Congress is the only part of the government that can make new laws or change existing laws and holds the sole power to declare war. They may also override a presidential veto by a 2/3 vote in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
House of Representatives
House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national states. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the corresponding upper house often called a "Senate". In some countries, the House of Representatives is the sole chamber of a unicameral legislature.
The functioning of a house of representatives can vary greatly from country to country, and depends on whether a country has a parliamentary or a presidential system. Members of a House of Representatives are typically apportioned according to population rather than geography.
United States Congress
Federal government of the United States
A federation (Latin: foedus, foederis, 'covenant'), also known as a federal state, is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a central (federal) government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states, as well as the division of power between them and the central government, are typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of either party, the states or the federal political body.
The governmental or constitutional structure found in a federation is known as federalism. It can be considered the opposite of another system, the unitary state. Germany with sixteen Länder is an example of a federation, whereas neighboring Austria and its Bundesländer was a unitary state with administrative divisions that became federated, and neighboring France by contrast has always been unitary.
United States House of Representatives
The government of the United States of America is the federal government of the republic of fifty states that constitute the United States, as well as one capital district, and several other territories. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of Congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.
President of the United States
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the United States Congress (a bicameral legislature). It is frequently referred to as the House. The other house is the Senate.
United States Senate
The President of the United States of America (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces.
Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the United States in the president and charges him with the execution of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. Since the founding of the United States, the power of the president and the federal government have grown substantially and each modern president, despite possessing no formal legislative powers beyond signing or vetoing congressionally passed bills, is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of his party and the foreign and domestic policy of the United States. The president is frequently described as the most powerful person in the world.
Constitutional law is the body of law which defines the relationship of different entities within a state, namely, the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary.
Not all nation states have codified constitutions, though all such states have a jus commune, or law of the land, that may consist of a variety of imperative and consensual rules. These may include customary law, conventions, statutory law, judge-made law or international rules and norms.
Separation of powers under the United States Constitution
A veto – Latin for "I forbid" – is the power (used by an officer of the state, for example) to unilaterally stop an official action, especially the enactment of legislation. A veto can be absolute, as for instance in the United Nations Security Council, whose permanent members (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, United States of America) can block any resolution. Or it can be limited, as in the legislative process of the United States, where a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate may override a Presidential veto of legislation. A veto only gives power to stop changes, not to adopt them (except for the rare "amendatory veto"). Thus a veto allows its holder to protect the status quo.
The concept of a veto body originated with the Roman consuls and tribunes. Either of the two consuls holding office in a given year could block a military or civil decision by the other; any tribune had the power to unilaterally block legislation passed by the Roman Senate.
United States Constitution
Separation of powers is a political doctrine originating in the writings of Montesquieu in The Spirit of the Laws where he urged for a constitutional government with three separate branches of government. Each of the three branches would have defined powers to check the powers of the other branches. This idea was called separation of powers. This philosophy heavily influenced the writing of the United States Constitution, according to which the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States government are kept distinct in order to prevent abuse of power. This United States form of separation of powers is associated with a system of checks and balances.
During the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers such as John Locke advocated the principle in their writings, whereas others, such as Thomas Hobbes, strongly opposed it. Montesquieu was one of the foremost supporters of separating the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary. His writings considerably influenced the opinions of the framers of the United States Constitution.
Articles of the Constitution
Bill of Rights
Note: Varies by jurisdiction
Note: Varies by jurisdiction