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US Government

House of Representatives

Part of the Congress

The House of Representatives is one of the chambers of Congress that comprises the Legislative Branch of the United States government. The other chamber is the Senate. Having two chambers of Congress is called a "bicameral" legislature. The House of Representatives is sometimes just referred to as "the House" or the "lower" chamber of Congress.


State of the Union Address
by Lawrence Jackson
How many Representatives are there?

There are currently 435 representatives in the House. In the very first Congress there were only 65 representatives. The total number grew over time as new states joined the country and the population grew. However, in 1911, the Congress decided that the House was getting too big. They passed a law limiting the total number of representatives to 435.

The number of representatives from each state is determined by the population of the state. The more people that live in the state, the more representatives that state has. Every state has at least one representative no matter how small it is.

How long can someone be a Representative?

Representatives are elected to a new term every two years. In order to remain a representative, a person must get re-elected each time. However, there are no term limits, so a person can be a representative for as long as they continue to get elected.

Who can become a Representative?

The requirements for being a Representative are described in Article I of the Constitution:

1) they must be at least twenty-five years old
2) they must have been a U.S. citizen for the past seven years
3) they must live in the state they represent

Where does the House of Representatives meet?

The House of Representatives meets in the House Chamber located in the south wing of the U.S. Capitol Building. The members sit in a number of chairs that form a semicircle. At the center of the semicircle is the rostrum where the leaders of the House sit. There is an upper level called the gallery where people can observe the House (see the picture above).

House of Representatives Leadership Special House of Representatives Powers

The main job of the House of Representatives is to vote on new laws along with the Senate. There are a few powers, however, that are unique to the House:
Interesting Facts about the House of Representatives Activities To learn more about the United States government:

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Works Cited

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