Congress vs Senate
Congress and senate are two words that have become so commonplace that a common citizen hardly pays any attention to differences between these two legislative bodies. Congress and senate represent legislative branch of the government, which is one of the three branches; other two being executive (President) and judicial (courts). If you too remain confused between congress and senate, read on as this article will clear all doubts from your mind. Though both have similar functions as legislative bodies involved with law making, there are differences in the roles and responsibilities of the senate and the house that will be highlighted in this article.
To make things clear about legislative bodies, congress is the name used to refer collectively to the House and the Senate. Thus, house is one of the two parts that make up congress in US politics, the other being senate. Thus, to remember it once and for all, here is the equation,
Congress = House + Senate
There are 50 states in US and each state send 2 members to senate making the total number as 100. Whether small or large, all states are given just 2 members to represent them in the congress or the federal parliament. What this implies is the equality of states as each state has an equal say in matters of importance in national politics. Senate is considered as the upper house in the congress. The word senate comes from the old Latin that means old or wise man. However, not all senators are old (or wise), but the tradition continues to refer to members of senate as being old and wise.
There is also ‘house of representatives’ that comprises 435 members that come in proportion to a state’s population. Thus, smaller states have lesser number of representatives, while those having higher population have a higher number of representatives.
These two houses namely senate and house of reps make up the congress that has the power to legislate on matters of public importance. The system of having two houses in congress is demonstrative of a system of checks and balances to prevent any legislation becoming a law in haste.
Both senators, as well as members of House of Representatives, are collectively called congressmen or congresswomen.
What is the difference between Congress and Senate?
· Legislative branch of the government in US is made up of House of Representatives and senate, and collectively it is referred to as congress.
· Senate has 100 members, 2 per state, irrespective of the size of the state to give equal say to every state
· House of Representatives has 435 members with smaller states having lesser number and large states having a high number of representatives
· Senate comes from Latin word that means old and wise
· Senate has the power of impeachment while money bills cannot originate in senate
· A citizen has to be at least 30 years of age to become a senator whereas a person of age 25 can become a member of the lower house of congress.
· All senators are congressmen (or congresswomen as the case may be). However, all congressmen are not necessarily senators as they also can be members of House of Representatives.