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Legislative Branch

The legislative branch – at the federal level we call it Congress – is comprised of individuals elected by the public. Congress is organized as two chambers – the House of Representatives and the Senate. Members of Congress are elected by the people living in the geographic region they represent – either their entire state or, in our more populated states, a district. The legislative branch is responsible for enacting statutes that explain what government is going to do; that is, what programs government will pursue. Examples of government programs or initiatives include providing an educational system; providing for a military; providing for research; and assisting in providing housing, food, health care and other necessities for those who cannot provide these for themselves. Government programs also address issues relating to the environment, transportation, energy, and of course, taxation. There are many other government programs in addition to the few mentioned here.

The legislative branch of government can do no more than it is authorized to do. For example, Congress (our federal legislature) can do no more than the U.S. Constitution authorizes it to do.

Click here to read about the process Congress follows in enacting a statute.

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