Article 1 U.S. Constitution The Legislative Branch Also known as Congress • Housed in Washington DC in the Capital Building. • Writes Federal laws. • Bicameral-two houses Congress • A representative assembly, made up of 535 elected officials. • Serve as links between their constituents and the National Government. • Begins a new term every two years, on January 3 of every odd numbered year. • Follows a general elections in November. Congress members have Five major roles 1. Legislators (writes laws) 2. Represent their constituents (the people back home that elected them) 3. Committee members 4. Servants of their constituents by helping with various problems. 5. Politician Senate •Know as the Upper House. •100 Senators total. •Two from each of the fifty states. •Led by the U.S. Vice President (Joe Biden) Qualifications for the Senate Must be: • 30 years old • A U.S. citizen for at least 9 years. • Must be an inhabitant of the State from which she/he is elected. Term for the Senate • Elected from the State at-large (the whole State). • Since they represent the entire state they are supposed to look at the larger picture, “national interests” rather than smaller local issues. • Serve a six year term, no term limit. • 1/3 of the Senate is up for election every two years (A Continuous body). The House of Representatives • Led by the Speaker of the House (From the party in power, that has the majority) • Known as the Lower House. • 435 members. • Number of representatives per state is based on population. • Each one represents a congressional district with roughly 650,000 people in it. Qualifications for the House of Representatives Must be: • 25 years or older • A U.S. citizen for at least 7 years. • Must be an inhabitant of the State from which she/he is elected. Term for the House • Article 1 of the Constitution directs Congress to reapportion (redistribute) the seats in the House after each decennial census. • They serve a two year term. • Elections are held on the same day in every State, the Tuesday following the first Monday in November each even numbered year. • There is no term limit! Gerrymandering • A Congressional district map that has been drawn to the advantage of the political party that controls the states legislature. • To gain Partisan advantage.