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Pecularities of US Government

Branches of US Government

The basis of the state mechanism functioning of the United States is the constitutional principle of “separation of powers”, which implies 3 branches of government – legislative, executive and judicial.branches of the us government

What is the Legislative Branch?

The legislative branch is exercised by the US Congress, consisting of 2 chambers – the Senate and the House of Representatives. Senators (100 people – 2 representatives from each state) are elected for a 6-year term; every 2 years, the composition of the Senate is updated by 1/3. Elections to the House of Representatives are held every 2 years, during which all 435 representatives of the corresponding number of electoral districts are re-elected. Constituencies are determined according to the size of the population. The House of Representatives also includes 3 representatives of the District of Columbia with an advisory vote.

Officially, the chairman of the Senate is the vice-president of the United States (he participates in the work of the Senate and votes if the votes of the senators are equally divided). In this case, his voice becomes decisive. In the absence of a vice president, the work of the Senate is headed by a president pro tempore.

The work of the House of Representatives is headed by the speaker – the representative of the party with the majority of votes in the House. In the Senate and House of Representatives, leaders of special committees and subcommittees, as well as majority and minority leaders and their deputies, are elected.

In each of the 2 chambers, there are 20 independent committees functioning independently of each other on the main directions of legislative activity; and also 3 joint committees. For the consideration of particularly important issues of domestic or foreign policy, joint meetings of both chambers are convened. The Congress of each convocation works in the format of 2 annual sessions. Historically, the tradition of numbering US congressional sessions has been established – 108th.

Congress has wide prerogatives in most spheres of state activity, primarily finance. It approves the federal budget, establishes taxes and other fees, regulates foreign and interstate trade controls the activities of government departments and the spending of federal funds by them. The control over state financing is carried out by Congress through the specialized institutions established by it:

  • General Accounting Office;
  • Office of Technology Assessment;
  • Office of the State Budget.

Executive branch

The structure of the executive branch of the United States includes:

  • the Cabinet of Ministers consisting of the heads of federal agencies of the highest category — 15 ministries (State Department, Defense, Finance, Justice, Commerce, Department of Interior, Agriculture, Labor, Health and Social Services, Education, Transport, Energy, housing and urban development, veteran affairs, internal security), non-government ministries of the army, navy, and air force;
  • the executive office of the president (including the White House, advisers and presidential aides);
  • Administrative and Budgetary Management (ABU);
  • Economic Council;
  • National Security Council (SNB);
  • The Directorate of Military Technical Policy and more than 60 federal agencies and departments, including the Federal Reserve System, the CIA, the National Science Foundation, Export-Import Bank of the United States, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Small Business Administration, the Farm Credit Administration, the Postal Service USA.

Judicial branch

The highest federal judicial authority, the US Supreme Court is composed of 9 federal judges, including the Chief Justice. Members of the Supreme Court are appointed by the president for life imprisonment with the right to resign voluntarily. At the federal level, there are also 94 district courts that deal with cases conducting under federal jurisdiction, special courts, including 12 regional Bankruptcy Appellate Panels, and United States Court of International Trade. The system of judicial power in the United States also includes the courts of individual states and counties.

Category: General Issues

Tags: government