Understanding the House of Representatives
What does a representative do?
By: Jeff Charles | March 18, 2021 | 464 Words
The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate both make up the legislative branch of the federal government. It is responsible for creating federal law that applies to all 50 states in the Union. Members of the House have a number of duties they must fulfill to serve the district they represent and to promote the legislation for which they were elected.
What Does A Representative Do?
Representatives, also called members of Congress, spend a lot of time meeting with people living in their districts to understand their concerns. By listening to these people, their constituents, lawmakers know what type of legislation to push for when they are in Washington, D.C.
To be eligible to serve in Congress, an individual must be at least 25 years old, a resident of the state they wish to represent at the time of election, and they need to have been a U.S. citizen for at least seven years.
Each House member serves two-year terms and must seek re-election to remain in their position.
Unlike senators, representatives do not represent their entire state. Instead, they represent a part of their state called a Congressional District. Each district averages about 711,000 people.
A member of Congress might also serve on a committee. Currently, the House has 23 different committees designed to address aspects of government. This allows for a lawmaker to obtain expertise and special knowledge of specific issues that interest them.
How Laws Get Passed
A representative may introduce a bill whenever the House is in session. This is done by placing the proposed legislation into a box called the “hopper.” Each bill is assigned a number and is sent to a committee for consideration. The Library of Congress also publishes information on the bill on its website so that anyone can keep up with the progress of the proposal as it makes its way through the House.
When a bill is given to a committee for consideration, each member of the group will vote on whether to bring the proposal to the rest of the House for a vote. If the bill is passed in the House, it goes to the Senate and then to the president’s desk for a signature before it becomes law.
U.S. representatives are an important part of American government. They play a critical role in creating the laws that affect the public. Members of Congress retain their position by listening to their constituents and ensuring that the legislation they support is in the best interests of the people living in their districts. However, if a representative fails to carry out their duties for which they were elected, they can be voted out in the next election. These individuals are a prime example demonstrating how a republic should function.