. Once the Congress is voted into office, it begins working on legislation which is then sent to the President who has the power to either sign or reject the bill. The President may also issue executive orders to the federal agencies which carry out the policies given by the president.
Under the US constitutional system, the members of congress are elected to serve for four years and may be removed from office at the end of their terms. The last Congress elected representatives to a six-year terms, which means that they would serve for six years until a new Congress is elected. Because of a lack of vacancies when the terms expire, members serve until they retire or finish their term. Each state assigns one Senator and one Representative to represent it in the United States Congress. States also elect Senate seats to groups of three and two persons, so a District of Columbia has one Senator and one Representative.
Congress, through the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate, exercises both legislative and executive branch powers. In the United States House of Representatives, Members are elected by the people through a general election and are then chosen by the state legislature for a specific district. Once a member of Congress has been chosen, they are automatically eligible to be voted for cloture, or an override of a presidential veto if a certain bill is passed by the House. Once a cloture motion is passed by the House and approved by the Senate, it goes to the President who has the authority to sign or reject the cloture.
In the United States Senate, unlike in the American House of Representatives, there are no districts. Every senator is independent and there are not partisan quotas to ensure that members are voteable. Once a bill passes the Senate with a simple majority vote, it moves to the United States President for his signature. At the same time, once the bill has been signed into law by the President, it becomes a law. At this point, it is now up to the United States Congress to either pass the bill with a majority or try to amend it so that it becomes law without a majority vote.
There are two distinct differences between the way a bill is handled in the House and in the Senate. For instance, with a different party in each house, a bill will move through the legislative process with a super-majority of votes from both Houses. But in the Senate, where there is only one party in the majority, a super-majority of a certain margin needs to be reached before a bill is passed. In the House, both Democrats and Republicans are often present in the chamber for important votes on legislation. This means that legislation can be debated effectively regardless of which party is in the majority. However, with a divided congress, the legislative process has slowed to a crawl, and most bills get little or no chance of being passed out of committee.