The Vision Continues: Government by the People
"America is not made. It's in the making."
Robert M. La Follette, Sr.,
Member, U.S. House of Representatives, 1885-1891; U.S. Senator 1906-1925
The American experiment in representative government has now been carried out for more than two centuries. Every two years, without interruption, a new Congress has convened to represent the American people. An institution that began with forty nine representatives and twelve senators, now consists of 535 members, five delegates, and one resident commissioner, who meet in a building that has become a symbol of freedom and democracy.
Today, Congress represents more than 300 million American citizens. By providing a forum for a diverse nation to find common ground through debate and compromise, these two unique institutions—the Senate and the House of Representatives—continue to prove the vitality and success of government by the people.