Two Houses Are Involved in U.S. Congress
Congress consists of two houses: the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The U.S. Congress is divided into two chambers, based on the size of the state they represent. The U.S. House of Representatives consists of a House and Senate, and the House and Senate each have their own committees and staffs. The U.S. Senate generally chooses the speakers of both chambers, although the speaker of one chamber may be chosen by the vice president of the United States. The U.S. House and Senate each operate separately.
Congressional Research and Control and Development are responsible for ensuring that the Congress provides full disclosure of all information required by law regarding scientific and technical research and experimentation. These agencies conduct oversight and provide reports to Congress on such matters. The U.S. House of Representatives, also known as the House of Representatives, includes committees on Commerce, Science, and Technology, and Armed Services. The U.S. Senate, which is known as the Senate, has various committees including Health, Education, Labor and Retirement, and Science and Space. The U.S. House and Senate each hold hearings, mark up bills, and pass other measures through committees.
Congressional staff work within committees to perform clerical and secretarial duties, conduct meetings and negotiations, assist the secretary of states with legislative activities and facilitate travel for Members of Congress. Congressional staffs help develop legislation by holding hearings and introducing reports. They then assist the committees in writing drafts of relevant legislation. Some committees also assign staff to work on specific legislation.
In addition to legislating, the members of Congress are also responsible for overseeing the executive branch. The U.S. Senate confirmed all presidential appointees, while the U.S. House confirmed U.S. attorneys, cabinet officials, and other executive branch officials. Presidents are generally required to fill vacancies that arise in the federal bench, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Education, Office of Legal Support, and other agencies. Presidents also have the authority to temporarily fill judicial vacancies. There are two houses of Congress, both houses have legislative powers, but they exercise their powers collectively instead of independently.
Separate but distinct from the other two branches of U.S. government is the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike the Senate, which must be impeached, the House can impeach a member for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes.” The speaker of the House can expel a member for malpractice, negligence, disloyalty, or misconduct. However, unlike the Senate, the House cannot confirm former members once they become disqualified. Finally, unlike the Senate, the House is not required to keep a record of judicial and executive appointments.
Congressional committees need the approval of both houses of Congress before taking action on bills. All legislation, except the revenue and budget bills, must be passed by both houses with two-thirds majority vote. There are also subcommittees within the House and Senate, which have jurisdiction over certain bills. To date, there are no special Congressional committees which have jurisdiction over Social Security.