The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution. The major power of the House is to pass federal legislation that affects the entire country although its bills must also be passed by the Senate and further agreed to by the President before becoming law (unless both the House and Senate re-pass the legislation with a two-thirds majority in each chamber).
Unfortunately for many concerned and conscientious Americans it is the personal and political aspirations of the members that create gridlock or lame duck sessions. If the
president wants Congress to work with him on various projects – under normal circumstances he is asking for congress to get some money allocated for his project (House) as well as make sure all due-process is correct (Senate) so that this neat little package with various stipulations arrives back at the president’s desk for his signature and hence, law.
The fortunate side of this process is the matter of checks and balances within the various branches. Let’s hypothesize that the president was asking for something completely ridiculous, and this does happen! Moreover, in our hypothetical let’s say that the political party the president is aligned with has more members in the legislature – Congress – and for good or bad every person elected for two years (House representative) wants to support the president; however, after doing the due-diligence the various big wigs find that the president’s plan is so bogus that it would be criminal to support it.
We are of the opinion that humankind during the 1800s were far less than in 2009 to support something like universal healthcare regardless of how much money they were offered or what the federal government would do for your state.
Each state receives representation in the House in proportion to its population but is entitled to at least one representative. The most populous state, California, currently has 53 representatives. The total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. Each representative serves for a two-year term. The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, traditionally the leader of the majority party is the presiding officer of the chamber, elected by the members of the House.
The Constitution grants the House several exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, to impeach officials, and to elect the President in case of an Electoral College deadlock. The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol, with the Senate meeting in the north wing of the same building.
Under the Articles of Confederation, Congress was a unicameral body in which each state held one vote. After eight years of a more limited federal government under the Articles, numerous political leaders, such as James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, initiated the Constitutional Convention in 1787, which received the Confederation Congress’s permission to “amend the Articles of Confederation.” All states except Rhode Island agreed to send delegates.
The issue of how Congress was to be structured was one of the most divisive among the founders during the Convention. Edmund Randolph’s Virginia Plan called for a bicameral Congress: the lower house would be “of the people,” elected directly by the people of the United States and representing public opinion, and a more deliberative upper house that would represent the individual states, and would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment, would be elected by the lower house.
The House is referred to as the lower house, with the Senate being the upper house, although the United States Constitution does not use that terminology. Both houses’ approval is necessary for the passage of smaller legislation. The Virginia Plan drew the support of delegates from large states such as Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, as it called for representation based on population.
Eventually, the Convention reached the Connecticut Compromise, or the Great Compromise, under which one house of Congress (the House of Representatives) would provide representation proportional to each state’s population, whereas the other (the Senate) would provide equal representation amongst the states. The Constitution was ratified by the requisite number of states (nine out of the 13) in 1788, but its implementation was set for March 4, 1789. The House began work on April 1, 1789, when it achieved a quorum for the first time.states, however, favored the New Jersey Plan, which called for a unicameral Congress with equal representation for the states.