The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate, its upper house, and the House of Representatives, its lower house. Congress meets in the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Both representatives and senators are chosen through direct election. There are 535 voting Members of Congress (the House of Representatives' membership of 435 plus the Senate membership of 100). Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a district. Congressional districts are apportioned to states by population using the United States Census results, each state in the union having at least one representative in the House of Representatives. Regardless of population, each of the 50 states has two senators; the 100 senators each serve a six-year term. The terms are staggered so every two years approximately one-third of the Senate is up for election. Each staggered group of one-third of the senators are called 'classes'. No state of the United States has two senators from the same class. Most incumbents seek re-election, and their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90 percent. In August 2012, a Gallup poll reported that Congress’s approval rating amongst Americans was at 10%, matching a 38-year low reached in November 2011.
Famous quotes containing the words united states, united, states and/or congress:
“A sincere and steadfast co-operation in promoting such a reconstruction of our political system as would provide for the permanent liberty and happiness of the United States.”
—James Madison (17511836)
“What lies behind facts like these: that so recently one could not have said Scott was not perfect without earning at least sorrowful disapproval; that a year after the Gang of Four were perfect, they were villains; that in the fifties in the United States a nothing-man called McCarthy was able to intimidate and terrorise sane and sensible people, but that in the sixties young people summoned before similar committees simply laughed.”
—Doris Lessing (b. 1919)
“Methodological individualism is the doctrine that psychological states are individuated with respect to their causal powers.”
—Jerry Alan Fodor (b. 1935)
“I expect to maintain this contest until successful, or till I die, or am conquered, or my term expires, or Congress or the country forsakes me.”
—Abraham Lincoln (18091865)