What is one thing that congressional members in the Senate and the House of Representatives have in common quizlet?

The legislative process on the Senate floor is governed by a set of standing rules, a body of precedents created by rulings of presiding officers or by votes of the Senate, a variety of established and customary practices, and ad hoc arrangements the Senate makes to meet specific parliamentary and political circumstances. A knowledge of the Senate's formal rules is not sufficient to understand Senate procedure, and Senate practices cannot be understood without knowing the rules to which the practices relate.

What is one thing that congressional members in the Senate and the House of Representatives have in common quizlet?

United States Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

The Senate Rules Committee has jurisdiction over the internal management of the Senate, as well as responsibility for legislation establishing federal election laws.


Standing Rules of the Senate

Senate Manual (GPO-govInfo)


The legislative process on the Senate floor is a balance between the rights guaranteed to senators under the standing rules and the need for senators to forgo some of these rights in order to expedite business.

Riddick’s Senate Procedure (GPO-govInfo) |  Search   Riddick's Senate Procedure (GPO)

The Legislative Process on the Senate Floor:  An Introduction (CRS) (PDF)

Flow of Business:  Typical Day on the Senate Floor (CRS) (PDF)

The Amending Process in the Senate (CRS) (PDF)

House and Senate Rules of Procedure:  A Comparison (CRS) (PDF)

The Parliamentarian

The Senate and the House each has an Office of the Parliamentarian to provide expert advice and assistance on questions relating to the meaning and application of that chamber's legislative rules, precedents, and practices. In the Senate, staff from the parliamentarian's office sit on the Senate dais and advise the presiding officer on the conduct of Senate business.

The Office of the Parliamentarian in the House and Senate (CRS) (PDF)

Floyd M. Riddick, Senate Parliamentarian (1964-1974), Oral History Interviews

First Official Parliamentarian, July 1, 1935


Article I, section 5 of the Constitution requires that a quorum (51 senators) be present for the Senate to conduct business. Often, fewer than 51 senators are present on the floor, but the Senate presumes a quorum unless a roll call vote or quorum call suggests otherwise.

Compulsory Attendance, June 25, 1798

Quorum Busting, October 1893

Voting and Quorum Procedures in the Senate (CRS) (PDF)

History of Senate Rules

Learn about the history of Senate rules with these essays by the Senate Historical Office.

Getting Together, Joint Rules of the House and Senate, April 15, 1789

House Rules and Procedure

The standing rules of the House govern the daily order of business on the House floor by making certain matters and actions privileged for consideration. House decisions to grant other individual bills privileged access to the floor, usually upon recommendations from the House Rules Committee , also determine the daily order of House floor business.

Rules of the House of Representatives

Deschler’s Precedents (GPO-govInfo)

House Rules and Manual (GPO-govInfo)

The Legislative Process on the House Floor:  An Introduction (CRS) (PDF)

The Amending Process in the House (CRS) (PDF; long)

Related Items

Interested in related materials? Take a look at these Virtual Reference Desk subjects and other links for more information.



Legislation and Records


Oath of Office

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

History of the Oath

At the start of each new Congress, in January of every odd-numbered year, the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate performs a solemn and festive constitutional rite that is as old as the Republic. While the oath-taking dates back to the First Congress in 1789, the current oath is a product of the 1860s, drafted by Civil War-era members of Congress intent on ensnaring traitors.

The Constitution contains an oath of office only for the president. For other officials, including members of Congress, that document specifies only that they "shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation to support this constitution." In 1789, the First Congress reworked this requirement into a simple fourteen-word oath: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States."

For nearly three-quarters of a century, that oath served nicely, although to the modern ear it sounds woefully incomplete. Missing are the soaring references to bearing "true faith and allegiance;" to taking "this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion;" and to "well and faithfully" discharging the duties of the office.

The outbreak of the Civil War quickly transformed the routine act of oath-taking into one of enormous significance. In April of 1861, a time of uncertain and shifting loyalties, President Abraham Lincoln ordered all federal civilian employees within the executive branch to take an expanded oath. When Congress convened for a brief emergency session in July, members echoed the president's action by enacting legislation requiring employees to take the expanded oath in support of the Union. This oath is the earliest direct predecessor of the modern oath.

When Congress returned for its regular session in December 1861, members who believed that the Union had as much to fear from northern traitors as southern soldiers again revised the oath, adding a new first section known as the "Ironclad Test Oath." The war-inspired Test Oath, signed into law on July 2, 1862, required "every person elected or appointed to any office ... under the Government of the United States ... excepting the President of the United States" to swear or affirm that they had never previously engaged in criminal or disloyal conduct. Those government employees who failed to take the 1862 Test Oath would not receive a salary; those who swore falsely would be prosecuted for perjury and forever denied federal employment.

The 1862 oath's second section incorporated a more polished and graceful rendering of the hastily drafted 1861 oath. Although Congress did not extend coverage of the Ironclad Test Oath to its own members, many took it voluntarily. Angered by those who refused this symbolic act during a wartime crisis, and determined to prevent the eventual return of prewar southern leaders to positions of power in the national government, congressional hard-liners eventually succeeded by 1864 in making the Test Oath mandatory for all members.

The Senate then revised its rules to require that members not only take the Test Oath orally, but also that they "subscribe" to it by signing a printed copy. This condition reflected a wartime practice in which military and civilian authorities required anyone wishing to do business with the federal government to sign a copy of the Test Oath. The current practice of newly sworn senators signing individual pages in an elegantly bound oath book dates from this period.

As tensions cooled during the decade following the Civil War, Congress enacted private legislation permitting particular former Confederates to take only the second section of the 1862 oath. An 1868 public law prescribed this alternative oath for "any person who has participated in the late rebellion, and from whom all legal disabilities arising therefrom have been removed by act of Congress."  Northerners immediately pointed to the new law's unfair double standard that required loyal Unionists to take the Test Oath's harsh first section while permitting ex-Confederates to ignore it. In 1884, a new generation of lawmakers quietly repealed the first section of the Test Oath, leaving intact today's moving affirmation of constitutional allegiance.

Taking the Oath

At the beginning of a new term of office, senators-elect take their oath of office from the presiding officer in an open session of the Senate before they can begin to perform their legislative activities. From the earliest days, the senator-elect—both the freshman and the returning veteran—has been escorted down the aisle by another senator to take the oath from the presiding officer. Customarily, the other senator from the senator-elect's state performs that ritual. Occasionally, the senator-elect chooses a senator from another state, either because the same-state colleague is absent or because the newly elected senator has sharp political differences with that colleague. Such public displays of these differences do not go unnoticed by journalists.

A ban on photography in the Senate chamber has led senators to devise an alternative way of capturing this highly symbolic moment in their Senate careers. In earlier times, the Vice President invited newly sworn senators and their families into his Capitol office for a reenactment for home-state photographers. Beginning in the late 1970s, following the restoration of the Old Senate Chamber to its appearance at the time it went out of service in 1859, reenactment ceremonies have been held in that deeply historical setting, resplendent in crimson and gold.

What are the similarities between senators and representatives?

The House of Representatives and the Senate share some similarities. For example, one similarity is the process for a bill to become a law, along with the ability for anyone to come up with an idea for a bill. Another similarity is that both houses deal with the impeachment process of office officials.

What contains the House of Representatives and the Senate?

Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress.

What has two parts the Senate and the House of Representatives?

The legislative branch of the U.S. government is called Congress. Congress has two parts, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Congress meets in the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC. to the President.

What are two unique powers members of the House of Representatives have?

The House has several powers assigned exclusively to it, including the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officials, and elect the President in the case of an electoral college tie.

Which accurately describes the terms for senators and members of the House of Representatives?

Because members of the House of Representatives have two-year term lengths, they are typically more responsive to their constituents' concerns than senators, who have six-year terms. Senators cannot ignore their constituents, however, as one-third of the Senate is up for reelection every two years.