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Federal Legislative Research: Home

Legislative Process

The legislative branch is the lawmaking branch of the government. The federal government has a bi-cameral legislature comprised of the House of Representatives and the Senate; both of which are elected directly.

The House of Representatives has 435 members, each of whom represent a district which is determined by population. Each representative serves a two-year term.

In the Senate, the representation is not based on population, but rather each state is represented by two senators that serve a six year term. The election of senators is staggered so that approximately one-third of the senate is up for re-election at any one time.

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