What are the major legislative functions of Congress? What are its major representative functions?
Article I Section 8 of the Constitution states that the legislative powers of Congress are divided, and categorized into two different types of power. These powers are called the implied powers and the expressed powers of Congress. The expressed powers are those legislative functions that are explicit in the Constitution in the way it is written. The expressed powers, which fulfill the so-called “necessary and proper clause” are those that are not outright in given to Congress, but are assumed to be under the control of Congressional legislation. Congress’ explicit, expressed powers are to legislate in things like levying taxes, and in addition to this, Congressional legislative powers demand that Congress hold the purse strings of government. Federal budgeting is a prime legislative function of Congress. This expands to foreign treaties as well, which are decided and passed only through a two-thirds vote from Congress (this is the same general process for declaring war). Congress also commands control over the way that interstate commerce functions. Interstate commerce consists of shipping through railroads, river shipping, and even air traffic. The general legislative duties of Congress revolve around the commerce and budgeting of the nation through its control of money as it comes down from a federal level as well as moving from state to state through any matter of personal or government commerce.
It can be considered that the reason for Congress’ control and influence in such monetary and budgetary matters is because of its large representational function as well. As the most direct representatives of American constituents in the federal level of government, it is important that the commitment of all representatives, both in the House and the Senate, are providing their service for the best interests of their constituents at home. Creating and changing laws that affect each representative’s district or state is an important role that comes into the way in which each member of Congress focuses on legislative duties. The 435 Representatives, and the 100 senators are all voted in by their constituents to represent the legal, financial, and social interests of that area or state.