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House of Representatives

About the House of Representatives

The United States House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the U.S. Congress (a bicameral legislature). It is frequently referred to as “the House." The other house is the Senate.

The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the U.S. 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 U.S. president before becoming law (unless both the House and Senate re-pass the legislation with a two-thirds majority in each chamber). The House has some exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, to impeach officials (impeached officials are subsequently tried in the Senate), and to elect the U.S. president in case there is no majority in the Electoral College.

Each U.S. state is represented in the House in proportion to its population as measured in the census, but every state is entitled to at least one representative. The most populous state, California, currently has 53 representatives. On the other end of the spectrum, there are seven states with only one representative each (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming). The total number of voting representatives is fixed by law at 435. Each representative serves for a two-year term. The speaker of the House, who presides over the chamber, is elected by the members of the House, and is therefore traditionally the leader of the House Democratic Caucus or the House Republican Conference, whichever party has more voting members. The House meets in the south wing of the U.S. Capitol. (Source: Wikipedia. Click here to see the entire Wikipedia entry on the House of Representatives.)

House of Representatives leaders of the 113th Congress

Republicans

Democrats

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