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The U.S. Senate 2022
The U.S. Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress.
Control of the US Congress is up for grabs in these midterm elections, including 35 Senate races that will decide who calls the shots in the next 2 years.
Learn more about the powers of the Legislative Branch on the US Congress page.
U.S. Senate Powers and functions
The Senate is responsible for approving all governmental appointments by the president, including Supreme Court justices, ambassadors, ministers, and other civil officials.
No specific baseline level of support is mentioned for approving these appointments, implying that a simple majority vote is required, or in the case of a 50-50 tie, the vice president casting the deciding vote.
Member Requirements and Term Specifications
The United States Senate is comprised of 100 members, two from every state, who are elected for a six-year term. Senators are separated into three different classes, with each class coming up for election every two years. They have no term limits imposed on them and can serve as many terms as they wish if they can keep getting reelected by voters.
Senators must be at least 30 years of age, a citizen of the United States for at least nine years, and a resident of the state they seek to represent.
They are authorized to receive compensation for their services paid out of the treasury of the United States.
House members must be at least 25 years of age, a citizen of the United States for seven years, and a resident of the state they seek to represent.
They are authorized to receive compensation for their services paid out of the treasury of the United States. As with members of the Senate, they are prohibited from being appointed to any civil office whose position was created or whose compensation was increased during their term of service.
While senators were originally chosen by the state legislature, apart from a direct vote, House members have always been elected by a direct vote.
Although the House is generally considered to possess less authority, power, and prestige than the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives is by far the most powerful position in the United States Congress, third in line to the presidency if needed.
It is also the only governmental body to draft legislation regarding taxation or revenue.
What is Congress
The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is composed of a lower body, the House of Representatives, and an upper body, the Senate. It meets in the United States Capitol in Washington DC.