The United States congress which is also the legislature one of the three arms of government is divided into two chambers; the House of Representatives ‘house’ and the Senate. They both serve a vital role in ensuring that the proper policies and laws that represent the citizen’s views are passed. The House of Representatives is made up of representatives from all the states.
The Senate being the upper house is made up of individuals two from every state who are chosen by not looking at the populations in the states. Thus ensuring equal representation. They have the powers of consenting treaties, appointing federal officials for instance judges, secretaries in the cabinet and even the senior military personnel.
The Publius writings are the name under which the Federalist papers were referred to back in the day when they were being formulated. These papers aid in highlighting the functions of the House and Senate in relation to how they were formed, the principles that govern how the members are elected, how they work and how their role plays an important part in the formulation of policies.
There are several differences and similarities between these two chambers. The differences include that the senate is headed by the sitting Vice President who will vote in case there is a tie. The House of Representative is headed by the speaker who is elected by the members. “The senate is made up of 100 senators while the house has about 435 representatives and the number is determined by the populations they represent. In addition, the senators serve six year terms while the representatives serve 2 years (Patrick 225).” Though having many people means that the citizens’ views are well represented, these large numbers are said to inhibit them reaching a solution quickly.
Since the senate is made up of fewer individuals, they form a strong team that is able to make and reach decisions quickly. This is well stated by James Madison in the Publius no. 63, where it states that the senates’ small number makes it more stable and because of this, they are in a better position to form strong and lasting relations with foreign countries. moreover, he says that because the senators serve a longer period, this ensures that they will be held accountable for actions as well as policies they have formulated.
By being aware of this fact, they are always cautious of what they do. “The representatives on the other hand serve a smaller term therefore they will not be as keen as the senators after all they will not be around to be held responsible (Grossman 70).” This is further enhanced in the federalist no. 53 which states that the people who are chosen should be governed that are given to the House are not enough because during that period they have just known how the office works therefore their knowledge on foreign affairs is limited.
The functions of the House of Representatives are mostly legislative purposes. “This is because their numbers enable them to pass ordinary legislation, override vetoes and make amendments (Wescott 127).” This is much more than what the senate can do. In the Federalist no. 66, Hamilton says that there is likelihood that the senators can act corrupt more so because they will side with the president or influenced by the public to make invalid decisions. For this reason, he does not see why they should be allowed to pass judgments.
Though they are restricted to serving these purposes mostly, they can contribute in the impeachment of legislators. Senators are also engaged in the legislative matters but will also try those political offenses that the house has agreed on. On top of this, it acts as an executive council to the state. When the president wants to engage in treaties with other countries, the Senate has to agree on it before it is signed. This is quoted in the federalist no. 64 as it is said that, “the Senates advice is valuable and necessary.” Moreover if he appoints people to the high offices; the senate has to agree on the same issue. These powers of engaging in international treaties are not found within the House.
The similarities are that there gender equality is observed in both chambers as men and women are elected. The role of both the Senate and the house is to ensure that proper laws are passed and that they are adjusted regularly so that they can fit with the changing times.
Another similarity between the House and the Senate is that they both ensure that the system of election is just and according to the constitution. This therefore shows an example with which the national elections are conducted such that all individuals are treated fairly. “This is seen in Federalist 78 where constitution morality with regard to the proper use of the judicial system so as to enhance trust in the judicial system is enhanced (Wescott 144).”
The House carries the banner for the whole constitution as the representatives are elected in a just manner and they represent the populations. This is because the voters in such electors are the same ones who elect state legislators as found in the Federalist no, 52. These elections are administered by the states and are done in proper organized manner. For this reason, the system is fair and shows that the federal state elections need to be conducted in such an orderly manner. The same applies to the senate because only the competent individuals with prior experience in state matters are chosen. “Madison in the Federalist no. 62 says that the Senate is structured so that it can overcome the various organizational structures that face government institutions thus enhancing its stability (Millican 171).”
Both the senate and the House of Representatives have the power to make pass policies that will impact different sectors of the economy with regards to what they feel is right for the people. This is because before a bill becomes law, it has to be approved by majority of the senate and the House of Representatives. To ensure that they do their work well, the Senate and the House engage in frequent meetings where they discuss issues that face the country and what needs to be done, share ideas, debate over issues as this aids in making strategic decisions and voting on bills. By doing this, they are fulfilling their constitutional rights to the people.
Though the Senate presence is considered to be more superior to the House of Representatives, they both play an important part in congress as they work in unison with other arms of government to ensure that the country is propelled in the right direction. The Federalist papers therefore ensure that there is balance within the system especially in the distribution of power so as to ensure that laws are passed in proper ways without bias.
Grofman, Bernard & Wittman Donald. The Federalist Papers and the new institutionalism
Algora Publishing, 1989
Grossman Jay. Reconstituting the American renaissance: Emerson, Whitman, and the politics of representation. Duke University Press, 2003 p.70
Millican Edward. One united people: the Federalist papers and the national idea. University Press of Kentucky, 1990 p. 171
Patrick John J. Founding the Republic: a documentary history. Greenwood Publishing Group, 1995 p. 225
Wescott C. George. The Federalist: design for a constitutional republic. University of Illinois Press, 1994
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