The Representation Function of Congress

TheRepresentation Function of Congress

TheCongress is structured separately from the judicial and executivebranches with various responsibilities. One of its essentialfunctions is representation. The legislators are elected to speak onbehalf of their constituents and vote on different policies accordingto the needs of their people. Additionally, they are trustees who actin line with their principles and the general interests of thecountry (Grill 82).

However,lack of consensus creates tension in the representative function ofCongress (Grill 79). The legislators have a political responsibilityto their districts. Thus, they act as delegates by voting on proposedbills based on opinion polls from their states. The constituentssometimes vary because the laws that are helpful for some districtsmay not be useful to others. Hence, disputes arise when differentmembers try to push for their constituents’ agenda (Grill 81).Therefore, it introduces stalemate when the Congress executes itslawmaking functions. Then again, one of the representation functionsof the legislature is to offers a forum for the interest groups.Activists have a crucial role in testifying during the Congressionalinquiries. Besides, they mobilize opinion on select issues of thelegislature.

Nonetheless,lobbyists are not directly involved in the lawmaking task thus, itbecomes challenging if their ideas contradict the proposed laws.Deliberation is crucial during the lawmaking process to ensure thatthe bills enacted will be beneficial to the public. The members ofthe legislature have to serve their states while working collectivelyto make national laws (Grill 82). Combined efforts on various billsand policies comprise of negotiation and compromise among themembers. However, such an understanding is only possible if somemembers retreat from representing the needs of their constituents.Besides, public interests on a national level are viewed as more thanthe collective desires of the constituents hence, the needs of somedistricts may be overlooked (Grill 82).

Inconclusion, Congress serves several purposes including making lawsand representing the people. The legislature does not offer perfectrepresentation due to the diversity of American politics. Thus, themembers of the Congress cannot be perfect trustees and delegates.However, the Congress is distinctively suited to promote thedeliberation essential to establish an agreement and enact the lawaccording to the larger public interest.


Grill,Christopher J. ThePublic Side of Representation: A Study of Citizens` Views aboutRepresentatives and the Representative Process.Albany: State University of New York Press, 2012. Internet resource.