Congress

Capitol

The United States Congress is the Legislative (law-making) arm of the political system.

The Congress is bicameral, consisting of two houses: The House of Representatives and the Senate.

House of Representatives

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms in even-numbered years.

In the event a representative dies, resigns or is expelled, a special election is held to elect a replacement. The Constitution establishes no limit on the number of terms a person may serve in the House.

The four non-voting delegates to Congress from the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands and America Samoa are also elected to two-year terms in even-numbered years, while Puerto Rico’s non-voting resident commissioner in Congress is elected to a four-year term in the same years as presidential elections are held.

Senate

There are 100 United State senators, two from each of the 50 states.

Senators are elected to six-year terms in even-numbered years. The terms are staggered so that the terms of approximately one-third of all Senators expire every two years. Thus, approximately 30-36 Senate seats are up for re-election every two years.

The Constitution establishes no limit on the number of terms a person may serve in the Senate.

If a senator dies, resigns or is expelled, the governor of the affected state appoints a temporary replacement who holds office until a special election can be held to elect a replacement.

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