Ilona Nickels
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Ilona Nickels' Capitol Corner Articles

Accountability of Elected Officials
Career Paths to Congress
Chaplains in the U.S. Congress
House Ethics Process
House/Senate Differences
Lame Duck Congress: Attendance and Voting
Members of Congress: A Job Description
Members of Congress: Who Do They Represent?
Oath of Office for Members of Congress
Pledge of Allegiance: Standing for the Pledge
Pledge of Allegiance: Use in Congress
Qualifications to Run for Congress
Senate: 50-50 Split?
Senate Majority Leader: A Job Description
Sessions of Congress: Lengths
Size of House and Senate
Speaker of the House: a Job Description
Amending the Constitution
Constitutionality of Legislation
August Recesses
First Congress
GOP: Origins of Term
Ideology: Left or Right
Lame Duck Congress: Definition
Party Animals: the Donkey and the Elephant
Statue of Freedom
U.S. Citizenship Test
Amendment Tree in the Senate
Changing a Law
Conference Committees: In Decline
Conference Committees: Procedures
“Deem and Pass” Procedure
Executive Orders
Holds in the Senate
How to Find Basic Legislative Information
How to Keep Up With Congress
Types of Legislation

Capitol Corner

Members of Congress: a Job Description

What do Members of Congress actually do besides vote? What are their specific duties?

Members of Congress: a Job Description by Ilona NickelsThat’s an important question given the fact that we expect many new men and women to assume the role of Member of Congress when the new Congress convenes in January.

There is no formal job description for a Member of Congress. Each is free to define his or her own priorities. The Constitution only sets forth the qualifications necessary for election. House and Senate rules only require that Members be present and vote. Ultimately, the voters decide if a Member of Congress is living up to their expectations for the job at the next election.

However, there are many distinct “hats” most Members end up wearing as part of their job. Each Member decides differently how much time to spend on any one role, but here is a job description that will fit most Members once they settle into their jobs and begin to perform their duties.