However, the North held no such advantage in the Senate, where the equal representation of states prevailed.
Regional conflict was most pronounced over the issue of slavery. One example of a provision repeatedly supported by the House but blocked by the Senate was the Wilmot Proviso , which sought to ban slavery in the land gained during the Mexican—American War.
Conflict over slavery and other issues persisted until the Civil War — , which began soon after several southern states attempted to secede from the Union. The war culminated in the South's defeat and in the abolition of slavery.
All southern senators except Andrew Johnson resigned their seats at the beginning of the war, and therefore the Senate did not hold the balance of power between North and South during the war. The years of Reconstruction that followed witnessed large majorities for the Republican Party , which many Americans associated with the Union's victory in the Civil War and the ending of slavery.
The Reconstruction period ended in about ; the ensuing era, known as the Gilded Age , was marked by sharp political divisions in the electorate. The late 19th and early 20th centuries also saw a dramatic increase in the power of the Speaker of the House.
The rise of the Speaker's influence began in the s, during the tenure of Republican Thomas Brackett Reed. While the Minority Leader was the head of the minority party, the Majority Leader remained subordinate to the Speaker. The Speakership reached its zenith during the term of Republican Joseph Gurney Cannon , from to The powers of the Speaker included chairmanship of the influential Rules Committee and the ability to appoint members of other House committees.
These powers, however, were curtailed in the "Revolution of " because of the efforts of Democrats and dissatisfied Republicans who opposed Cannon's arguably heavy-handed tactics.
Roosevelt — , often winning over two-thirds of the seats. Both Democrats and Republicans were in power at various times during the next decade. The Democratic Party maintained control of the House from until In the mids, there were major reforms of the House, strengthening the power of sub-committees at the expense of committee chairs and allowing party leaders to nominate committee chairs. These actions were taken to undermine the seniority system , and to reduce the ability of a small number of senior members to obstruct legislation they did not favor.
There was also a shift from the s to greater control of the legislative program by the majority party; the power of party leaders especially the Speaker grew considerably. Gingrich attempted to pass a major legislative program, the Contract with America , on which the House Republicans had been elected, and made major reforms of the House, notably reducing the tenure of committee chairs to three two-year terms. Many elements of the Contract did not pass Congress, were vetoed by President Bill Clinton , or were substantially altered in negotiations with Clinton.
The Republicans held on to the House until , when the Democrats won control and Nancy Pelosi was subsequently elected by the House as the first female Speaker. The Republicans retook the House in , with the largest shift of power since the s. Under Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution , seats in the House of Representatives are apportioned among the states by population, as determined by the census conducted every ten years.
Each state is entitled to at least one Representative, however small its population. The only constitutional rule relating to the size of the House states: The Constitution does not provide for the representation of the District of Columbia or of territories. Virgin Islands are each represented by one non-voting delegate. Puerto Rico elects a Resident Commissioner , but other than having a four-year term, the Resident Commissioner's role is identical to the delegates from the other territories.
The five Delegates and Resident Commissioner may participate in debates; prior to ,  they were also allowed to vote in committees and the Committee of the Whole when their votes would not be decisive. States that are entitled to more than one Representative are divided into single-member districts.
This has been a federal statutory requirement since States typically redraw district boundaries after each census, though they may do so at other times, such as the Texas redistricting.
Each state determines its own district boundaries, either through legislation or through non-partisan panels. Additionally, Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act of prohibits redistricting plans that are intended to, or have the effect of, discriminating against racial or language minority voters.
Bandemer , the Supreme Court held that gerrymandered districts could be struck down on the basis of the Equal Protection Clause , but the Court did not articulate a standard for when districts are impermissibly gerrymandered. However, the Court overruled Davis in in Vieth v. Jubelirer , and Court precedent currently holds gerrymandering to be a political question. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution sets three qualifications for representatives. Members are not required to live in the districts they represent, but they traditionally do.
The constitutional requirements of Article I, Section 2 for election to Congress are the maximum requirements that can be imposed on a candidate.
Likewise a State could not establish additional qualifications. This post—Civil War provision was intended to prevent those who sided with the Confederacy from serving. However, disqualified individuals may serve if they gain the consent of two-thirds of both houses of Congress. Elections for representatives are held in every even-numbered year, on Election Day the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
By law, Representatives must be elected from single-member districts. After a census is taken in a year ending in 0 , the year ending in 2 is the first year in which elections for U. House districts are based on that census with the Congress based on those districts starting its term on the following Jan.
In most states, major party candidates for each district are nominated in partisan primary elections , typically held in spring to late summer. In some states, the Republican and Democratic parties choose their respective candidates for each district in their political conventions in spring or early summer, which often use unanimous voice votes to reflect either confidence in the incumbent or the result of bargaining in earlier private discussions.
Exceptions can result in so-called floor fight—convention votes by delegates, with outcomes that can be hard to predict. Especially if a convention is closely divided, a losing candidate may contend further by meeting the conditions for a primary election. The courts generally do not consider ballot access rules for independent and third party candidates to be additional qualifications for holding office and there are no federal regulations regarding ballot access.
As a result, the process to gain ballot access varies greatly from state to state, and in the case of a third party may be affected by results of previous years' elections. In , the United States Congress passed the Uniform Congressional District Act, which requires almost all representatives be elected from single-member-districts.
Sanders decision, Congress was motivated by fears that courts would impose at-large plurality districts on states that did not redistrict to comply with the new mandates for districts roughly equal in population, and Congress also sought to prevent attempts by southern states to use such voting systems to dilute the vote of racial minorities.
Louisiana is unique in that it holds an all-party "primary election" on the general Election Day with a subsequent run-off election between the top two finishers regardless of party if no candidate received a majority in the primary. The states of Washington and California now use a similar though not identical system to that used by Louisiana.
Seats vacated during a term are filled through special elections, unless the vacancy occurs closer to the next general election date than a pre-established deadline. The term of a member chosen in a special election usually begins the next day, or as soon as the results are certified. With the exception of the Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico , each representative and delegate serves for a two-year term. They have a voice and can introduce bills on the floor, but cannot vote there.
Representatives and Delegates serve for two-year terms, while the Resident Commissioner serves for four years. The Constitution permits the House to expel a member with a two-thirds vote.
In the history of the United States, only five members have been expelled from the House; in , three were removed for supporting the Confederate states' secession: Michael Myers D-PA was expelled after his criminal conviction for accepting bribes in , and James Traficant D-OH was expelled in following his conviction for corruption.
As a check on the regional, popular, and rapidly changing politics of the House, the Senate has several distinct powers. For example, the " advice and consent " powers such as the power to approve treaties are a sole Senate privilege. The Senate is informally referred to as the "upper" house, and the House of Representatives as the "lower" house.
Congress sets members' salaries; however, the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a change in salary but not COLA  from taking effect until after the next election of the whole House.
Representatives are eligible for retirement benefits after serving for five years. Representatives use the prefix " The Honorable " before their names. A member of the House is referred to as a representative , congressman , or congresswoman. While senators are members of Congress, the terms congressman and congresswoman are not generally used by them.
All members of Congress are automatically without the option of withdrawal enrolled in the Federal Employees Retirement System , a pension system also used for federal civil servants.
They become eligible to receive benefits after five years of service two and one-half terms in the House. The FERS is composed of three elements:. Members of Congress may retire with full benefits at age 62 after five years of service, at age 50 after twenty years of service, and at any age after twenty-five years of service.
They may retire with reduced benefits at ages 55 to 59 after five years of service. Depending on birth year, they may receive a reduced pension after ten years of service if they are between 55 years and 57 years of age. However, Section d 3 D of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ACA provided that the only health plans that the federal government can make available to members of Congress and certain congressional staff are those created under the ACA or offered through a health care exchange.
The ACA and the final rule do not affect members' or staffers' eligibility for Medicare benefits. There is an Office of the Attending Physician at the U. Capitol, which current members may seek health care from for an annual fee. Current members but not their dependents, and not former members may also receive medical and emergency dental care at military treatment facilities. House members are eligible for a Member's Representational Allowance MRA to support them in their official and representational duties to their district.
The personnel allowance is the same for all members; the office and mail allowances vary based on the members' district's distance from Washington, D. These three components are used to calculate a single MRA that can fund any expense—even though each component is calculated individually, the franking allowance can be used to pay for personnel expenses if the member so chooses.
Each member may employ no more than 18 permanent employees. Each member-elect and one staffer can be paid for one round trip between their home in their congressional district and Washington, D.
The party with a majority of seats in the House is known as the majority party. The next-largest party is the minority party. The Speaker , committee chairs, and some other officials are generally from the majority party; they have counterparts for instance, the "ranking members" of committees in the minority party. The Constitution provides that the House may choose its own Speaker. The Constitution does not specify the duties and powers of the Speaker, which are instead regulated by the rules and customs of the House.
Speakers have a role both as a leader of the House and the leader of their party which need not be the majority party; theoretically, a member of the minority party could be elected as Speaker with the support of a fraction of members of the majority party.
Under the Presidential Succession Act , the Speaker is second in the line of presidential succession behind the Vice President. The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House but does not preside over every debate. The presiding officer sits in a chair in the front of the House chamber. The powers of the presiding officer are extensive; one important power is that of controlling the order in which members of the House speak.
Moreover, the presiding officer may rule on a " point of order " a member's objection that a rule has been breached ; the decision is subject to appeal to the whole House. Speakers serve as chairs of their party's steering committee, which is responsible for assigning party members to other House committees.
The Speaker chooses the chairmen of standing committees, appoints most of the members of the Rules Committee , appoints all members of conference committees, and determines which committees consider bills. Each party elects a floor leader , who is known as the Majority Leader or Minority Leader.
The Minority Leader heads their party in the House, and the Majority Leader is their party's second-highest-ranking official, behind the Speaker. Party leaders decide what legislation members of their party should either support or oppose. Each party also elects a Whip , who works to ensure that the party's members vote as the party leadership desires.
The current minority whip is Steny Hoyer , who is a member of the Democratic Party. The whip is supported by chief deputy whips. After the Conference Chair, there are differences between each party's subsequent leadership ranks.
The chairs of House committees , particularly influential standing committees such as Appropriations , Ways and Means , and Rules , are powerful but not officially part of House leadership hierarchy.
Until the post of Majority Leader was created, the Chair of Ways and Means was the de facto majority leader. When the Presidency and Senate are controlled by a different party from the one controlling the House, the Speaker can become the de facto "leader of the opposition". Since the Speaker is a partisan officer with substantial power to control the business of the House, the position is often used for partisan advantage.
In the instance when the Presidency and both Houses of Congress are controlled by one party, the Speaker normally takes a low profile and defers to the President. For that situation the House Minority Leader can play the role of a de facto "leader of the opposition", often more so than the Senate Minority Leader, due to the more partisan nature of the House and the greater role of leadership. The House is also served by several officials who are not members.
The House's chief such officer is the Clerk , who maintains public records, prepares documents, and oversees junior officials, including pages , until the discontinuation of the House pages in The Clerk also presides over the House at the beginning of each new Congress pending the election of a Speaker.
Another officer is the Chief Administrative Officer , responsible for the day-to-day administrative support to the House of Representatives. This includes everything from payroll to foodservice.
The position of Chief Administrative Officer CAO was created by the th Congress following the mid-term elections , replacing the positions of Doorkeeper and Director of Non-Legislative and Financial Services created by the previous congress to administer the non-partisan functions of the House. The Chaplain leads the House in prayer at the opening of the day. There is also a Sergeant at Arms , who as the House's chief law enforcement officer maintains order and security on House premises.
Finally, routine police work is handled by the United States Capitol Police , which is supervised by the Capitol Police Board , a body to which the Sergeant at Arms belongs, and chairs in even-numbered years.
At one end of the chamber of the House is a rostrum from which the Speaker , Speaker Pro Tempore, or when in the Committee of the Whole the Chair presides. Members' seats are arranged in the chamber in a semicircular pattern facing the rostrum and are divided by a wide central aisle.
Sittings of the House are generally open to the public; visitors must obtain a House Gallery pass from a congressional office. The procedure of the House depends not only on the rules, but also on a variety of customs, precedents, and traditions. In many cases, the House waives some of its stricter rules including time limits on debates by unanimous consent. The presiding officer, the Speaker of the House enforces the rules of the House, and may warn members who deviate from them.
The Speaker uses a gavel to maintain order. In one of its first resolutions, the U. House of Representatives established the Office of the Sergeant at Arms. It is also used during the inaugural ceremonies for all Presidents of the United States.
For daily sessions of the House, the sergeant at Arms carries the mace in front of the Speaker in procession to the rostrum.
It is placed on a green marble pedestal to the Speaker's right. When the House is in committee, the mace is moved to a pedestal next to the desk of the Sergeant at Arms. The Constitution provides that a majority of the House constitutes a quorum to do business. House rules prevent a member from making a point of order that a quorum is not present unless a question is being voted on. The presiding officer does not accept a point of order of no quorum during general debate, or when a question is not before the House.
During debates, a member may speak only if called upon by the presiding officer. The presiding officer decides which members to recognize, and can therefore control the course of debate. Speaker" or "Madam Speaker". Only the presiding officer may be directly addressed in speeches; other members must be referred to in the third person.
In most cases, members do not refer to each other only by name, but also by state, using forms such as "the gentleman from Virginia", "the distinguished gentlewoman from California", or "my distinguished friend from Alabama".
There are permanent seats on the House Floor and four tables, two on each side. These tables are occupied by members of the committee that have brought a bill to the floor for consideration and by the respective party leadership. Members address the House from microphones at any table or "the well," the area immediately in front of the rostrum. Per the constitution, the House determines the rules according to which it passes legislation. The rules are in principle open to change with each new Congress, but in practice each new session amends a standing set of rules built up over the history of the body in an early resolution published for public inspection.
For instance, the committee determines if amendments to the bill are permitted. An "open rule" permits all germane amendments, but a "closed rule" restricts or even prohibits amendment. Debate on a bill is generally restricted to one hour, equally divided between the majority and minority parties.
Each side is led during the debate by a "floor manager", who allocates debate time to members who wish to speak. When debate concludes, the motion in question is put to a vote.
The presiding officer then announces the result of the voice vote. A member may however challenge the presiding officer's assessment and "request the yeas and nays" or "request a recorded vote".
The request may be granted only if it is seconded by one-fifth of the members present. In practice, however, members of congress second requests for recorded votes as a matter of courtesy. Some votes are always recorded, such as those on the annual budget.
A recorded vote may be taken in one of three different ways. Members use a personal identification card to record their votes at 46 voting stations in the chamber.
Votes are usually held in this way. A second mode of recorded vote is by teller. Members hand in colored cards to indicate their votes: Teller votes are normally held only when electronic voting breaks down.
Finally, the House may conduct a roll call vote. The Clerk reads the list of members of the House, each of whom announces their vote when their name is called. This procedure is only used rarely such as for the election of a Speaker because of the time consumed by calling over four hundred names. Voting traditionally lasts for, at most, fifteen minutes, but it may be extended if the leadership needs to "whip" more members into alignment.
Presiding officers may vote like other members. They may not, however, vote twice in the event of a tie; rather, a tie vote defeats the motion. The House uses committees and their subcommittees for a variety of purposes, including the review of bills and the oversight of the executive branch.
The appointment of committee members is formally made by the whole House, but the choice of members is actually made by the political parties. Generally, each party honors the preferences of individual members, giving priority on the basis of seniority. Historically, membership on committees has been in rough proportion to the party's strength in the House as a whole, with two exceptions: The largest committee of the House is the Committee of the Whole , which, as its name suggests, consists of all members of the House.
The Committee meets in the House chamber; it may consider and amend bills, but may not grant them final passage. Generally, the debate procedures of the Committee of the Whole are more flexible than those of the House itself. One advantage of the Committee of the Whole is its ability to include otherwise non-voting members of Congress.
Most committee work is performed by twenty standing committees, each of which has jurisdiction over a specific set of issues, such as Agriculture or Foreign Affairs. Each standing committee considers, amends, and reports bills that fall under its jurisdiction. Committees have extensive powers with regard to bills; they may block legislation from reaching the floor of the House. Standing committees also oversee the departments and agencies of the executive branch.
In discharging their duties, standing committees have the power to hold hearings and to subpoena witnesses and evidence. The House also has one permanent committee that is not a standing committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence , and from time to time may establish committees that are temporary and advisory in nature, such as the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming.
This latter committee, created in the th Congress and reauthorized for the th, has no jurisdiction over legislation and must be chartered anew at the start of every Congress. The House also appoints members to serve on joint committees, which include members of the Senate and House.
Some joint committees oversee independent government bodies; for instance, the Joint Committee on the Library oversees the Library of Congress. Other joint committees serve to make advisory reports; for example, there exists a Joint Committee on Taxation. Bills and nominees are not referred to joint committees. Hence, the power of joint committees is considerably lower than those of standing committees. Each House committee and subcommittee is led by a chairman always a member of the majority party.
From to the s, committee chairs were powerful. Woodrow Wilson in his classic study,  suggested:. Power is nowhere concentrated; it is rather deliberately and of set policy scattered amongst many small chiefs. It is divided up, as it were, into forty-seven seigniories, in each of which a Standing Committee is the court-baron and its chairman lord-proprietor. These petty barons, some of them not a little powerful, but none of them within the reach of the full powers of rule, may at will exercise almost despotic sway within their own shires, and may sometimes threaten to convulse even the realm itself.
From to committee and subcommittee chairmanship was determined purely by seniority; congressmembers sometimes had to wait 30 years to get one, but their chairship was independent of party leadership.
The rules were changed in to permit party caucuses to elect chairmen, shifting power upward to the party leaders. In , Republicans under Newt Gingrich set a limit of three two-year terms for committee chairs.
The senior member of the minority party is known as the Ranking Member. In some committees like Appropriations, partisan disputes are few. Most bills may be introduced in either House of Congress. As a result of the Origination Clause , the Senate cannot initiate bills imposing taxes.
This provision barring the Senate from introducing revenue bills is based on the practice of the British Parliament , in which only the House of Commons may originate such measures. Furthermore, congressional tradition holds that the House of Representatives originates appropriation bills.
Although it cannot originate revenue bills, the Senate retains the power to amend or reject them. Woodrow Wilson wrote the following about appropriations bills: The upper house may add to them what it pleases; may go altogether outside of their original provisions and tack to them entirely new features of legislation, altering not only the amounts but even the objects of expenditure, and making out of the materials sent them by the popular chamber measures of an almost totally new character.
The approval of the Senate and the House of Representatives is required for a bill to become law. Both Houses must pass the same version of the bill; if there are differences, they may be resolved by a conference committee , which includes members of both bodies. For the stages through which bills pass in the Senate, see Act of Congress. The President may veto a bill passed by the House and Senate. If he does, the bill does not become law unless each House, by a two-thirds vote, votes to override the veto.
The Constitution provides that the Senate's " advice and consent " is necessary for the President to make appointments and to ratify treaties.
How long are the terms of US senators and representatives? US Senators hold office for six-year terms and Representatives serve two-year terms. How long is a representatives term of office? The entire House of Representatives is up for electionevery even year and serves a two-year term. A census takes placeever year that ends in a 0 and in the year that ends in a 2, thedistricts are reorganized based upon the census.
How long is one regular term for a us representative? What is the term length of a member of the House of Representatives?
One term for a member of the House of Representatives is two years. This was set up to get the members of the House of Representatives to act quickly on a matter. It is a two year term of office. Following the Census, Florida has 27 representatives in the House of Representatives. This was an increase over the 25 under the Census and 23 under the Census. There are representatives in the House, compared to senators in the Senate.
This is the number reached when new seats were added in , andthe number was locked by the Reapportionment Act of From to , there were temporarily seats. There are 6 other non-voting delegates. Puerto Rico has a non-votingResident Commissioner as a delegate in the House, with a four-yearterm. The delegates have committee seats in the House and havevoting rights there, but cannot vote for a bill's passage on thefloor. Congressmen had everyincentive to keep the number low to maintain the political power ofeach member.
But the result has been that the size ofconstituencies has increased dramatically. With one exception, the total voting membership of the House ofRepresentatives had been increased after each of the officialcensuses from to , at the time of the apportionments.
Eventhough the apportionment is a Constitutional requirement, it wasnot done following the census. If it had been done asrequired, even without an increase to the total of seats, 12seats would have been transferred from one state to another,including an increase of three seats for California.
During the formation of the US Constitution the subject regardingthe size of the House of Representatives came up. When a maximumcongressional district size of 40, was proposed, GeorgeWashington, in one of his few comments regarding the debates,warned that 40, was too large and that 30, would be a moreappropriate maximum.
While the State of New York was debatingwhether or not to ratify the US Constitution, one of the delegates,Melancton Smith, warned that since increasing the number ofRepresentatives would decrease the share of power of each existingRepresentative, they should not be expected to be inclined to doso. He went on to say, "It is, therefore, of the highest importancethat a suitable number of representatives should be established bythe Constitution.
Under that plan, thelegal minimum number of Representatives in would have been, including at least 12 for Wyoming and at least forCalifornia. The average congressional district size is over ,people, and the current population of the largest district is wellover , How many representatives in the US house of representatives represent Wisconsin?
Number of Seats in the U. House of RepresentativesApportioned to Wisconsin: Term limits on that position depended on the states until the 22nd Amendment in Members of the House of Representatives are eligible to serve an unlimited number of two-year terms, as long as the electorate in their state and district continues to vote them into office. Who is my representative in the US House of Representatives?
You can find out using your zip code at the related link below House. There is a list of current US Representatives at the related link below. You can also find your state and federal officials by using your Zip Code at the second link.
Both may be reelected indefinitely; therefore, there are no term limits. How many terms can a house of representative serve? A House of Representative member can serve an unlimited amount of years as a member of the House of Representatives. They run for election every two years. Why do the US House of Representatives serve only a two year term instead of a six year term like the senate? They are not the same because a representative must focus on the needs of the people they are representing.
This is to make sure that they do not get caught up in the political business in search of bettering themselves instead of the area they are serving. How many terms can be served in the House of Representatives? How long does a member of the US House of Representatives serve and are there any term limits? Members of the House of Representatives serve 2-year terms, and theentire membership stands for reelection every second year. To servein the House of Representatives, a person must be at least 25 yearsold, a U.
There is no limit to reelection. The longest Congressional tenure in U. S history goes to JohnDingell, who was part of the House of Representatives for 59 years,21 days. There are 52 house members who have served for over 36years. How long is the term of a member of the House of Representatives in the State of Georgia? The length of the term of a member of the House of Representatives in the State of Georgia is two years.
What is the length of term for US Representatives? The term of office for a representative is twoyears. In order to stay in office, he or she must bereelected every two years.
Why do the US House of Representatives serve a two year term? This is actually a very good question! The Representatives of the House, as opposed to the Senate are supposed to be very "close" to the people.
For example, the wants and opinions of the House of Representatives is supposed to reflect the wants and needs of ordinary Americans. This direct connection between the Reps. This closeness is because they serve a 2-year term. You see, peoples' views on things can change rapidly, so they need to also be able to change the Representatives rapidly to fit the peoples needs to maintain the closeness between the people and the House.
Who represents Louisville in the US house of representatives? Why did the framers of the US Constitution give members of the House of Representatives such short terms? The framers of the United States Constitution gave members of theHouse of Representatives such short terms because these were allbusiness men that had other lives to live. George Washingtonhimself needed to take care of his farm from time to time. Who is the head of the US House of Representatives? The Speaker is elected by the voting members of the House and usually belongs to whichever party holds the majority of seats following the last general election.
How long is the term of a US Representative? How can you find your representative in the US House of Representatives? The official government site will locate the representative from your district. How long do members of the US House of Representatives serve?
Members of the House of Representatives are elected to two-year terms of office. All voting seats are up for reelection at once, every two years in even-numbered years. There are no term limits. What term is used to represent a molecule? I didn't recall that there was a term, it's just a group of atoms.
Elected officials in the House of Representatives, along with members of the Senate, comprise the body of Congress. Congress contains members at any given time. Of that number, members come from the House of Representatives, while the Senate has only members.
As a consequence of this constitutional scheme, legislative terms coincide within each house: all representatives are elected at once and serve the same term in office; the same is true for all senators.
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they comprise the legislature of the United States. The composition of the House is established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The term length for the U.S. House of Representatives is two years, with elections held every even year. The House has a representative for every congressional district in the United States. Each district represents about , people.
History Flashcards for the Constitution. What is the length of a term of office for members of the U.S. House of Representatives? A 2 year term- Article 1. 2. How old do you have to be in order to be a member of the U.S. House of Representatives? 25 years old-Article 1. 3. Who has the power to propose a law to raise taxes? A term of Congress is two years long and begins on January 3 of each odd-numbered year. Each Member of the U.S. House of Representatives is elected to serve for one term at a time, and may be elected later to serve additional terms.