United States House of Representatives

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The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Each state receives representation in the House proportional to its population but is entitled to at least one Representative; the most populous state, California, currently has 53 representatives. The total number of representatives is currently fixed at 435.[1] Each representative serves for a two-year term. The presiding officer of the House is the Speaker, and is elected by the members.

The bicameral Congress came from the desire of the Founders to create a House "of the people" that would represent public opinion, balanced by a more deliberative Senate which would represent the governments of the individual states, and would be less susceptible to variations of mass sentiment. The House is often considered to be the "lower house," with the Senate as the "upper house," although the United States Constitution does not use such language. Both houses' approval is necessary for the passage of legislation.

Because its members are generally elected from smaller (approximately 693,000 residents as of 2007) and more commonly homogenous districts than those from the Senate, the House is generally considered a more partisan chamber. The House was granted its own exclusive powers: the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach officials, and elect the President in electoral college deadlocks.

The House meets in the south wing of the United States Capitol.

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. See Public Law 62-5 of 1911, though Congress has the authority to change that number
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