The legislative branch is responsible for making the country’s laws, as well as checking and balancing the other branches of government.
The House of Representatives is composed of 435 members, who are elected by the people of each state according to their population. The House also has 6 non-voting members, who represent the District of Columbia and some U.S. territories.
The House has the power to initiate revenue bills, impeach federal officials, and elect the President in case of an Electoral College tie. The leader of the House is the Speaker, who is elected by the members1.
The Senate is composed of 100 members, who are elected by the people of each state regardless of their population. Each state has two senators, who serve six-year terms.
The Senate has the power to confirm or reject the President’s appointments, ratify treaties, and try impeachment cases.
The leader of the Senate is the Vice President, who can cast a tie-breaking vote if needed1.
Both chambers of Congress must pass a bill by majority vote before it can be sent to the President for approval or veto. If the President vetoes a bill, Congress can override it by a two-thirds vote in each chamber.
Congress also has the authority to declare war, regulate commerce, raise taxes, borrow money, coin money, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the nation2.
Congress meets at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.