Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between House and Senate

senate-pdHouse vs Senate

In governance, the public often hear of the terms House and the Senate. However, little did they know of their respective functions and responsibilities. Altogether, both divisions are part of the legislative branch ‘“ called the Congress. It is a bicameral (made up of two chambers) department of a Federal government. For British nationals, these can be explained clearly as both chambers are the actual counterparts to U.K.’s House of Lords and House of Commons. But for the sake of discussion, because congresses can vary between different jurisdictions this article will focus more on the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

In the House, there are several parties. Whoever holds the majority, has the biggest say in the decision making process. This means that if the House proposes a rule or bill, it only necessitates a majority of the votes to pass the said bill. The Senate is somewhat similar but entirely different. To avoid confusion, they are similar in the sense that a majority of senators, who side for one particular vote option, will also have the upper hand in the voting process and the minority will be left with nothing. However, each senator is a very powerful public official himself. Each one of them has certain powers that can actually stop almost anything. To limit this power, the Senate operates under the principle of unanimous consent agreements. All should agree or else, every transaction within the senate cannot proceed. Senators also possess some form of special powers. For example, the Senate is the only body capable of voting or confirming the president’s appointees for the judicial post.

In terms of the number of members, the Senate has fewer members as opposed to the House. There are 100 members in the Senate while there are about 435 comprising the House. But to be sure, each U.S. state will have 2 Senators elected into the post even if one state will be much bigger than the other. Conversely, the number of representatives elected into the House varies with the State’s population. Senators have longer terms that span for 6 years and without any limitation to their terms while the representatives only have to stay in power for a meager two year terms.

Lastly, the requirements for one to be elected into each post are also different. The Senate’s eligibility requirements are tougher in the sense that they require an American citizen to have resided in the country for 9 years the least and no less than 30 years of age. On the contrary, members of the House can be as young as 25 years the least and need to be a citizen of the country for only 7 years.

1. There are fewer members in the Senate than in the House.

2. The members in the Senate have longer terms and have more rigid eligibility requirements to be elected into one of its post as compared to the members of the House.


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5 Comments

  1. Good information of this article.

  2. The article helped me with an essay i have to do.

  3. Decent article, but at the very end it makes the claim that “the Senate has more members than the House.” Pretty ridiculous and embarrassing mistake to make.

    • I read it as fewer members.

      • Mr. D is correct, in the end its re-inforces that the senate does have less members than the House of Representatives.

        Just a hint: I remember the House of Reps having more members because it has proportional representation, or just because the name is longer.

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