Senate vs House
Senate and House are important words in the polity of US. For starters, the lawmakers of the country comprise the Congress at the federal level and being bicameral in nature (like most other countries); it is divided into a Senate and the House of Representatives. Members of both the House as well as Senate are collectively referred to as Congressmen (or Congresswomen). This article attempts to find out the differences between the Senate and the House based upon their features and powers.
The founding fathers of the country that drew up the constitution were of the view that there should not only be division of powers, but also enough checks and balances to ensure there is no misuse of powers. This is reflected in the bicameral legislature with a Senate and a House making up the legislative branch of the government. Majority and positive vote from both branches of the Congress ensures there is no hasty passage of a piece of legislation. This division of Congress into House and Senate also helped in prevention of tyranny.
Normally, a bill originates in the House, but House alone is not sufficient to get it converted into law. House cannot just discuss a bill and pass it after approval to the President to make it a law of the land. The role of the Senate becomes important here. After the bill has been approved by the House, it goes to the Senate where discussion over it takes place, and often a bill that gets passed in the House is discussed for more than a week in the Senate. If it is passed by the Senate after ironing out differences in the opinion between the two chambers of the legislation, the bill is forwarded to the President to be approved, and finally becomes a law of the land.
The wording may be different, but Senate represents the Upper House in US polity. It is a chamber that comprises 100 members, 2 each from every state in the country. There is no proportional representation and all states, whether small or large have 2 members. This implies that all states are equal in the eyes of the legislative body, and no state is above any other state in the Senate. For a US citizen to become a member of the Senate, he or she must be at least 30 years of age and must be a US citizen for the last 9 years or more.
House of Representatives or simply House is the lower house in US polity and at present consists of 435 members with different numbers coming from different states. The number of Congressmen from a state is dependent upon the principle of proportional representation. Thus, a state with a higher population has a higher number of House members than a state with a very small population.
What is the difference between ?
• Senate has fewer members (100) than House, which has 435 members
• Senate is Upper House while House of Representatives is the Lower House in the bicameral legislature
• Senator is a US citizen not less than 30 years of age while a US citizen who is 25 can become a member of the House
• Senators are elected directly by all voters of the state, and they remain members for a period of 6 years. One third senators retire every two years.
• House members are elected for a 2 year term
• All money bills originate in the House
• The biggest difference between Senators and House members pertain to the fact that having been elected for just 2 years, House members are always in close contact with people of their constituency as they are perennially in election mode. On the other hand, Senators are elected for a period of 6 years, and thus they remain insulated by the need to be in touch with their constituency.