United States Congress

In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.
The 1940 painting Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, depicting George Washington presiding over the signing of the United States Constitution.
United States Congress c. 1915
Historical graph of party control of the Senate, House, and Presidency. Since 1980, the Democrats have held the Presidency for four terms, but because of the Senate filibuster, have only been able to freely legislate in two years. The Republicans have been similarly disabled.
Congress's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, and printing currency.
Congress authorizes defense spending such as the purchase of the USS Bon Homme Richard (CV-31).
Congress oversees other government branches, for example, the Senate Watergate Committee, investigating President Nixon and Watergate, in 1973–74.
View of the United States Capitol from the United States Supreme Court building
The impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999, Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding
Second committee room in Congress Hall in Philadelphia
Library of Congress Jefferson Building
Lobbying depends on cultivating personal relationships over many years. Photo: Lobbyist Tony Podesta (left) with former senator Kay Hagan (center) and her husband.
An Act of Congress from 1960.
The House Financial Services committee meets. Committee members sit in the tiers of raised chairs, while those testifying, and audience members sit below.
In this example, the more even distribution is on the left and the gerrymandering is presented on the right.
The Federalist Papers argued in favor of a strong connection between citizens and their representatives.

Legislature of the federal government of the United States.

- United States Congress
In 1868, this committee of representatives prosecuted President Andrew Johnson in his impeachment trial, but the Senate did not convict him.

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Opening of the 112th Congress in the House of Representatives chamber, January 5, 2011

Article One of the United States Constitution

Opening of the 112th Congress in the House of Representatives chamber, January 5, 2011
Gilded Age monopolies could no longer control the U.S. Senate (left) by corrupting state legislatures (right).
The impeachment trial of President Clinton in 1999, with Chief Justice William Rehnquist presiding
Newly naturalized citizen Albert Einstein received his certificate of American citizenship from Judge Phillip Forman.
Congress's "power of the purse" authorizes taxing citizens, spending money, issuing notes and minting coins.
Chief Justice John Marshall established a broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause.
Congress authorizes defense spending such as the purchase of the USS Bon Homme Richard.
U.S. brig Perry confronting the slave ship Martha off Ambriz on June 6, 1850

Article One of the United States Constitution establishes the legislative branch of the federal government, the United States Congress.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.

Constitution of the United States

Supreme law of the United States of America.

Supreme law of the United States of America.

Page one of the officially engrossed copy of the Constitution signed by delegates. A print run of 500 copies of the final version preceded this copy.
Signing of the Constitution, September 17, 1787 (1940 by Howard Chandler Christy)
Dates the 13 states ratified the Constitution
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"We the People" in an original edition
Closing endorsement section of the United States Constitution
United States Bill of Rights
Currently housed in the National Archives.
John Jay, 1789–1795
John Marshall, 1801–1835
Salmon P. Chase {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Chase Court, 1864–1873, in 1865 were Salmon P. Chase (chief Justice); Hon. Nathan Clifford, Maine; Stephen J. Field, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Hon. Samuel F. Miller, U.S. Supreme Court; Hon. Noah H. Swayne, Justice Supreme Court, U.S.; Judge Morrison R. Waite}}
William Howard Taft {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Taft Court, 1921–1930, in 1925 were James Clark McReynolds, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., William Howard Taft (chief justice), Willis Van Devanter, Louis Brandeis. Edward Sanford, George Sutherland, Pierce Butler, Harlan Fiske Stone}}
Earl Warren {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Warren Court, 1953–1969, in 1963 were Felix Frankfurter; Hugo Black; Earl Warren (chief justice); Stanley Reed; William O. Douglas. Tom Clark; Robert H. Jackson; Harold Burton; Sherman Minton}}
William Rehnquist {{refn|group= lower-alpha|The Rehnquist Court, 1986–2005.}}
José Rizal
Sun Yat-sen

Its first three articles embody the doctrine of the separation of powers, whereby the federal government is divided into three branches: the legislative, consisting of the bicameral Congress (Article I); the executive, consisting of the president and subordinate officers (Article II); and the judicial, consisting of the Supreme Court and other federal courts (Article III).

An 1846 painting by George Caleb Bingham showing a polling judge administering an oath to a voter

Elections in the United States

Elections in the United States are held for government officials at the federal, state, and local levels.

Elections in the United States are held for government officials at the federal, state, and local levels.

An 1846 painting by George Caleb Bingham showing a polling judge administering an oath to a voter
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Voters cast ballots for the 2020 elections at Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, Iowa
A chart of party balance in the House from 1789 to 2004

All members of the federal legislature, the Congress, are directly elected by the people of each state.

December 23, 1783: General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull (1822–1824)

Congress of the Confederation

The governing body of the United States of America from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789.

The governing body of the United States of America from March 1, 1781, to March 4, 1789.

December 23, 1783: General George Washington Resigning His Commission by John Trumbull (1822–1824)

The Congress of the Confederation was succeeded by the Congress of the United States as provided for in the new United States Constitution, proposed September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia and adopted by the United States in 1788.

The Palace of Westminster, seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

Bicameralism

Type of legislature, one divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature.

Type of legislature, one divided into two separate assemblies, chambers, or houses, known as a bicameral legislature.

The Palace of Westminster, seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
The United States Capitol, seat of the United States Congress.
The Sansad Bhavan, seat of the Parliament of India.
The National Congress of Brazil, seat of the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate
The federal bicameral Parliament of Canada, which contains a House of Commons and a Senate
The federal bicameral Parliament of Australia, which contains a House of Representatives and a Senate
The House of Lords chamber
Provincial legislatures in Argentina

Joint committees:which may be formed by committees of each house agreeing to join, or by joint resolution of each house. The United States Congress has conference committees to resolve discrepancies between House and Senate versions of a bill, similar to "Conferences" in Westminster parliaments.

Palace of Westminster in February 2007

Legislature

Assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city.

Assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city.

Palace of Westminster in February 2007
Map showing the terminology for each country's national legislature
The Congress of the Republic of Peru, the country's national legislature, meets in the Legislative Palace in 2010
The British House of Commons, its lower house
The German Bundestag, its theoretical lower house
The Australian Senate, its upper house

In contrast, in committee-based legislatures like the United States Congress, deliberation takes place in closed committees.

117th United States Congress

2021 United States Capitol attack (January 6, 2021)
Joe Biden takes the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States
President Biden addresses a joint session of Congress, with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
President Biden during the 2022 State of the Union Address
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law, March 11, 2021
President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, June 17, 2021
President Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act into law, November 15, 2021
President Biden signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act into law, December 23, 2021
President Biden signed the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022 into law, May 9, 2022
House seats by party holding majority in state, as a result of the 2020 elections
Current (from January 20, 2021)
Begin (January 3, 2021 – January 18, 2021)
January 18, 2021 – January 20, 2021
Current (from May 25, 2022)
February 17, 2022 – March 18, 2022
February 11, 2021 – March 10, 2021
February 7, 2021 – February 11, 2021
June 14, 2021 – July 30, 2021
May 16, 2021 – June 14, 2021
April 6, 2021 – April 14, 2021
April 14, 2021 – May 11, 2021
May 11, 2021 – May 16, 2021
July 30, 2021 – November 4, 2021
November 4, 2021 – January 1, 2022
January 1, 2022 – January 18, 2022
January 18, 2022 – February 17, 2022
March 18, 2022 – March 31, 2022
March 31, 2022 – May 10, 2022
May 10, 2022 – May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022 – June 14, 2022

The 117th United States Congress is the current meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

United States census

Census that is legally mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and takes place every 10 years.

Census that is legally mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and takes place every 10 years.

A woman with a Hollerith pantograph punch. The keyboard is for the 1940 U.S. census population card.
This 1940 Census publicity photo shows a census worker in Fairbanks, Alaska. The dog musher remains out of earshot to maintain confidentiality.
Census outreach flyers hang at Sure We Can - redemption center in Bushwick, Brooklyn - 2020
Census regional marketing logo in Minnesota.
US Census Bureau Population Regions

The U.S. census is mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which states: "Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States... according to their respective Numbers... . The actual Enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years".

Representation of all political parties as percentage in House of Representatives over time

United States House of Representatives

Representation of all political parties as percentage in House of Representatives over time
Historical graph of party control of the Senate and House as well as the presidency
Republican speaker of the House Thomas Brackett Reed (1895–1899)
All 435 voting seats of the current House shown grouped by state, largest to smallest (From 2015)
Population per U.S. representative allocated to each of the 50 states and D.C., ranked by population. Since D.C. (ranked 49th) receives no voting seats in the House, its bar is absent.

The United States House of Representatives, usually referred to as the House, is the lower house of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper house.

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U.S. state

Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

Constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50.

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Ownership of federal lands in the 50 states
U.S. states by date of statehood:
The order in which the original 13 states ratified the Constitution, then the order in which the others were admitted to the Union
A map showing the source languages of state names

States and their citizens are represented in the United States Congress, a bicameral legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.