Essay: The House of Representatives and the Senate

The House of Representatives and the Senate are the main legislative bodies in the US. At the same time, they have different powers, which are unique for either legislative body. In this respect, it should be said that the House of Representatives has the power to impeach civil officers, including the President, whereas the Senate has the Advice and Consent power. The division of powers between the two houses of the US parliament maintained the specific focus of the two legislative bodies on two different levels of the US political life. On the one hand, the House of Representatives was granted with the power to control the executive power through the impeachment procedure, which implies the power to dismiss officials, whereas, on the other hand, the Senate has the power to control the executive power through the Advice and Consent which implies the power to control the appointment of officials.

On analyzing the existing difference between powers of the House of Representatives and the Senate, it is worth mentioning the fact that the House of Representatives is the legislative body that performs representative function on the common basis because Americans elect members of this legislative body to represent them at the federal level on the common basis. Instead, the Senate comprises Senators who represent their specific states and who are elected within their states only. Therefore, the unique legislative powers are supposed to mirror interests of voters and their ability to influence political decisions which control the executive power and prevent the misuse of power by representatives of the executive branch of power.

At the same time, the unique power of the Senate to Advice and Consent implies that the executive power has to agree the appointment of officials with the Senate. In this respect, it is important to understand the fact that the Senate can take such decisions under pressure of the executive branch of power or it can conduct policies coordinated with the executive power that may lead to misuse of power by the executive branch of power. In such a situation, the unique power of the House of Representatives to impeach officials can prevent such a possibility because, in case of misuse of power by the executive branch of power and existence of certain agreements between the executive branch of power and the Senate, the House of Representatives can still dismiss officials through the procedure of impeachment. To put it in simple words, two bodies of the legislative power have a double system of control over the executive branch of power and this system of control is separated for the House of Representatives and the Senate uniquely.

In fact, each legislative body has its own possibility or mechanism to influence and control the executive branch of power and this mechanism is different and unique for the House of Representatives and the Senate. As a result, the risk of usurpation or misuse of power decreases because even if there is any agreements between the executive power and either body of the legislative power, i.e. either the House of Representatives or the Senate, the other body will still be able to use its power to control both the executive power and the legislative power. At this point, it is also possible to speak about the mutual control of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

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