Difference between Senate and House

Key Difference: The Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government. The legislature is essentially the government’s decision making organization. It has the power to create, pass, amend and repeal laws. The structure of Congress is divided into two segments: Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is the upper house of the Congress, while the House of Representatives is the lower house.

In the United States of America, the federal government is distributed into three distinct branches: legislative, executive and judicial. The legislative is the government’s decision-making organization which has the power to enact, amend and repeal laws. The executive is the part of government that has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the country. The judicial is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The legislative branch is the Congress, whereas the executive branch is the President and the judicial branch is represented by the system of federal courts, including the Supreme Court.

The Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government. The legislature is essentially the government’s decision making organization. It has the power to create, pass, amend and repeal laws. The structure of Congress is divided into two segments: Senate and the House of Representatives.

Both the houses, also known as chambers, of the Congress are headquartered in Washington D.C. and meet in the Capitol. The Senate is the upper house of the Congress, while the House of Representatives is the lower house. However, this does not mean that the powers of the House are inferior to that of the Senate.

Still, as compared to the House of Representatives, the Senate is considered to be a more deliberative and prestigious body. This is mainly due to the fact that the Senate has longer terms, a smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere.

Senate has a total of 100 members, two from each of the fifty states. The House, on the other hand, has 435 members depending on the population of the state. Each state much have at least one representative, however the total number of representatives is fixed by law at 435. The most populous state, California, currently has 53 representatives. However, the least populous states, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming have only one representative.

Both the members of the House and the Senate are elected via a direct election. However, the elected term for a House Representative is two years, while for a Senator, it is six years. Both are largely composed of a combination of members of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. The members of the other parties are nearly non-represented. The members of the senate are known as senators, while, the members of the House of Representatives as US Representative, Representative, Congressman, or Congresswoman.

The powers of the legislative assembly are distributed between the Senate and the House. The powers of the Senate include agreeing to treaties as a precondition to their ratification and confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers, as well as trial of federal officials impeached by the House. Whereas the powers of the House, includes the power to initiate revenue bills, to impeach officials and to elect the U.S. President in case there is no majority in the Electoral College. However, the impeached officials are subsequently tried in the Senate. Furthermore, the House has the power to pass any new bill or legislation, but that bill must also be approved by the Senate and the President in order to become law.

Comparison between Senate and House:

 

Senate

House of Representatives

Description as per Wikipedia

The United States Senate is a legislative chamber in the bicameral legislature of the United States of America, and together with the U.S. House of Representatives makes up the U.S. Congress.

The United States House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the United States Congress. It is frequently referred to as the House.

Powers

  • To pass federal legislation that affects the entire country. The bills must also be passed by the House and the President.
  • Consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification
  • Consenting to or confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers
  • Trial of federal officials impeached by the House
  • To pass federal legislation that affects the entire country. The bills must also be passed by the Senate and the President.
  • To initiate revenue bills
  • To impeach officials. The impeached officials are tried in the Senate.
  • To elect the U.S. President in case there is no majority in the Electoral College.

Meet in

The north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.,

In the south wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.

Part of

The US Congress

The US Congress

Members

100 senators – 2 for each state regardless of population.

435 representatives – varies for each state as depending on the state’s population.

Membership

Through direct election

Through direct election

Term

6 years

2 years

Image Courtesy: senate.gov, dondero.com

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