What do they do?
United States Senator - California
The United States Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both Senators and Representatives are responsible for representing the people of the states they serve. This involves voting and writing bills in the United States Congress. There are, however, some major differences between a United States Senator and a Representative, beginning with voting privileges. For example, a Senator has the privilege of voting on whether or not to confirm the President’s judicial nominees; United States Representatives do not have this right or responsibility.
Senators and Representatives differ in terms of the numbers present in Congress. There are 100 Senators in Congress; two Senators are allotted for each state. This number is independent of each state’s population. In contrast, the number of United States Representatives a state has is determined by the population of that particular state. There are 435 Representatives in Congress and each state has at least one Representative.
Another difference involves the length of time a Senator and a Representative are permitted to serve. A Senator represents his or her state for a six-year term. A Representative, on the other hand, serves for a two-year term.
Age and citizenship requirements are different for Senators and Representatives. A United States Senator must be at 30 years old and have at least nine years as a United States citizen under his or her belt. To become a Representative, an individual needs to be just 25 years old and have spent at least seven years as a United States citizen. Both Senators and Representatives are required to be residents of the states for which they serve.
Senators and Representatives also differ in their abilities to author certain types of bills. While both Senators and Representatives are permitted to introduce bills, Senators are restricted from introducing bills that raise revenue, such as tax bills. The Senate is permitted to reject or make amendments to such bills however.
Representatives have some unique responsibilities from which Senators are excluded. United States Representatives are responsible for choosing the President in the event that the Electoral College is unable to provide a decision. Representatives are also expected to vote on whether or not to begin the impeachment process. A Senator, on the other hand, may be called on to vote for a Vice President if the electoral vote is tied. A Senator also has the power to vote to approve treaties and it is the Senate that holds trials for impeached public officials.