How many Members of CongressHow many Members of Congress are there? Five hundred and thirty five. In the United States, the government consists of three equally powerful branches that are intended to check one another to ensure that no one branch exceeds its purview. These branches are the judicial, the executive and the legislative branches. The legislative branch is the branch that houses the totality of Congress, both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The legislative branch is responsible for drafting and passing bills that are then sent to the President of the United States, or the executive branch, for signage and finalization. Although the Senate and the House work together under the auspices of Congress, on a day-to-day basis, they function separately from one another.

How Many Members of Congress Are in Each Chamber?

The Senate consists of 100 members, two from each state in the United States determined relatively in a straightforward way. The only possible change in the size of the Senate could come from the admission of a new state into the union, according to VoteTocracy.

A senatorial term is six years in length with approximately “one-third of the total membership of the Senate” elected every two years, according to the United States Senate website.

The number of members in the House of Representatives, on the other hand, is a more complex determination. Although the number of members of the House is stably 435, the power and jurisdiction that these members hold is subject to change and is often in flux.

The 435 members of the House represent the 435 congressional districts of the United States. According to the Constitution, these “political subdivisions have about equal populations, to maintain the ‘one person, one vote’ standard.”

Aside from the simple standard of approximately equal population distribution, there are difficult political contests involved in drawing the definitive lines of these districts and this process, termed gerrymandering, which are responsible for constant congressional battles.

In addition to the members of Congress who represent the 50 states, there is a delegate sent from the District of Columbia who holds minimal to no voting privilege.

The segments of Congress total 535 members with voting privileges and an additional delegate from the District of Columbia. In order for the legislative body of our nation to run smoothly, each and every member must dutifully serve his role.

Liz Pudel

Photo: Flickr

Within the legislature of the federal government, there are two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Senators and Congressman work within these two lawmaking bodies. Both are representative voices for their constituents, but their roles differ in terms of  length, power and apportionment. Here are some key facts on the differences between Senators and Congressmen.

House of Representatives

  1. Each state represented in Congress is entitled to at least one representative, but the number per state is determined according to population. Under the constitutional rule regarding the size of the House, “the number of Representatives shall not exceed one of every thirty Thousand.”
  2. There are currently 435 Congressional seats.
  3. A Congressperson’s term lasts two years.
  4. The minimum age for a member of the House is 25 and the elected official must have been a U.S. citizen for at least seven years.
  5. The six non-voting members in Congress are the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. Although these districts are unable to vote, they may vote in a House committee and introduce legislation.
  6. In the legislature, only the House of Representatives can introduce spending bills.


  1. Each state has a total of two senators, regardless of the state’s size. For this reason, there are always 100 senators during a given period.
  2. A senator’s term lasts six years. Only one-third of the Senate seats are elected every two years. That way, only 33 or 34 seats are up for election at a given time.
  3. The minimum age for a senator is 30, and that person must be a U.S. citizen for at least nine years.
  4. The Senate has sole power of approval for foreign treatises and cabinet and judicial nominations, including appointments to the Supreme Court.
  5. The Senate is headed by the Vice President, who only votes in case of a tie.

Nora Harless

Sources:, USGovInfo
Photo: Flickr