Branches of Government
To ensure a separation of powers, the U.S. Federal Government is made up of three branches: legislative, executive and judicial. To ensure the government is effective and citizens’ rights are protected, each branch has its own powers and responsibilities, including working with the other branches.
The legislative branch is made up of the House and Senate, known collectively as the Congress. Among other powers, the legislative branch makes all laws, declares war, regulates interstate and foreign commerce and controls taxing and spending policies. The following are legislative branch organizations:
The executive branch consists of the President, his or her advisors and various departments and agencies. This branch is responsible for enforcing the laws of the land. The following are executive branch organizations and agencies:
The judicial branch consists of the U.S. Supreme Court and the Federal Judicial Center. According to the Constitution, "[t]he judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish." The Federal Judicial Center is the education and research agency for the federal courts.