Congress Law and Legal Definition

In the United States, Congress is the national legislative body made up of the House of Representatives and the Senate.The eligibility, election, and qualification of member is set forth in Article 1, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution.

A senator must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen of not less than nine years standing, and a resident of the state in which he or she is elected. The Senate is presided over by the vice president of the United States, who has no part in its deliberations and may vote only in case of a tie; in his absence his duties are assumed by a president pro tempore, elected by the Senate.

Members of the House of Representatives are apportioned among the states according to their populations in the federal census. Representatives are chosen for two-year terms, and the entire body comes up for reelection every two years. A representative must be 25 or older, a U.S. citizen of at least seven years standing, and a resident of the state in which he or she is elected.