House of Representatives and the Senate


The fact that there exists both the senate and the house ofrepresentative is an indication that there are differences betweenthe two houses both in composition and functionality. The house ofrepresentatives comprises of 435 members whereas the senate onlycontains 100 members (McNeese, 2011). This difference in membernumbers is one of the major structural differences between the twolegislative houses (Bardes et al., 2010). There are numerouscommittees and sub-committees in the House of Representatives asopposed to the senate which has a few committees and subcommittees.This can be attributed to the difference in numbers between the twohouses.

The House of Representatives have the power to generate and debateany laws dealing or affecting revenue. The senate on the other hand,has the sole privilege of advice and consent. The power to impeachremains a privilege of the House of Representative (McNeese, 2011).However, the senate has the power to try the officials who areimpeached by the lower house. It is also evident from research thatmatters in the House of Representatives are discussed more quicklyand resolved as opposed to matters in the senate, which might take alonger time (Sneider, 2010). Another difference between the twohouses is that the seats of the senate are a representation of twoper state while the number of seats in the House of Representativesare determined by population in the states.

The senate debates and deliberates matters that affect the entirecountry. In other words, the senate has the whole country in mindwhen discussing matters. On the other hand, the House ofRepresentatives focuses on their specific locations in the statescalled the districts. The senate focuses mainly on laws affectingforeign policy (Sneider, 2010). It is evident that these are lawsthat cannot be rushed and hence the fact that such issues arediscussed by senate. The House of Representatives focuses on the lawsaffecting taxes within the country and therefore they can be debatedquickly.

There are a number of differences between the members of the senateand the members of the House of Representatives. Senators serve aterm of six years and do not go back to the electorate frequently. Onthe other hand, the members of the lower house are elected to serve aterm of two years (Sneider, 2010). This makes these members to beconstantly in an election mood. They focus mainly on benefiting thepeople from their districts and they only support laws that arebeneficial to their districts. Another key difference between membersof the lower house and those of the upper house is that the senatorsare required to be of 30 years of age or above while the members ofthe lower house have a minimum age requirement of 25 years (Sneider,2010).

Members of the House of Representatives are in constant contact withtheir electorate and have an opportunity to understand their concernsand needs (McNeese, 2011). This is due to the fact that the membershave to seek for re-election after two years. Senators, on thecontrary, are rarely in contact with the electorate since they onlyseek re-election after six years. Another difference is that membersof the lower house represent small areas within states, while thesenators represent large areas within the state (Bardes et al.,2010). Members of the House of Representatives have specialized rolesin the house. Most of them belong to particular committees andsubcommittees. On the other hand, a senator plays a more generalizedroles since there are extremely few committees and subcommittees inthe senate.


Bardes, B. A., Shelley, M. C., &amp Schmidt, S. W. (2010).&nbspAmericangovernment and politics today: The essentials.Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Sneider, N. O. (2010).&nbspHouse of Representatives of the UnitedStates. Huntington, N.Y: Nova Science Publishers.

McNeese, T. (2011).&nbspThe U.S. Constitution. St. Louis, Mo:Milliken Pub.