The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Both Representatives and Senators are chosen through direct election. There are 535 voting Members of Congress, of which, the House of Representatives has a membership of 435 and the Senate has a membership 100. Members of the House of Representatives serve two-year terms representing the people of a district. Congressional Districts are determined by population using the United States Census results and each State in the union having at least one Representative in the Congress. Each state, regardless of population, has two Senators; since there are fifty states, there are one hundred Senators who each serve a six-year term. The terms are staggered, so every two years, approximately one-third of the Senate is up for election. Most incumbents seek re-election, and their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90%.
(... from Wikipedia on 2012-04-18 01:38:02)