The United States Constitution Divides Government Into Three Separate and Distinct Branches

807 Words4 Pages
The United States Constitution divides government into three separate and distinct branches: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. The concept of separate branches with distinct powers is known as separation of powers. Each branch is theoretically equal to each of the others. The Congress is the Legislative Branch. Its main function is to make laws. It also oversees the execution of these laws, and checks various executive and judicial powers. The Congress is bicameral- it is composed of two houses. One house is the House of Representatives, the other is the Senate. The House of Representatives, or House for short, is currently composed of four hundred and thirty-five members. Each of the fifty states is allocated one or more representatives based on its population as calculated by the decennial once in ten years. Each state is guaranteed at least one representative. The people of each district vote to elect one representative to Congress. States that have only one representative allocated choose at-large representatives- the state votes as one entire district. The Senate is the upper house of the United States' legislative branch, possessing only one hundred members to the house's four hundred thirty-five. Each state chooses two senators, regardless of that state's population. The Vice-President is President of the Senate, but he only votes if there is a tie. The Senate and the House are both required to approve legislation before it becomes a law. The two houses are equal in legislative power, but revenue bills (bills relating to taxation) may only originate in the House. However, as with any other bill, the Senate's approval is still required, and the Senate may amend such bills. The Senate holds additional powers relating to treaties and the appointments of executive and judicial officials. The Senate is required for the President to appoint judges

More about The United States Constitution Divides Government Into Three Separate and Distinct Branches

Open Document