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1Organisation of the Congress Article I Section 1 of the United States Constitution provides that All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States which shall consist of a Senate and a House of Representatives The Senate the smaller of the two chambers is composed of two members for each state as provided by the Constitution Membership in the House is based on population and its size is therefore not specified in the Constitution The first Congress under the Constitution met on March 4 1789 in the Federal Hall in New York City The membership then consisted of 20 Senators because 3 of the original 13 states of the USA had not ratified the Constitution already and 59 Representatives For more than 100 years after the adoption of the Constitution senators were not elected by direct vote of the people but were chosen by state legislatures Senators were looked on as representatives of their home states Their duty was to ensure that their states were treated equally in all legislation The 17th Amendment adopted in 1913 provided for direct election of the Senate Now the Senate consists of 100 members 2 for each State elected by the people of the state Thus Rhode Island the smallest state with an area of about 3156 square kilometers has the same senatorial representation as Alaska the biggest state with an area of some 1524640 square kilometers Wyoming with 490000 persons in 1987 has representation equal to that of California with its 1987 population of 27663000 As constituted in the 106th Congress the House of Representatives is composed of 435 Members from among the 50 states roughly one representative for each 530000 persons in the United States apportioned to their total populations The permanent
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