|Congress of the United Cygnian States|
House of Representatives
|Speaker of the House of Representatives||Anna Burke, Labour |
since 3 January 2017
|Speaker of the Senate||Sue Lines, Labour |
since 3 January 2017
|Established||3 July 1793|
|Preceded by||Congress of the Empire|
|Members||386 (300 MCs, 86 Senators)|
|House of Representatives Political groups||Government (154)|
Official Opposition (140)
|Senate Political groups||Government (35)|
Official Opposition (32)
One Nation (2)
Liberal Democrat (1)
Palmer United (1)
|Last election||3 December 2016|
|Next election||5 December 2020|
|Federation Hall, Northam, TS|
The Congress of the United Cygnian States, commonly referred to as Congress or the Cygnian Congress, is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of Cygnia consisting of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in Federation Hall in Northam, TS. Both senators and representatives (also known as Members of Congress, or MCs) are chosen through direct election. Congress has 386 members: 300 MCs and 86 Senators. The Chancellor is traditionally the leader of the majority party in the House of Representatives.
The members of the House of Representatives serve four-year terms representing the people of a single constituency, known as a "Division", of which there are some 300. Divisions are apportioned to states by population using Federal Census results, provided that each state has at least one congressional representative. Each state, regardless of population and size, has four senators; territories have two each. Currently, there are 84 senators representing the 21 states, and another 2 representing Swan, the sole internal territory of Cygnia. Each senator is elected at-large in their state for an eight-year term, with terms staggered, so every four years approximately half of the Senate is up for election.
Article One of the Constitution states, "The legislative power of the Union shall be vested in a Federal Congress, which shall consist of a Senate, and a House of Representatives...". The Senate and the House are equal partners in the legislative process — legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both chambers. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate ratifies treaties and serves as a house of review while the House is the originator of appropriation legislation. The House initiates impeachment cases, while the Senate decides them. A two-thirds vote of the Senate is required before an impeached person can be forcibly removed from office.
The term Congress can also refer to a particular meeting of the legislature. A Congress covers four years; the most recent one, the 58th Congress, began on 3 January 2017. The Congress starts on the third day of January every four years, and is formally dissolved on the first Friday of November three years after it begins. Members of the Senate are referred to as senators; members of the House of Representatives are referred to as MCs or Members.