Politics can be tricky.
Maybe you learned about it in school, but many people we meet still don't fully know what congress is or what a congressman does. We get it, and we don't want that to hinder your ability to vote for the best candidate.
In the U.S., there are three branches of government. The executive branch that enforces the laws, the judicial branch that interprets the laws, and the legislative branch that makes the laws. Congress makes up the legislative branch of government, and it is their job to make the federal laws. Congress also has the power to approve Supreme Court justices, declare war, and impeach and convict a president.
Congress is made up of two houses: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Senate and the House of Representatives are the two houses that make up Congress. Members of the Senate are called senators. Members of the House are called house members, representatives, congressmen, or congresswomen.
Congress is divided into two houses in order to balance the interests of both the small and large states. There is equal representation of states in the Senate (two senators per state), while the number of representatives in the House is based on the population of the state. So the least populous state has has two senators but only one representative, and the most populous state has two senators and 53 representatives.
Congress people represent their district by holding hearings, creating, and voting on legislation. Only members of congress can introduce laws to be voted upon and only members of congress can vote to pass new laws (which then go to the president to be signed into law.) So as a congressman for Florida’s 15th District, Jesse will be able to write and introduce news laws to congress and vote to pass the best laws to represent his constituents.
Jesse is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Senators are elected every 6 years and representatives are elected every two years, so Jesse is running for a two year term in the House of Representatives.
Members of Congress have a say in what laws are passed and what laws are not passed. This is a huge responsibility and affects the lives of every person in the U.S. It is important that the people we elect into congress represent policies that we believe in and that will help make our communities, our state, and our nation the best it can be.