George Washington by Gilbert Stuart

The Senate


The Senate is established in Article One of the Constitution under the legislative branch of government. The Senate consists of 100 seats, two per state. The amount of representatives from each state to Congress do not depend on the state population, as they do in the House of Representatives. This makes sure that small states receive the same voice as large states. Every senator serves a six year term and is elected by the citizens of his state. Senators must be at least 30 years old, a citizen for at least nine years, and he or she must live in the state he or she represents.

”The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.”—The Constitution, Article One, Section Three

Elections for senators occur every two years, even though a senator serves for six years. This keeps the entire Senate from changing all at one time.

The Senate is known for having a more laid back atmosphere than the House of Representatives.


Senators can filibuster, which is when one gives a lengthy speech to delay voting on a bill.