An Introduction | The President of the United States is elected every 4 years. In order to run a candidate must be at least 35 years old, be a natural born citizen, and have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. The Constitution assigns the President two roles: chief executive of the federal government, and Commander in Chief of the armed forces.
As Commander in Chief, the President has the authority to send troops into combat and is the only person who can decide whether to use nuclear weapons. As chief executive, the President enforces laws, treaties and court rulings, develops federal policies, prepares the national budget, and appoints federal officials. They may approve or veto actions of Congress, and grant pardons.
U.S. Senate | In 2020, neither of Washington State’s U.S. Senators are up for election. Senator Patty Murray’s current term will be up in 2022, and Senator Maria Cantwell’s term will be up in 2024.
U.S. House | The powers and composition of the United States House of Representatives are established in Article 1 of the United States Constitution. Representatives serve two-year terms with elections held every year ending in an even number. The House of Representatives votes on federal legislation, and its bills must also be passed by the U.S. Senate and signed by the President before becoming law. The Democrat Party is currently the majority party in the House. The number of representatives from each state is determined by population, with the total number staying constant at 435 members. In order to qualify to serve as a U.S. Representative, individuals must be at least 25 years old, a citizen of the United States for at least the past 7 years and be an inhabitant of the state they represent.