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What Is The Difference Between a Senator, Congressman And Governor?

 
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: August 8, 2018
What Is The Difference Between a Senator, Congressman And Governor?

In terms of the United States, a Governor is the head of a particular state, a Senator is the person who is elected as the member of the Senate, and a Congressman is a member of either the House of Representatives or the Senate. Each state has one Governor and two Senators. Congressmen represent people, while Senators represents states.

Here at oneHOWTO, we will discuss what is the difference between a Senator, Congressman and Governor in detail.

Duties and responsibilities of Senator, Congressman and Governor

The US political system can be a little confusing and even some US citizens don't really understand how it works. The US government is based on a number of processes and procedures. It limits the power of every individual so that no single person can change or mess with anything. The people who designed the constitution were very intelligent, and formed the fairest government system in the world. Since too much power can result in oppression and dominance, they decided to make the system as balanced as possible. So, although the position and status of Senator, Congressman and Governor are equivalent, all three of them have their own individual rights, duties and responsibilities. Let’s take a look at the different between Senator, Congressman and Governor:

What is a Congressman?

In the US, the assembly of all Senators and Congressional Representatives is termed as Congress. The naming system can be quite confusing, since a representative of the state is officially termed as a Congressman or a Congresswoman. You may also call them Representatives, which means the terms Congressman and Representative mean the same thing, and can be used interchangeably.

In general terms, Congress is bicameral, which means that it is categorized into two different governing bodies. Both of them have their own duties with some overlapping responsibilities. At present, there are 435 Congressmen in total, who jointly represent people’s interests from their respective geographical region. Put together, they make the House of Representatives. The Congress itself has the right to change the number of Representatives, but it has remained 435 since the year 1911. Each US state has certain number of Congressmen depending on its population. For instance, the highly populated New York state has 27 Congressmen, while Missouri state has only 8.

The job of a Congressman is to represent people’s interests in his or her district. They may propose bills to create new laws. A bill passed by the Congress may become a new law. A bill is an idea for law which can be proposed by the people. Before it is passed, it has to go through a procedure in the Congress. The right to propose a bill is held by Congressmen only, and not even by Presidents and Supreme Court Judges. If a bill is passed by a Congressman, it reaches the Senate where it is considered and analyzed, to be converted into a new law.

What is a Senator?

The senate comprises of 100 elected officers in the US, each of the 50 states in the country have 2 Senators. This brings a balance in the extent of power each US state exercises. Regardless of the state’s population, each of the states gets equivalent voting power in the US Senate. Once the House of Representatives passes a bill, the Senators vote on it. If a bill receives positive stand from the majority of Senators, then it goes for final approval by the President. Upon approval, the President signs it to make it a law. After this, everyone has to obey this law until or unless the Supreme Court refuses it or places provisions on it. In this case, the President does not approve the bill, it is returned to the Congress to be revised and re-submitted. However, if the bill receives more than 2/3rd of votes in the Senate, the President can be overruled and it is passed under Senate Supermajority. This is a great provision, since the President cannot dominate the Senate and refuse a bill even if it receives approval from a majority of Senators. The Senators even have the right to speak against a proposed bill for a long time.

What is a Governor?

A Governor is like a President of his or her State. Each state has one Governor, elected on state level. They are not involved in the making of laws, but they are responsible for making sure everybody honors and enforces them. The Governors are responsible for making executive level decisions for their states, depending on the individual circumstances. They are also responsible for improving the economics and services of their states, implementing, proposing and signing their state laws, and setting policies for community requirements and social issues. They also have the right to appoint judges in their state courts. They are also called for crisis management, even at times of natural disasters. Although they are not involved in legislation and national politics related issues, their influence may have impact on national level decisions and policies. Citizens of the states directly elect their Governor, after which they are answerable to the people as well as to the US President. Being a high-profile rank, no other Congress member outranks the Governor.

What Is The Difference Between a Senator, Congressman And Governor? - Duties and responsibilities of Senator, Congressman and Governor

Election process of Senator, Congressman and Governor

A Senator serves as a state representative to the Congress elected by the state’s people. Congressman serves as district representative in the House of Representatives. Governor serves as the executive/leader of a state’s government. Governor is to the state as President is to the country. Let’s see how they are elected:

Senator: Elections for the Senator are held on the first Tuesday of November in every even-numbered year. The state as a whole elects the Senator. Under the Elections Clause of the US Constitution, each state has the right to legislate its own method of electing their Senator. 45 states hold a primary election for a few political parties and again in a general elections a few months afterwards. The remaining 5 states use different methods to select their Senate. Georgia holds a runoff between the two toppers, while Louisiana, California and Washington hold a non-partisan blanket primary. Maine uses RCV for nominating and electing their Senate.

Congressman: Congress refers to both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both are elected with direct election. Congress may also refer to the state legislators who constitute the House of Representatives for their own states. They are also elected through direct election. Since Congressmen represent the constituency of their respective area, they are elected by voters directly within their state or district. Each type of Congress has its individual special logic and procedure for the election of its Congressmen.

Governor: Governors are elected through direct vote. All the parties hold a primary election prior to the main election. Only registered members of the party are allowed to vote in this election. The winner represents his party in the following main election. Most governors are elected for 4 years, but in some states, they have only 2-year long terms. Apart from that, most Governors go through an election in the same year of Presidential elections. People from any background can run for gubernatorial elections, but in practicality, a person with political experience is always a strong contender. A person can be selected as a Governor not more than twice consecutively.

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