Government Publications are issued by the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of the Federal Government.

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History:

The federalist and republican foundations of American governance establish a system of power sharing between the federal government and state government. Since the Constitution’s ratification, there has been discussion about how to interpret and put these ideas into practise, as well as what authority the federal government should have and how it should use that authority. Some argue for broad federal powers, while others want a more constrained role for the federal government in relation to people, the states, or other recognised institutions.

Although there have been times since then when the legislative branch has dominated (such as the decades immediately following the American Civil War) or when supporters of states’ rights have been successful in restricting federal power through legislative action, executive prerogative, or by a constitutional interpretation by the courts, the powers of the federal government have generally increased significantly since the American Civil War.

The concept of “checks and balances” between the authority and responsibilities of the three departments of American government—executive, legislative, and judicial—is one of the theoretical tenets of the U.S. Constitution. For instance, the executive branch is headed by the president, who has the authority to veto any legislation, even if the legislative branch (Congress) has the authority to enact laws. Congress can then choose to override the president’s veto. The Supreme Court is the country’s top court, and the president appoints judges to that body. However, Congress must approve such nominees. Congress-passed unlawful laws may also be declared illegal by the Supreme Court.

Legislative Branch:

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There are 435 voting members of the House now, each of whom represents a congressional district. Based on the population of each state as determined by the most recent United States Census, the number of representatives each state has in the House is decided. Every one of the 435 delegates has a two-year tenure. There must be a minimum of one representative from each state in the House. A person must be at least 25 years old, a citizen of the United States for at least seven years, and a resident of the state they will represent in order to be elected as a representative.A representative may hold office for an unlimited number of terms. There are 6 non-voting members in addition to the 435 voting members, made up of 5 delegates and 1 resident commissioner. The District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico each have one representative.

Various Powers:

The Senate and the House each have specific, exclusive authorities. For instance, the Senate must “advise and consent” to a number of significant presidential appointments, such as those of cabinet members, federal judges (including nominees to the Supreme Court), department secretaries (heads of the federal executive branch), officers of the U.S. military and navy, and ambassadors to other nations. The House of Representatives must be the source of any legislation with a revenue-raising goal. All bills must receive the consent of both houses of Congress in order to pass, and they can only become law after the president signs them into effect (or, in the event that the president vetoes a bill, they must be passed again by both houses of Congress with a two-thirds majority in order for them to become law without the president’s signature).All other rights are reserved for the states and the people; Congress is only granted the ones listed in the Constitution. The “Necessary and Appropriate Clause” of the Constitution also gives Congress the authority to “make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into effect the aforesaid authorities.” Except for Louisiana and Georgia, where there are runoff elections, and Maine and Alaska, where ranked-choice voting is used, members of the House and Senate are chosen by first-past-the-post voting.

Executive Branch:

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The executive branch of government is founded by Article Two of the US Constitution, which grants the US president executive authority. The president serves as both the ceremonial head of state and the head of government (the chief executive). The president must take an oath or affirmation in accordance with the Constitution’s instructions to “take care that the laws are faithfully executed” and to “preserve, safeguard, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Laws are put into effect by the executive branch of government. The Constitution’s Article II established it. The creation of rules is mandated by numerous laws passed by Congress. The authority to apply regulations pertaining to subjects under their purview is granted to executive branch agencies. Every day, new regulations are published in the Federal Register, and once a year, they are codified in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Term limitations, Election, and Succession:

Typically, the Electoral College selects the president and vice president as running mates; each state is given an equivalent number of electoral votes to that of its Congressional delegation (i.e., its number of Representatives in the House plus its two senators). (The District of Columbia has an electoral vote count that is “equivalent to the total number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State.”) A President can also take office by succession.The Twenty-second Amendment, ratified in 1951, initially restricted any president to serving two four-year terms (8 years), and it specifically “caps the service of a president at 10 years” by stating that “if a person succeeds to the office of president without election and serves less than two years, he may run for two full terms; otherwise, a person succeeding to office of president without election may not serve more than two full terms.”

Cabinet, Executive branches, and Organisations:

The several federal executive departments, established by Congress to handle particular aspects of domestic and international affairs, are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of federal laws. The president’s “Cabinet” is a council of advisers made up of the heads of the 15 departments, who are appointed by the president and authorised with the “advice and consent” of the U.S. Senate. After being confirmed, these “cabinet officers” work at the president’s discretion. The Executive Office of the President includes a variety of staff groups in addition to departments.The White House staff, the National Security Council, the Office of Management and Budget, the Council of Economic Advisers, the Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy are a few examples of these. Federal civil servants are the title given to the staff members of various US government organisations.

The United States Postal Service (USPS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the United States Agency for International Development are examples of independent organisations (USAID). Additionally, there are government-owned businesses like the National Railroad Passenger Corporation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Judicial Branch:

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With the establishment of the Supreme Court, Article III of the Constitution establishes the judicial branch of government. The judicial authority of the government is granted to this court, which is the highest court in the nation. Lower Federal courts exist, but the Constitution did not establish them. Instead, utilising authority granted by the Constitution, Congress determined that they were required and established them. The meaning of laws, how they should be applied, and whether they violate the Constitution are all issues that courts decide. Judicial review refers to a court’s power to determine constitutionality.

The nation was split into judicial districts by the Judiciary Act of 1789, and federal courts were established in each district. The Supreme Court, 13 courts of appeal, 94 district courts, and two courts of special jurisdiction were founded by this act’s three-tiered structure as the foundation of the national judiciary. Federal courts that are lower than the Supreme Court may still be reorganised by Congress or even eliminated altogether.

The United States Courts of Appeals are appellate courts that also consider some interlocutory appeals, some direct appeals from administrative agencies, and appeals of matters determined by district courts. In addition to having original jurisdiction over a select number of matters, the U.S. Supreme Court also considers appeals from decisions made by courts of appeals or state supreme courts.

The federal government is a party to cases and disputes in which it is involved, as well as disputes between states (or their citizens) and foreign nations (or their citizens or subjects), and bankruptcy cases. Cases arising under the Constitution, a Congress Act, a U.S. treaty, cases affecting ambassadors, ministers, and consuls of foreign nations in the U.S. (collectively “federal-question jurisdiction”). Cases in which residents of one state were the plaintiffs and the government of another state was the defendant were removed from federal jurisdiction by the Eleventh Amendment. In circumstances when a state government is the plaintiff and a resident of another state is the defendant, it did not affect federal jurisdiction.

Both criminal prosecutions arising under federal law and civil lawsuits for damages and other remedy are subject to the jurisdiction of the federal courts. State and federal courts have complicated connections as a result of how the Supremacy Clause and Article III interact. State courts can handle some issues involving federal law, and a small number of federal claims are generally reserved to the state courts by federal statute. Diversity jurisdiction allows federal courts to occasionally consider cases originating under state law (for example, those arising from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991). Thus, it can be claimed that both judicial systems have concurrent jurisdiction in some cases and exclusive authority in others.

Federal judges are required to serve “during good behaviour,” according to the U.S. Constitution, which in effect means they serve until they pass away, retire, or resign. Similar to the president or other federal officials, a judge who violates the law while in office may be impeached. Judges in the United States are chosen by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Congress is prohibited from decreasing the compensation of any Article III judge by another constitutional clause (Congress is able to set a lower salary for all future judges that take office after the reduction, but may not decrease the rate of pay for judges already in office).

Budget:

The budget document frequently starts with the president’s recommendation to Congress for funding levels for the following fiscal year, which starts on October 1 and ends on September 30 of the year after. The year it finishes is referred to as the fiscal year.

The federal government spent $4.11 trillion in FY 2018 alone. Spending was equal to 20.3% of the GDP, which is the 50-year average. The $779 billion deficit, or 3.8 percent of GDP, was the total. Tax receiving categories included individual income taxes ($1,684 billion or 51% of total tax revenue), Social Security/Social Insurance taxes ($1,171 billion or 35% of total tax revenue), and corporation taxes ($205 billion or 6% of total tax revenue).

Election  & Voting:

The District of Columbia’s residents are subject to federal laws and taxes, but their only representative in Congress is a non-voting delegate; they have taken part in presidential elections since March 29, 1961, despite the limited representation of US territories and the federal district of DC in Congress under the US Constitution. Members of both the House of Representatives and the Senate have been chosen by direct election since the Seventeenth Amendment was ratified in 1913. Regardless of ethnicity, gender, or wealth, American citizens today have nearly universal suffrage and equal protection under the law as of the age of 18. Disenfranchisement of convicted felons, including former felons in some states, is the sole notable exception to this rule.

However, Puerto Ricans pay all other federal taxes, including the payroll taxes that support Social Security and Medicare, the FUTA tax, as well as business, gift, and estate taxes. Puerto Rican residents, aside from federal employees, do not pay federal personal income taxes on income that has its source in Puerto Rico.  A non-voting Resident Commissioner, or delegate, represents Puerto Rico in the Congress.

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