The Powers of the Legislative Branch - Reading Comprehension
for subscribers - Sign up now by clicking here!

The Powers of the Legislative Branch Reading Comprehension
     The Powers of the Legislative Branch reading comprehension (sample is shown below)

Build 50+ Printables from the Word List
     Customize Printables - edit and save words and definitions

Quiz (includes vocabulary, quiz questions, and essay questions)
     Custom quiz (PDF Format)

The Powers of the Legislative Branch
By Phyllis Naegeli

1     When writing the Constitution, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention ran into a problem. The states were in fierce disagreement about how to establish the Congress. The smaller states wanted equal division of representatives. The larger states wanted representatives based on population. In coming to a compromise called The Great Compromise the delegates divided the Congress into two houses, the Senate, and the House of Representatives.
2     The Senate gives the small states an equal voice in the government. Each state has two senators who serve six-year terms. In order to serve in the Senate, a person must be thirty years old, have been a U.S. citizen for nine years, and be a resident of the state where elected. The Senate is the more distinguished house in Congress. Members are older and usually have more experience in government. Of the one hundred members, one-third of the Senate comes up for election every two years. The rotating elections help to maintain the stability of this house of Congress.
3     The Senate has many important jobs of its own. In addition to working on bills, the Senate is responsible for approving many of the decisions of the president. Treaties and appointments of judges, department heads, ambassadors, and agency leaders receive final approval in the Senate. Treaties are given special consideration and must be approved by a two-thirds vote to become law.
4     The leader of the Senate is the vice president. As leader, the vice president decides who will speak to the Senate and casts a deciding vote when a tie occurs. However, the vice president is not a member of the Senate and does not participate in debates about bills.
5     When the Senate discusses a bill, they do not have a strict set of rules to follow. Standard procedures allow debating and amending a bill to continue indefinitely. However, an agreement called "unanimous consent" can change the standard procedures followed. Under "unanimous consent," all of the senators must agree to modify the procedures. If one individual senator disagrees, that senator has the power to stop the modification. When this happens, a bill becomes the victim of a filibuster. In a filibuster, the senator in disagreement talks on and on about the bill to delay the final vote. In order to end this, sixty senators must call for cloture, which sets a time limit for debate.
6     The House of Representatives is called the lower house of Congress. There are four hundred thirty-five members in the House. Every two years the entire House of Representatives is up for election. Representatives must be careful to be the voice of the people of their state. The shorter term gives the people the opportunity to choose someone else when a representative does not follow their wishes. To serve as a representative, a person must be twenty-five years old, a U.S. citizen for seven years, and a resident of the state where elected.
7     Population determines the number of representatives allotted to a state. In order to determine allotment, the federal government takes a census every ten years. State leaders form districts in each state based on the census results. Each district gets one representative. Every state receives at least one representative no matter how small their population may be.
8     In addition to working on laws with the Senate, the House of Representatives has other responsibilities. In a presidential election where a candidate does not receive a majority of the electoral votes, the House of Representatives meets to choose the next president.
9     In addition, a bill concerning taxes must start in the House.

Paragraphs 10 to 16:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

Weekly Reading Books

          Create Weekly Reading Books

Prepare for an entire week at once!


More Lessons
             American Government
             United States Constitution

Social Studies
             Social Studies

    2004 Elections  
    2008 Elections  
    United States History and Theme Units  
    American Government  
    Ancient America  
    Ancient China  
    Ancient Egypt  
    Ancient Greece  
    Ancient India  
    Ancient Mesopotamia  
    Ancient Rome  
    Canadian Theme Unit  
    Country Theme Units  
    Crime and Terrorism  
    European History: 1600s-1800s  
    Famous Educators  
    Grades 2-3 Social Studies Wendy's World Series  
    History of Books and Writing  
    History of Mathematics  
    How Can I Help?  
    Inventors and Inventions  
    Middle Ages  
    World Religion  
    World War I  
    World War II  
    World Wonders  

United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
    The 1910's  
    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

             Fifty States Theme Unit

Document Based Activities
      Document Based Activities

More Activities, Lesson Plans, and Worksheets

Back to School
Graphic Organizers
Alphabet Worksheets
Sight Words
Math Worksheets
50 States

Monthly Themes

Place Value
Time and Calendar
Earth Day
Solar System
Following Directions
Cursive Writing
Patterns and Sequencing
All About Me

First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Fourth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade

Main Idea
Cause and Effect
Order of Operations
Community Helpers
Addition and Subtraction
Bulletin Board Ideas
Word Searches
Crossword Puzzles
Printable Puzzles

Reading Comprehension
Reading Skills
English Language Arts

Copyright © 2015 edHelper