U.S. Federal Government
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The United States federal government is the entire entity comprising the three branches of government as outlined by the Constitution:
- the Executive
- the Legislative
- the Judiciary
Article I established the Legislative, the two branches of Congress that write laws and hold the power to tax. The Judiciary is the branch that decides if laws are constitutional, and is most visibly represented by the Supreme Court. The Executive branch, visible as the President, is actually the largest of the three branches.
The Three Branches of U.S. Government
The Legislative Branch consists of Congress, which is divided into two houses:
- The House of Representatives has 435 members representing the states based on population.
- The Senate holds 100 members, two from each state.
Laws are introduced in one of the two chambers, where they are sent to committees and debated before being passed (or not). Congress also oversees the Library of Congress, the nation's largest.
The Judicial branch comprises not just the US Supreme Court, but the lower federal courts system that hears most of the legal cases in the system. US Bankruptcy courts, the US Court of Appeals and the US District Courts are all part of the judicial branch.
The Executive Branch
The Executive branch includes not just the president, but all of the cabinet departments and agencies such as the CIA, EPA, FTC and FDIC. It is for this reason that it is the largest branch of the federal government.