Difference between revisions of "United States Congress"

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==References==
 
==References==
 
Boyer, Paul, Clifford Clark, Jr., Nancy Woloch, Neal Salisbury, and Harvard Sitkoff. The Enduring Vision. 5th. New York: Charles Hartford,
 
Boyer, Paul, Clifford Clark, Jr., Nancy Woloch, Neal Salisbury, and Harvard Sitkoff. The Enduring Vision. 5th. New York: Charles Hartford,
==References==
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==Notes==
  
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
 
[[Category:United States]]
 
[[Category:United States]]
 
[[Category:United States Government]]
 
[[Category:United States Government]]

Revision as of 19:27, 12 November 2007

Congress is the term for the legislative body of the United States of America, composed of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Powers

The powers of Congress, called the Delegated Powers are detailed in Article I, section eight. Congress is vested with the power to impose and collect taxes, to borrow an coin money, and to regulate foreign and interstate trade. Congress is also responsible to create post offieces and federal courts, maintain the army and navy, and admit new states into the union. Additionally, Congress can propose amendments to the Constitution. The Necessary and Proper Clause grants Congress all other powers necessary to carry out its duties.[1]

Origin

The Congress of the United States was created in the first article of the Constitution.[2] Most historians agree that the bicameral system within Congress is derived from English Parliament.

Houses

Congress is divided into two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate gives equal weight for each state, with each state electing 2 senators who serve 6 year terms. The House is proportioned based upon population, with each House member serving a 2 year term. The House and Senate must agree for legislation to be enacted. The President can veto that legislation which can then be overridden by a 2/3rds majority of both Houses of Congress.

The basis of these two components come from James Madison's Virginia Plan and William Patterson's New Jersey Plan. During the Philadelphia Convention in 1787 (where delegates set out to either ratify the current failing law of the land - the Articles of Confederation or create a new constitution all together - eventually doing the latter), Madison's Virginia Plan called for two houses both of which would be represent each state based on its population. Smaller states took issue with this, as the provision was highly favorable to Virginia. Thus, William Patterson proposed the New Jersey Plan - which called for one house that represented each stated with a single vote. Eventually the Connecticut delegates proposed the Connecticut Compromise - which called for two houses, the upper of which would represent each state equally, and the lower of which would represent each state according to population.[3]

Quotations

There is no distinctly American criminal class, except Congress

--Mark Twain

References

Boyer, Paul, Clifford Clark, Jr., Nancy Woloch, Neal Salisbury, and Harvard Sitkoff. The Enduring Vision. 5th. New York: Charles Hartford,

Notes