The Three Branches of Government: How They Function(this is the transcript of the video at the right bottom of this page.) The three branches of government are defined in the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution was made as a framework for the federal government of the United States of America. It says that the government should be separated into three separate branches. The three branches are:
- the executive branch which includes the president;
- the legislative branch which includes Congress;
- the judicial branch which includes the Supreme Court.
The American system of government was created by our founding fathers so that no one branch of the government would be more powerful than the other. First, the legislative branch makes the law. Second, The executive branch execute the law. Last, the judicial branch interprets the law.
Each branch performed separate functions and checks the other branches functions in different ways. They each have an effect on one another.
Perhaps most importantly every branch must respond to the will of the American people.
That is a powerful statement. So what does each branch do and what kind of checks and balances are made on each branch.
Let’s start with a look at the legislative branch of the u.s. government and what are the roles and responsibilities as a legislative branch. Remember this is a branch of the government that makes laws. They are the group of people known as Congress. Congress is divided into two parts: the House of Representatives and the Senate. In the House of Representatives all states are represented and the number of Representatives is determined by that state’s population. As of now (1992), the state of California holds the most number of representatives at 53 since it is also the most populous state in America. Currently a total of 435 representatives serve a term of two years. There is no limit to how many times they can get reelected. Every two years there is usually over a hundred representatives running for reelection.
I’s hard to understand all the reasons why someone would run for a position in the House of Representatives. Some run because they feel like it is their civic duty. Others run in order to change a policy. Some run in hopes of stepping into a political position higher up eventually.
There are three requirements that a person must fulfill in order to run for election in the House of Representatives. These requirements are found in the US Constitution.
- You must be a minimum of 25 years old at the time of induction.
- You must be a resident of the state in which our district resides.
- You must have been a US citizen for seven years prior to induction.
The principal role of the House of Representativesis to submit national legislation that encompasses the entire country. They vote on revenue and tax laws. A bill must be approved by the Senate as well as the president of the united states in order for it to be carried out as a law. However if the president declines or beetles the bill then Congress can resubmit it if they get at least two-thirds of the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Along with initiating bills, the house representatives can also impeach government officials if there is a reason to. The house can also choose a president at the Electoral College if it is stuck in a deadlock tie. The House of Representatives has a huge power in their job description of regulating the country’s government. The house representatives holds their sessions in the south wing of the United States Capitol.
The SenateIn the Senate all states are represented equally by two senators regardless of the population in the state. The members server term of six years. These terms are staggered so that approximately one-third of the seats are up for election every two years. That way everyone is not running for election at the same time. The requirements in the US Constitution for a person to run for election into the Senate are:
- You must be a US citizen for at least nine years when elected to the Senate.
- You must be at least 30 years of age.
- You must be a resident of the state that the senator represents.