Qualifications to Have Before Running in Congress

To be able to be a candidate for a position in the congress, there are certain qualifications an individual should have or follow. In the United States, the Congress is made out of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each position have distinct qualifications that may bear some similarities to other positions.

THE SENATE

A member of the senate is called a senator. Here are the complete qualifications for an individual to be able to run for the position of the U.S. Senator.

The Constitution of the United States has a list of three requirements for any person wanting to become part of The Senate. The following include:

  1. At Least 30 Years of Age

Before the Congress were able to decide a minimum age to be a Senator, they were still arguing about the age constriction for the representatives. Although other delegates believe age doesn’t define an individual’s capability, a lot agreed to the age restriction. It was easy for the members to agree with the age of 30.

  1. Be A US Citizen For At Least 9 Years When Elected to the Senate

2 months after Edmund Randolph introduced the Virginia Plan to the convention, the Committee of Detail submitted a draft of the Constitution which includes a four-year citizenship requirement for the senators. They changed it to 14, 13 and 10, before being able to agree with the 9-year restriction. They believe that this is a sufficient time for an individual to fully appreciate the laws and customs in the country.

  1. Be An Inhabitant of The State that the Senator Represents

The delegates agreed to change the word “residents” in the constitution, and instead changed it to “inhabitant”. Roger Sherman believed the new term is less liable to be misinterpreted. The term residents has also been noted to may exclude individuals who are occasionally AWOL in both public and private businesses.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

In the United States Congress, the lower chamber is the House of Representatives. Currently, there are 435 men and women as its members.

  1. At Least 25 Years of Age

If you think 25 years is already a young age, remember that founders first agreed to 21, which is similar to the required age of voting. They were able to increase the age restriction during the Constitutional Convention. However, despite of the age restriction, there have been rare exceptions during the past years. In 1797, William Claiborne is the youngest member at an age of 22.

  1. A Citizen of the United States at Least 7 Years Prior to Being Elected

While the Constitution of the United States was still written, the British stopped any individual not born in England from serving in the Commons. By requiring a 7-year citizenship, it was an attempt for the founders to stop foreign interference in the local politics. It’s also a way to keep the House of Representatives closer to the citizens.

  1. A Resident of the State He or She is to Represent

This aims to make a member to be familiar with the people’s citizens and interests.

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