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House of Representatives

The U.S. government is made up of the executive branch, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch. The executive branch, led by the President and the Vice President, enforces our laws. The judicial branch, led by the Supreme Court, interprets our laws. The legislative branch, which makes our laws, is the Congress.

The Congress has two parts: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Each state has two U.S. Senators and at least one U.S. Representative; the more residents a state has, the more U.S. Representatives it is allowed. The House of Representatives shares equal responsibility for lawmaking with the U.S. Senate. The senate's members are chosen from an entire state, House members are chosen from local districts.

There are 435 voting members and five delegates in the House of Representatives, each serving a two-year term, and one resident commissioner (A representative from Puerto Rico, elected to serve in the U.S House of Representatives. They do not take part in the votes but do serve on committees) serving four years. The House of Representatives, since it has more members than the Senate, is regarded as the lower house of the United States Congress. It also has powers not provided to the Senate, such as the right, if the Electoral College is tied, to elect the President.

States are divided into congressional districts (A portion of a state containing about 600,000 people represented by one member of the US House of Representatives), based on population, and each Congressional district is represented by one member in the House of Representatives.

The most significant role in the House of Representatives is the speaker of the House. This individual, who is chosen by the majority party, presides over debate, appoints members of select and conference committees, and performs other important duties; speakers are the third most powerful person, (following the president and vice-president). You can find out your representative using the find out your representative feature.



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