By Macie Malone, PFI Summer Intern
This November, people across the nation will be voting in the 2016 General Election for the next President of the United States. Americans are concerned for the well-being of the nation and have an important decision to make when choosing who will next take on the Oval Office. Pennsylvanians too have offices up for election that will have an equally important impact at the state level.
The General Election offers the opportunity for Pennsylvanians to vote for their next U.S. Senator, U.S. Congressman, Attorney General, Auditor General, State Treasurer, State Senator (for half the state), and State Representative.
What role do these offices play in the well-being of Pennsylvania? We have created a list of the offices up for election, the responsibilities they hold and what impact they can have. Look for more information in the coming weeks on the role these public offices play and how, depending on who fills those offices, they can positively or negatively affect Pennsylvania.
We’ll start with Congress.
Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government and it is comprised of both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state elects two senators to represent them in the Senate and a number of representatives, proportional to their state’s population, to represent them in the House. As the legislative branch, U.S. Senators and Representatives are in charge of making and passing federal laws that touch upon all aspects of U.S. domestic and foreign policy. These legislators introduce the laws signed or vetoed by the President, and can also support or oppose the President’s agenda for the country.
U.S. Senators provide advice and consent on executive nominations and treaties, as well as conduct oversight of all branches of the federal government. Their advice and consent extends to Presidential nominations of Supreme Court Justices. Currently there is a vacancy for a Supreme Court Justice. The Senate will be responsible for holding a hearing for any Justice nominations made by the President. Senators will vote for or against nominations, and once confirmed by the Senate are appointed to the Supreme Court. Because Supreme Court Justices have life tenure in the highest court in the U.S., the appointing of a constitutional justice is crucial to the future of the United States. Supreme Court Justices have the last say on what is and what isn’t constitutional.
U.S. Representatives introduce bills and resolutions, pass federal laws, offer amendments and serve on committees. Each state has a number of representatives proportional to their state’s population. Pennsylvania currently holds 18 representative seats in the U.S. House. These representatives have the power to support or oppose bills that will eventually head to the President’s desk, and to introduce the Federal budget, but constituents have the power to select which representatives they’ll put into that position of power.
- Visit www.PaFamilyVoter.com to get your free personalized ballot so you know where the U.S. Senate and U.S. House candidates stand on the issues important to you.
- Order printed Voter’s Guides for your church.
- Vote on Tuesday, November 8th!
In the next post we’ll discuss the state row offices (Attorney General, Auditor General and State Treasurer)…