Comparison between the U.S Senate and House

The senate and the house websites demonstrate that both the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives are integral parts of the United States Congress. The incorporation of the senate and the house make the congress become a bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States of America. Another similarity of content between the senate and the house websites is due to the fact that senators and representatives are chosen through direct election.

Election

However, the house website illustrates that there are four hundred and thirty five members in the House of Representatives. Each of the representatives represents a district and its populace and that is the reason why House seats are shared out among the states with reference to population. Members in the House of Representatives only serve the people for a two year term before elections USHR, (2010).

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The senate website on the other hand reveals that there are one hundred senators in the United States Senate. The senators exclusively represent a state and each state is allocated two senators thus population is not a valid factor in the United States Senate. Unlike members in the House of Representatives, senators serve a far longer term of six years before elections are conducted.

The senators are appointed through an election where the winner is decided by the plurality of the popular vote. Nonetheless, more or less one-third of the Senate is elected at a time within an intermittent period of two years and in most cases, the incumbent senators are always in a better position for re-election USS, (2010).

Powers

After careful study of both the senate and the house websites, it is evident that the House and the Senate have a number of similar and divergent powers. The Constitution gives the House exclusive rights to the initiation of all bills for raising revenue hence the Senate lacks the authority to instigate bills that enforce taxes USS, (2010).

In addition, the House of Representatives has absolute power over the bills that sanction the disbursement of federal funds thus the Senate lacks power to instigate appropriation bills. This is because the House is a solid veto point for such bills and an appropriation bill has to be considered in the house before implementation. However, the senate has the power and indeed the right to amend general appropriation bills and the power to carry out this function is limitless USHR, (2010).

Therefore even though the Senate cannot introduce an appropriation bill, it can alter the content and the focus of a present bill to suit its intentions. For any bill to be implemented, the approval of both the Senate and the House of Representatives is needed for any bill to become law. Both the Senate and the House must agree upon and pass the same version of the bill and any variations in opinion are settled by a conference committee which is made up of members of both bodies.

Presidential powers

The first presidents of the United States of America were George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson who during their tenure managed to effectively alter the powers of the president. George Washington was the first president who acquired that position through military victory and his popularity amongst the Americans. As the president, he set out to strengthen the nation’s unity, keep a neutral and objective perception and to build the economy.

Washington managed to accomplish most of his objectives and though widely appreciated, some quarters were not content. Economic policies and treaties were met with angry reactions like the 1794 whisky rebellion. The president was however able to assert the will of the nation over localized rebellion and thus Washington and his administration were triumphant in strengthening the powers of the president.

John Adams was elected in 1796 and immediately went on to altar foreign policy and domestic laws USHR, (2010).. He was highly unpopular leading to the 1800 revolution by approving unconstitutional laws which were oppressive. Adams managed to cast doubt over the powers of the presidency which divided the nation and partially diluted the powers of the president.

When Thomas Jefferson was elected as president, his first intentions were to strengthen the Republic. He reduced the powers of the federal government and repealed the unconstitutional acts passed by Adams. Overall, Jefferson managed to strengthen the nation and indeed the powers of the president even though the Adams administration had introduced a multipartite form of democracy.

References

The United States House of Representatives- USHR, (2010). Tying It All Together: Learn about the Legislative Process. Retrieved on February 25, 2010 from: http://www.house.gov/house/Tying_it_all.shtml

The United States Senate- USS, (2010). Legislation & records. Retrieved on February 25, 2010 from: http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/d_three_sections_with_teasers/bills.htm

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