The tenure of a Member of the House is two years. The election to the house is conducted every two years. The members are elected by the citizens of every state who are qualified to elect the members. The number of member representatives in the house is based on the population of the state. Minimum number of representation is one, and more than one representative will be permitted if the population is high. For every thirty thousand people, there shall be one representative.[i] Likewise, the State of New Hampshire is entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode-Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New-York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.[ii]
Qualification required to become a member are:
1) Shall be at least 25 years in age;
2) Should have been a citizen of United State for the past seven years;
3) And, shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he/she shall be chosen.[iii]
Apart from the above qualifications, the member of the house shall not hold any other Civil offices under United States. If holding such an office, then the person shall resign the office before becoming a member.[iv] The manner of election, and the time and place to elect the representatives is decided by the state legislature. The congress shall interfere only if required.[v]
The members are paid a compensation for the services they provide. The amount of compensation is ascertained by law. This compensation is paid out of the United States treasury. The members enjoy certain privileges. The members shall not be arrested while they are attending the session in the house, or while going to or returning from the house. Further, they shall be questioned only when making a speech or debate and not elsewhere.[vi] Despite of all the privileges enjoyed, the members can get expelled from the house, if he/she consistently shows disorderly behaviors. A representative can be expelled from the house with the concurrence of two-third of the total strength of the house.[vii] Members after their service, enjoys benefits such as pension, health benefits and social security benefits. The members are often referred with a prefix ‘honorable’ and know as congressman/woman or representative.
If at anytime a shortage of representation from any state occurs, the executive authority sends a Writ of Election to the respective state to fill the vacancy.[viii] Members choose the officers and the speaker of the house. The house enjoys the sole power to impeach them.[ix]
[i] Art. I, § 2, Cl 3.
[ii] Art. I, § 2, Cl 3.
[iii] Art. I, § 2, Cl 2.
[iv] Art. I, § 6, Cl 2
[v] Art. I, § 4, Cl 1.
[vi] Art. I, § 6, Cl 1.
[vii] Art. I, § 5, Cl 2.
[viii] Art. I, § 2, Cl 4.
[ix] Art. I, § 2, Cl 5.