that's my congress?!
As an introduction to understanding Congress, let's start basic:
- "Congress" is the name for the Legislative Branch of our country.
- The root "legis" in Latin means "law", so essentially Congress makes laws!
- Congress is made up of two "groups": the House of Representatives, made of 436 members, and the Senate, made of 102 members. Representatives are elected every (2) years, while Senators are elected every (6) years.
- Together, Congress has 538 members.
- The 114th Congress runs from 2015 and 2017, and took office after the Election of 2014, an election year in which there was no presidential election, but one that saw the Republicans take control of both the House and the Senate.
But, as an introduction to understanding Congress, we need to know who exactly is our Congress. And let's start basic: Who’s in Congress? What does this say about our country?
At. A. Glance.
Examine the infographic below and respond accordingly.
Examine the infographics below and respond accordingly.
...And How is This Congress Different?
Incoming Members: Raw Data
9. Examine the graph below that shows the House, Senate and their political leanings since the 1950's. What main conclusion can you make? (HINT: Examine the colors and see how they swell and dwindle over time...)
There is an argument today that says that the United States government and its people is more divided that ever before, except for the Civil War. The graph below shows polarity from the 1950s to the present and the graph after that shows the Senate during the Civil War era. (You you can click on these images to make them "bigger".)
What conclusions can you draw about the state of Congressional "polarity" today?