Power in a Bicameral Legislature The House of Representatives and the Senate must jointly decide to exercise most of the powers granted to Congress. When Congress declares war, for example, both houses must pass the exact same declaration. Similarly, both houses must pass identical versions of the same law before the law can take effect. There are some exceptions, however, in which the House and the Senate wield power alone. Unique Powers of the House The Constitution gives the House of Representatives a few unique powers, including the power to do the following: • Propose all tax bills. • Impeach a federal official. Impeachment is the process of formally charging a government official with an offense serious enough to warrant removal from office. Unique Powers of the Senate The Constitution also grants the Senate a few unique powers, including the power to do the following: • Approve presidential appointments to key federal offices • Confirm all federal judicial appointments • Ratify treaties
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