Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government that represents the American people and makes the nation’s laws. It shares power with the executive branch, led by the president, and the judicial branch, whose highest body is the Supreme Court of the United States Of the three branches of government, Congress is the only one elected directly by the people
Role of US Congress:-
The Congress of the United States and vests all legislative power in it. The Acts of Congress are the supreme laws of the land. But the framers of the Constitution had no intention of making it all-powerful. The demands of the doctrines of limited government and federalism are such as to deny unlimited powers to any governmental agency. Yet, the importance of Congress in the final analysis cannot be discounted. In fact, Congress today exercises an almost incomprehensibly great authority to-set the course of the public policy.
For, Congress has not only the power given by the actual words of the Constitution, but also powers that may be reasonably implied from those delegated powers. So vast is the extent of the implied powers as also resultant powers that it embraces more or less the entire life of the nation.
Unless Congress grants money, the Executive and Judicial Departments of government cannot operate, new policies cannot be enforced and the entire machinery of the government comes to a dead stop. It was, accordingly, not out of reason that the framers would have devoted the first Article in the Constitution to the organization and powers of Congress.
Congress is Bicameral:-
Regarding the desirability of creating a national legislature consisting of two chambers there was little difference of opinion among the members of the Philadelphia Convention. The Congress which operated under the Articles of Confederation was a single Chamber assembly, but the framers of the Constitution did not consider it worthy of emulation. They were familiar with the successful functioning of bicameral State legislatures. They also knew that in Britain, too, bicameral Parliament existed.
The reasons, however, which prompted bicameralism. were, the result of a great compromise without, which perhaps the Union would not have come into being. Under the Articles of Confederation all States stood on a footing of equality. They would not agree to the new administrative set-up unless their old status was preserved in one branch of the legislature and where they could be represented as-constituent political units.
On the other hand, the larger States, which had sponsored the movement to federate, would not agrees to a plan unless they were given adequate representation in proportion to their superior numerical strength. There were economic reasons too, The North; the more populous part of the country, was commercial in interest whereas the South, the sparsely populated part, was a agricultural.
The division of the legislature into two Houses based on two different principles of representation was in part influenced by these considerations in order to balance and harmonies the two distinct economic interests in the national government.
At the same time, the Fathers of the Constitution entertained a fear of the majority rule and they desired to set up the Senate as a conservative check on the turbulence of democracy. And if it was to be an effective check on the radicalism of the popular House, then it ought not to be a mere duplication of the latter both in its composition and powers.
Accordingly, Congress was based on States as political entities and on population, the Senate representing the former and the House of Representatives the latter. The Senate was to be smaller in size, its members chosen for a long term of office and by a different method, higher age and residence qualifications were required. It was given certain specific powers, such as Share in the appointing, treaty making and judicial powers, which were not conferred on the House of Representatives.