The US Congress actually has main purposes designed to address various aspects in the field of governance. The major functions include promoting public awareness, helping constituents, performing oversight, lawmaking, and representing the mass people. Hence, it’s important to know all of these in order to understand how the US government works for the betterment of the masses.
When it comes to lawmaking, passing rules is in fact a primary function for the congress officials. Each rule that has been passed by the body should be understood and obeyed by all Americans. By dealing with a lot of matters in the congress such as TV monitoring and gun control, it is really important to properly address the issues to help make the nation stronger and more resilient.
Understanding the Functions
The bills which are made by the congress actually originate from the executive body although only the congress can make laws. Constituents, interest groups, and parties influence congress members in voting for certain choices while they negotiate and compromise just to obtain agreements. In representing the people, the US congress should please and serve their constituents in order to keep their position. However, there are 3 significant theories to represent the masses namely: agency representation, sociological representation, and trustee representation.
With the representativeness of congress officials, there are specific requirements that should be met in order to hold office. For instance, a typical white Protestant man that is more affluent than the standard citizen, and a certified lawyer can hold the position as congressperson. Since 1990, female representatives have substantially increased including Hispanics and African Americans. But, women are still underrepresented when it comes to congressional offices.
Legislations and Powers
Through the legislative debates and compromises made, the congress can now make laws or bills which can influence Americans’ daily lives. Hearings are held to thoroughly create a law that will benefit all citizens in the United States. By conducting investigations and other legislative processes, they can oversee the states and the people. As the legislative body of the American government, the congress also represents US citizens when making certain laws.
This branch in fact shares the authority and power together with the executive body while the president leads the entire branch. In short, the congress has the power to:
- Try and impeach federal officers
- Make laws
- Declare war
- Provide and raise public money while overseeing proper expenditure
- Oversight and investigate
- Approve treaties and presidential appointments
With two institutions to help build better governance, the Senate and the House of Representatives support the congressional duties. But in order to harmonize the interests and needs of smaller and larger states, these two bodies are created to provide equal voice for the people. The senate serves as the voice while the House of Representatives represents the entire population. With one branch, the two bodies work together to ensure that legislative powers are properly executed from time to time. As stated in the constitution, Art.1 Sec.1 entitled The Legislature, both of these bodies have the authority to create and implement bills.