Legislative Branch

 

Legislative Branch of Government

The Legislative Branch of US Government
This article contains a guide to the Legislative Branch
of Government in the United States and its connection to the US Constitution. The Legislative Branch is one of three branches of government (Legislative, Judiciary and Executive) that provide a controlled system by which everyone is bound by the US Constitution, the Supreme law of the land. Each branch has a different function to make, enforce and interpret laws according to the US Constitution. It has a system of controls called 'Checks and Balances' to ensure the balance of power is maintained and there is no abuse of power.

What does the Legislative Branch do?
The most common questions about this branch of government are "What does the Legislative Branch do?", " What are the powers of the Legislative Branch?" and "What are the duties of the Legislative Branch?". First things first. The Legislative Branch is the part of government that makes the laws. This article contains facts and information about the powers, duties, responsibilities and powers of the Legislative Branch and how the Executive and the Judiciary Branches can check the Legislature.

 

Definition of the Legislative Branch of Government
Definition:  The Legislative Branch of Government is empowered to make laws. The legislative branch consists of
Congress (the Senate and the House of Representatives and the 50 state legislatures. Legislatures consist of popularly elected representatives at both state and federal (national) levels.

Duties of the Legislative Branch
The duties of the representatives in the Legislatives Branch are to propose new laws that are in the interests of the people they represent. The duties of the Legislative Branch are carried out by the Congress which is a two-tier (bicameral) organization that consists of members elected by the people. Congress is divided into the Senate and the House of Representatives. The upper house is another name for the Senate and the lower house is another name for the House of Representatives. The US Capitol building houses Congress. Members of Congress are elected every 2 years. When a law is proposed as a bill, it is discussed by committees who can make modifications to the proposal. It is then debated and, if the law is approved, it is still subject to further modification and a final vote. Under the control system of checks and balances, the president can refuse to sign the bill into law through the power of veto.

Duties of the Legislative Branch - Agencies
The Legislative Branch is assisted by various agencies (organizations) and by congressional staff. The agencies include The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that consists of people who are experts in economics and statistics who are able to advise on government budgets (financial plans).The Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Copyright Office, the Government Printing Office (GPO), the Open World Leadership Center and the Congressional Research Service. The Legislative Branch also has responsibilities for research facilities such as the Library of Congress and for keeping safe historical US documents such as the original Declaration of Independence.

Facts about the Members of the Legislative Branch
There are one hundred senators in the U.S. Senate (2 Senators for every state) who are elected every 6 years. There are currently 435 members of the House of Representatives (the number of representatives depends on how many people live in that state).  

 

Presidential Seal

 

Powers of the Legislative Branch of Government
The Legislative Branch of Government has the power to make the laws and has the power to pass, amend and repeal (cancel) laws as defined in Article I of the Constitution.

Powers of the Legislative Branch of Government - Checks and Balances
The work and duties of the Legislative Branch are subject to controls called Checks and Balance by the other two branches of government - the Executive Branch and the Judicial Branch. The Checks and Balances are designed to minimize the risk of corruption, abuse, fraud and waste in the government of the United States. The Checks and Balances that can be exercised by the other branches on the Legislative Branch are detailed below.

Powers of the Legislative Branch - Checks and Balances by the Executive
The Checks and Balances that can be exercised by the Executive on the Legislative division are as follows:
The Executive Branch is led by the President who has the power to apply the following Checks and Balances:
The President can veto a bill that has been passed by Congress
The President can temporarily appoint senior officials without the approval of the Senate
The President can call special sessions and force an adjournment when both houses cannot agree
Congress cannot reduce the salary of the president (whilst in office)

Powers of the Legislative Branch - Checks and Balances by the Judiciary
The Checks and Balances that can be exercised by the Judiciary on the Legislative division are as follows:
The Judiciary has the power to declare laws unconstitutional
The Chief justice will preside over impeachment trials
Congress cannot reduce the salary of a judge whilst in office

Legislative Branch
The article on the Legislative Branch provides a fast overview of the US Government. The following Presidents of the USA video provides a useful educational resource for kids, children and schools.

 

 

 

Legislative Branch
 
Legislative Branch
The roles and duties of the Legislative Division
Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives
Powers of the Legislative division
Facts about the Legislative division
The Checks and Balances on the Legislative division
Important facts, and helpful Information on the Legislative division for schools, homework, kids and children
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