Notes, 1:00 p.m., Spring 2001, February 14, 2001






There are two houses of Congress.  One house is the House of Representatives, and the other house is the Senate.



House of Representatives


There are 435 Representatives in the House.  Each representative is also called Congressperson, Congressman or Congresswoman.   An elected Representative serves of term of two years.  The area a Representative serves is called a congressional district (CD).


The exclusive powers of the House of Representatives include introducing tax and spending bills, and impeaching the President, federal judges and justices.



The Senate


There are 100 Senators in the Senate.  An elected Senator serves a term of six years.  The area a Senator serves is the entire state where he or she is elected.


The exclusive powers of the Senate include confirming Presidential appointments and trying impeached Presidents, federal judges, and justices.



The Committees


Each house has standing committees.  Standing committees are permanent committees that have only Representatives in the House of Representatives and only Senators in the Senate.  Each standing committee deals with separate subject matter.


A conference committee is made up of members from both houses.  Before a bill can be sent to the President, the House of Representatives and the Senate must agree on the bill.

The conference committee works out any differences that they may have.


Select or ad hoc committees are temporary committees that are designed to discuss a particular committee bill.









There are two houses of the California State Legislature.  One house is the State Assembly, and the other house is the State Senate.



The State Assembly


There are 80 Assembly members in the State Legislature.  They are referred to as Assemblyperson, Assemblyman, or Assemblywoman.  Each elected Assemblyperson serves

a term of 2 years.  The area that an Assemblyperson serves is called an Assembly District (AD).


The State Senate


There are 40 State Senators in the State Legislature.  Each elected State Senator serves a term

of 4 years.  The area that a State Senator serves is called a Senate District (SD).