BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: In Depth: US Elections: Glossary: C-D
Front Page 
World 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

banner Sunday, 20 February, 2000, 17:31 GMT
Congress

The State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress
Congress forms the law making or legislative branch of the US government as prescribed in Article I Section I of the US constitution.

It is made up of two houses - the 435-member House of Representatives and 100-member Senate - each of which officially has equal power, if not prestige.

A congressional period lasts two years (or sessions) and begins at noon on 3 January of odd-numbered years.

As well as drafting and implementing laws Congress also has the power to:

  • investigate matters of public concern;
  • oversee federal agencies and their programs;
  • declare war;
  • approve and ratify treaties;
  • regulate commerce;
  • increase and decrease taxes;
  • print and appropriate money;
  • confirm/approve judicial and federal appointments and nominations;
  • impeach federal officials including the president and vice president;
  • and override presidential vetoes based on a two-thirds majority in each chamber.
Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE

Inauguration:

Bush presidency:

PICTURE GALLERIES

Texts and transcripts:

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
A to Z
See also:

22 Feb 00 | Q-S
Senate
22 Feb 00 | C-D
Capitol, United States
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more C-D stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more C-D stories