Definition of congress
- the national legislative body of the U.S., consisting of the Senate, or upper house, and the House of Representatives, or lower house, as a continuous institution.
- this body as it exists for a period of two years during which it has the same membership: the Ninety-Seventh Congress.
- a session of this body: to speak in Congress.
Origin of congress
OTHER WORDS FROM congresspre-Congress, noun
Words nearby congress
MORE ABOUT CONGRESS
What is Congress?
In the United States, Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government. Only it can create and pass federal laws.
Congress is divided into two houses: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate is commonly referred to as the “upper house” and consists of 100 members (called senators), two from each of the 50 states. The House of Representatives (often shortened to “the House”) has 435 voting members, known as representatives. The size of a state’s population determines how many representatives that state gets. All members of Congress are elected by the citizens of the state they represent.
Congress has many powers, such as to introduce new taxes, to admit new states to the United States, and to declare war. Most of Congress’s work is creating and passing federal laws.
Because all US federal laws are created by it, Congress plays a huge role in Americans’ lives, even if most Americans don’t pay close attention to Congress’s daily activities.
Why is Congress important?
Congress was established by the US Constitution, the document that serves as the fundamental law of the country. Written in 1787 and accepted in 1788, the Constitution specifically uses the word Congress in Article I, Section 1, stating “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”
The Constitution also specifically states which powers and responsibilities Congress would have. Due to the limited time Congress has to do its work, both houses have numerous smaller committees that spend time creating and debating bills before introducing them to the larger house. Despite this, Congress still often takes a long time to agree on the final version of a bill.
Did you know … ?
What are real-life examples of Congress?
This photo depicts the United States Capitol Building, where both houses of Congress perform their daily responsibilities.
Most Americans know about Congress and its ability to make laws. Today, Congress is often frequently and passionately talked about by Americans on social media.
Also, no, all it would take is a simple act of Congress, as has been done with other states before.
— David Langum (@DaveLangum) May 18, 2021
Today #SexEd champions in Congress introduced the Real Education and Access to Health Youth Act (#REAHYA), which would make essential investments in honest & inclusive sex ed programs!! Thank you to @RepBarbaraLee, @RepAdams, @CoryBooker , & @maziehirono! https://t.co/c3TbEDlQ2g
— Sex Ed with DB (@SexEdwithDB) May 18, 2021
What other words are related to Congress?
True or False?
In the United States, Congress has the power to make state laws.
How to use congress in a sentence
Pauli wrote to Jung reporting a dream he had about a physics congress with many participants.The Synchronicity of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung - Issue 93: Forerunners|Paul Halpern|November 18, 2020|Nautilus
Historically the reelection rate for members of Congress is in the area of 95 percent.
The breakdown of the 114th Congress is 80 percent white, 80 percent male, and 92 percent Christian.
With all that said, representation of each of these respective communities has increased in the new Congress.
This Congress will welcome more women than ever before at 19 percent of the House and 20 percent of the Senate.
How far has Congress really evolved on race when in 50 years it has gone from one black senator to two?
In nine days he returned, bringing us the thanks of congress, and fresh orders.
He was a member of the first provincial congress, and eighteen years lieutenant governor of the state of New York.
Our army, under the command of General Houston, was in front of Harrisburg, to which place the congress had retreated.
Congress declared the authority of England over the thirteen colonies abolished.
During the revolutionary war he was commissary-general to the Pennsylvania division, and printer to congress.
British Dictionary definitions for congress (1 of 2)
Word Origin for congress
British Dictionary definitions for congress (2 of 2)
Derived forms of CongressCongressional, adjective
Cultural definitions for congress
The legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Popularly elected, senators and representatives are responsible for advocating the interests of the constituents they represent. Numerous congressional committees are organized to study issues of public policy, recommend action, and, ultimately, pass laws. Congress plays an important role in the system of checks and balances; in fact, the two-house (bicameral) organization of Congress acts as an internal check, for each house must separately vote to pass a bill for it to become a law. In addition to lawmaking, Congress has a variety of functions, including appropriation of funds for executive and judicial activities; instituting taxes and regulating commerce; declaring war and raising and supporting a military; setting up federal courts and conducting impeachment proceedings; and approving presidential appointments.