United States - Legislative Branch


The legislative branch of the federal government consists of the Congress, which is divided into two chambers -- the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each member of Congress is elected by the people of his or her state. The House of Representatives, with membership based on state populations, has 435 seats, while the Senate, with two members from each state, has 100 seats. Members of the House of Representatives are elected for two-year terms, and Senators are elected for six-year


United States House of the Representatives

United States House of the Representatives
The chief function of Congress is the making of laws. The work of Congress is initiated by the introduction of a proposal in one of four principal forms: the bill, the joint resolution, the concurrent resolution, and the simple resolution.
  • Chief Administrative Officer

    The Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) provides operations support services and business solutions to the community of 10,000 House Members, Officers and staff. The CAO organization comprises more than 600 technical and administrative staff working in a variety of areas, including information technology, finance, budget management, human resources, payroll, child care, food and vending, procurement, logistics and administrative counsel.

  • House Organizations

    Organizations, Commissions, and Task Forces

  • House Schedule
  • Laws of the United States
  • Legislative Archive
  • Office of the Democratic Leader
  • Office of the Majority Leader

    The Majority Leader is the second-ranking official in the United States House of Representatives. The House Majority Leader is chosen by the majority party's membership prior to the launch of a new Congress. While the responsibilities of the Majority Leader are largely defined by little more than history and tradition, there are certain duties that now customarily fall under the Leader's purview. These responsibilities include the scheduling of legislation for Floor consideration and the planning of daily, weekly and annual legislative agendas.

  • Office of the Republican Leader
  • Office of the Speaker

    The Speaker of the House of Representatives is elected by his or her fellow Members to preside over the House. The Speaker typically maintains three roles, as the Representative for his or her district, as a leader of his or her party, and as the leader of the House as a whole.

  • Representative Offices

House of the Representatives Committee Offices

United States Senate

Today there are 100 Senators, who, in performing their constitutionally appointed duties, bring to the Senate a part of their State's culture for all to share.
  • Active Legislation

    Appropriations; Agency Authorizations; Public Laws; Popular reports; Program Authorizations

  • Bills and Resolutions

    There are four types of legislation: bills, joint resolutions, concurrent resolutions, and simple resolutions

  • Floor Schedule
  • Leadership
  • Legislation and Records
  • Legislative Process

    The United States Constitution (Article I, Section I) grants all legislative powers to the Congress, which consists of a Senate and a House of Representatives. The Senate also has "advise and consent" privileges in matters of treaties and nominations.

  • Public Disclosure

    Lobbyists register with the Senate Office of Public Records in accordance with the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). Lobbying and other records are available for public inspection.

  • Senators

    Search Senators of the Congress by Name, State or Party

  • The Congressional Record

Senate Committees

Due to the high volume and complexity of its work, the Senate divides its tasks among 20 committees, 68 subcommittees, and 4 joint committees. Although the Senate committee system is similar to that of the House of Representatives, it has its own guidelines, within which each committee adopts its own rules. This creates considerable variation among the panels.