Structure Of The Us House Of Representatives
The House of Representatives is the lower house of the bicameral United States Congress and forms an integral part of the Legislative Branch of the government. The structure of the US House of Representatives has been precisely described in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution.
As per the article statement in the Constitution, there cannot be more than a total of 435 voting representatives in the House. Each of these representatives from different states is elected to serve a maximum office term of two years, as a member of the House of Representatives. The House consists of at least one representative from each of the 50 States of the US. However, the total number of representatives from each state is determined in proportion to the total population of that particular state. For instance, California, being the most populous U.S. state at the present time, has a total of 53 state representatives in the House.
The U.S. States that have more than one state representative in the House are further categorized into single-member districts. Thus, apportionment of seats to the states according to their population and redistricting of member states into districts are two most significant characteristics of the structure of the US House of Representatives. Another important feature of the structure of the House is its Committee System, which divides the House into different committees to deal with complicated issues in agriculture, armed services, financial services, apportionments, foreign affairs, science and technology, judiciary, natural resources, etc.
The House is presided over by the Speaker, who is also the head of the majority party of the government. The procedure for selection of the Speaker has been clearly defined in the U.S. Constitution. Accordingly, the Speaker of the House is elected by the members of the House by casting majority votes. While the Speaker must be an elected representative, he need not necessarily be the current member of the House. Other headship positions in the House include the minority and majority leaders who supervise the on-floor legislative activity and the majority and minority ‘whips’ who make sure that the votes are cast by the members as per the respective positions of their parties.
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