The House

Who’s in it?

435 Representatives. They’re proportional, so bigger states get more Reps (e.g. 53 from California, 1 from Wyoming). Although the U.S. population is growing, the number stays fixed at 435 (due to a 1929 law). So currently there’s roughly 1 Representative for every 748,000 people. Also states with only 1 Rep are called “at large”.

How long do they serve?

Terms are 2 years, so Representatives are elected every 2 years (the whole House is always up). If a Representative quits, dies, or is removed from office, the governor of his/her state orders a special election to fill the seat.

How do we decide who represents which people in each state?

The Census. Every 10 years (e.g. 2000, 2010, 2020) we count the population, and then each state uses that data to redraw it’s House districts (called “redistricting”). This way states can still be represented fairly as populations change. There’s also a way to do this unfairly: visit to learn more about that.

Can I be a Representative?

If you’re at least 25, have been a U.S. citizen for 7 years, and live in the state you’d represent, than yes. In fact we need you to be one (it’s weird RN).

Anything else?

Representatives choose the Speaker of the House and other ranking officers. The House is solely responsible for impeachment (e.g. of a President, VP, or other federal officer). And any laws regarding taxes must originate in the House. There’s other stuff too (we’ll get to it later), but those are the basics.

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