National Congress

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Information › National Congress

The National Congress is the constitutional body that has, at the federal level, the functions of the Legislature, namely, pass laws and oversee the Brazilian State, as well as administer and judge the country.

The National Congress is bicameral, being composed of two chambers: the Senate, composed of 81 senators, who represent the 27 Federal Units (26 States and Federal District), and the Chamber of Deputies, composed of 513 deputies, who represent the people.

The bicameral system was adopted because of the way of state installed in the country, known as federalism, seeking to balance the political weight of the Federal Units.

Thus, in the Senate, all states and the Federal District have the same number of representatives (three senators), regardless of the size of their populations.

In the House of Representatives, the number of representatives of each Federative Unit varies depending on the size of its population. Most populous states, like Sao Paulo, come to elect 70 deputies, while the smaller ones like Acre, elect 8.

The Congress meets annually in the Federal Capital, from February 2 to July 17 and August 1 to December 22.

Each of these periods is called the legislative period, with the year known as regular legislative session. The term is four years in which Congress meets to coincide with the office of Congressman.

When Congress is convened outside the legislative periods is necessary to be a special session, settling the so-called special legislative session.

The president of the National Congress is the chairman of the Senate, since the mayor is the second in the presidential succession.

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