US Congress

The United States Congress serves as the US Federal Government’s legislative branch, which has a primary duty of proposing, drafting, enacting and ratifying federal laws. Bicameral, the congress comprises two houses which meet at the US Capitol building in Washington D.C. The two houses are the US Senate and the US House of Representatives. As elections are held every two years, its dynamic changes frequently. The two houses have several exclusive powers, while also sharing some powers and duties, creating a system of checks and balances. The following table provides for an overview of how the congress is broken down.

United States Congress

“Ratta Sapha Congress Saharat America”


US Senate

“Wuthi Sapha Saha-rat America”


US House of Representatives

“Sapha Poo Taen Rasadorn Haeng Saha-rat America”


Upper House

Lower House

Members 100 Senators

สมาชิกวุฒิสภา ๑๐๐ คน

435 Representatives + 6 non-voting members

(congressman and congresswoman)

สมาชิกสภา ๔๓๕ คน + ๖ ผู้ที่ไม่มีสิทธิออกเสียงลงคะแนน

Representation 100 = two senators for each state 435 = proportionate to state populations
Basic Requirements
  • At least 30 years old
  • US citizen for minimum 7 years
  • Resident of State they will represent
  • At least 25 years old
  • US citizen for minimum 7 years
  • Resident of State they will represent
Term 6 years = staggered  (1/3 up for election every 2 years) 2 years
Last Election 2010 November 2 2010 November 2
Next Election 2012 November 6 2012 November 6
Exclusive Powers
  • US Vice president acts as Senate President
  • Confirm President appointments requiring consentt
  • Ratify Treaties
  • Trial impeachment cases of federal officials
  • initiate revenue bills
  • impeach federal officials
  • elect the President in the case of an electoral college tie.
  • Refer impeachment cases of federal officials
Shared Powers

enact legislation

declare war

the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments

Substantial investigative powers

Override Presidential Vetoes

Approve Vice-Presidency appointments

Ratify Foreign-trade treaties

To see a similar table overview of Thailand’s parliamentary legislative branch, click here.

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