Constitution of the United States

The Legislative Branch

Qualifications/Expectations of a Congressman or Senate.

In Article I; Section II, of the U.S. Constitution, there are three qualifications to be apart of the House of representatives.


  • He/She must be 25 years of age.
  • Has been a citizen of the United States for at least seven years.
  • Currently lives or inhabits the state you wish to represent.


There are no formal required duties assigned to a member of the House, so they are free to choose their duties as they see fit. Their job, however, is to represent his constituents, or members of the voting community.



In Article I; Section III, of the U.S. Constitution, there are three qualifications to be a member of the Senate, however there are far more restrictions than a Congressman's expectations.



  • He/She must be 30 years of age.
  • Has been a citizen of the United States for at least nine years.
  • They do not have to live or inhabit the state they currently wish to represent.



The Senate is an elite body in order to produce a further check on the powers of the House of Representatives. Their job is to ensure the equality with power among the different bodies of representatives.

The Meeting Times of Congress

The 20th Amendment, formally passed, changed the date of the opening of the regular session of Congress to January 3, every year.

Powers Granted to a Congressman/Senate

They are allowed the Freedom of Speech and to discuss their opinions freely without restrictions or be sued by another member. They cannot be arrested while congress is in session, except for treason, major crimes, or breaking the peace of a session. Members are paid a big $133,600.


However, they cannot pass laws that allow them to have personal gain. This clause also prevents the President from promising them jobs in other branches of the federal government.

Rules of Congress

Each house sets its own rules, can punish its members for disorderly behavior, and can expel a member by a two-thirds vote.

How a Bill Becomes a Law

A bill that comes forward is created by a committee and wants it to be signed, but for it to be signed it must be signed by members of Congress and must be signed by the president. They then contact Congress and if passed they return it to the committee. If the president disapproves of the bill, it is returned to the house where it originated, along with a written explanation of why it was rejected.