1. United States Congress

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  2. About United States Congress

    United States Congress

    The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States consisting of two houses: the lower house known as the House of Representatives and the upper house known as the Senate. Congress meets in the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

     

    Both representatives and senators are chosen through direct election. Congress has a total of 535 voting members: 435 members in the House of Representatives and 100 members in the Senate. 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.