The United States Congress was established by the US Constitution as the legislative branch of national government. Congress consists of two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The members of this branch craft legislation that must be passed by both houses before being sent to the President for signature. Upon receiving the President’s signature, the legislation becomes federal law.
The lower house, known as the House of Representatives, consists of 435 members. These members, styled as“Congressmen”, “Congresswomen”, or “Representatives”, represent districts from across the nation’s fifty states. State delegations are sized using population totals to create proportional delegations, thus larger states, like California with its fifty-three representatives, have more representation than smaller states, like Alaska with its one representative. The House of Representatives also has six delegates/resident commissioner that are non-voting members. These members represent territories like Guam, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa, and non-state areas like the District of Columbia.
The House of Representatives is currently controlled by the Republican Party. The GOP holds 241 of the chamber’s 435 voting seats. Democrats, in the minority for the first time in two Congresses, hold 193 seats. Speaker John Boehner of Ohio (R) is the highest ranking official in the House. As Speaker, Boehner is third in line behind President Obama and Vice President Biden in the line of presidential succession.
The United States Senate is the upper-house of the US Congress. With only 100 members, the Senate is a smaller body than the House of Representatives. Each state is guaranteed two US Senators regardless of population totals. Therefore, large states like New York and small states like Hawaii have equal representation. The Senate is ceremonially presided over by Vice President Joseph R. Biden (D-Delaware). Currently, the US Senate is held by the Democratic Party. 51 Senators are Democrats, 47 are Republicans, and two are independents. The two independents caucus with the Democrats giving them a 53-seat caucus. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada is the current Senate Majority Leader.
The State of Georgia has a fifteen member delegation to Congress. Thirteen Georgians are eligible to serve in the House delegation. Currently, eight Republicans and five Democrats represent Georgia in the House. Georgia's two US Senators are Republicans. For more information about our specific delegation, please see the links on the left of the screen.