Here are some answers to questions frequently asked by young Tennesseans:
What is Washington, D.C.?
Washington, D.C. is the capital city of the United States. “Washington” is named after George Washington, our first president. “D.C.” stands for the “District of Columbia” after Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer. Washington, D.C., is located on the east coast and is surrounded by the states of Virginia and Maryland on the Potomac River. It is America’s first planned city and was designed by Pierre L’Enfant.
What is Capitol Hill?
Capitol Hill is where the United States Capitol Building is located in Washington, D.C. The United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives have met in the Capitol Building since 1800.
How do you become a United States senator?
United States senators are elected by the people who live in their state. Usually, there are at least two people, or “candidates,” who are competing against each other to have the job of senator. The candidate who gets the most votes becomes the senator.
How many U.S. senators are there?
There are 100 senators in Congress. Each of the 50 states has two senators, no matter how many people live in the state.
Where do senators work?
Each senator has an office in Washington, D.C., and offices in his or her home state. Senator Corker has an office in the Dirksen Senate Office Building in Washington and six offices in Tennessee: in Chattanooga, Jackson, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville, and the Tri-Cities.
When the Senate is in session, or “voting,” Senator Corker usually spends weekdays in Washington and goes home to Tennessee on the weekends. When the Senate is in recess, or “not voting,” Senator Corker typically travels across the state meeting with Tennesseans. During his first year as a senator, Senator Corker visited all 95 counties in Tennessee.
What does a senator do?
Senators belong to the legislative branch of the government, which is the part of the government that makes laws. A senator’s job is to represent the people living in his or her state in the United States Senate. Part of this job is to write and vote on new laws called “bills.” A bill must be voted on and passed by both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives and signed by the President of the United States in order to become a law.
To do his job well, Senator Corker spends a lot of time meeting with Tennesseans to talk about issues that are important to them. At these meetings they discuss ways to make the country a better place.
Another important part of a senator’s job is to help people in their state who have a problem with the federal government. For example, if you are having a problem getting your passport to take a vacation outside of the United States, Senator Corker’s office can work to make sure you get it in time for your trip.
What is the difference between a U.S. senator and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives?
The U.S. Congress is made up of two “chambers,” the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are 100 members in the Senate. Each state elects two senators no matter the size or population of the state. In the House of Representatives there are 435 members. States are divided into districts based on their population. For every 693,000 people, a state will have one district. Tennessee has nine districts, and therefore nine members of the House of Representatives.
A senator serves a six year term and they represent everyone in his or her state. A member of the House of Representatives serves a two year term and represents only the people who live in his or her district.
How does a bill become a law?
A bill becomes a law after it is passed by both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives and the President signs it.
Website Links for Kids:
Tennessee History for Kids
The White House
Ben's Guide to US Government for Kids
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
Clerk of the House
Department of Agriculture
Department of Energy
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of State
Department of the Interior
Department of Treasury
Energy Information Administration
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
Federal Communications Commission
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
Food and Drug Administration
International Spy Museum
Library of Congress
National Park Service
National Postal Museum
Patent and Trademark Office
PBS (Public Broadcasting Service)
Smokey the Bear
The Young Marines
Tennessee Valley Authority
US Census Bureau
US Coast Guard
US Fish and Wildlife Service
US Forestry Service
US Navy Sea Cadets