The United States Congress is composed of two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Both houses together form the national legislature of the United States.
The composition of the House is established by Article One of the Constitution. The House is in charge of passing federal legislation (bills), which are then sent to the president for consideration. Additionally, the House has several exclusive powers, such as impeaching federal officers and electing one of the top three recipients for president if no candidate receives a majority of electors.
According to the U.S. Constitution, representatives must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least 25 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen for at least seven years
- Be a resident of the state they represent
Additionally, all 50 states maintain requirements for running for election, including a filing fee and a petition with a minimum number of valid signatures.
Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms and are considered for reelection every even calendar year (the next reelections will be 2022, 2024, and so on). There are a total of 435 members in the House of Representatives, 221 of which are affiliated with the Democratic Party, 211 are affiliated with the Republican Party, and three seats are vacancies.
In 1941, Congress permanently adopted the “Method of Equal Proportion” to determine how many representatives each state is apportioned. This means that each state’s number of representatives is determined by the state’s population. California has the highest number of representatives, with 53 at a population of 39,747,267. Texas is the second highest with 36 representatives and a population of 29,087,070.