The US federal government has three main branches, the executive, legislative and the judiciary (“Current Legislative Activities”, n.d). Each of the three branches has specific roles that work cumulatively to benefit the whole system. The executive branch that comprises of the president, vice president, executive directors, commissions, cabinet and independent agencies, has the mandate to enforce laws (“Current Legislative Activities”, n.d). The legislature, made of Congress and organizations that support Congress, is responsible for making laws (“Current Legislative Activities”, n.d). On the other hand, the judiciary, made up of courts and agencies that support the courts, is responsible for interpreting the law based on the US constitution.
Authoritative Legal Instrument that Established the US Government
The United States of America constitution is the definitive legal instrument that established the US government (Constitution Society, n.d). Since 1787, the constitution has guided and outlined the structure and functions of the US government.
Congress of the US
The US Congress is made up of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Together, the two houses form the legislative branch of the US government. The two houses are different regarding composition, and roles and responsibilities. The Senate, made up of senators from the various states, offers advice and consent on elements unique to the members. Appointment of Supreme Court judges, executive officials, and ambassadors, among others, falls squarely on the Senate. On the other hand, the House of Representatives is made up of representatives from congressional districts. The role of the house is to pass federal legislation.
Roles and Responsibilities of Congress
As mentioned, the different houses that make up Congress have various roles and responsibilities. As a whole, however, Congress has the mandate over financial and budgetary policy. Thus, they are responsible for policies that affect taxation and the general welfare of the US economy. Secondly, Congress is responsible for national defense. Since Congress forms the legislature, as a whole, it has the power to declare war. Congress also manages the armed forces.
Differences between Roles and Responsibilities of Congress and Other Branches of Government
Congress, which forms the legislature, is very different from the other two branches of government. One difference is the fact that the other branches of government do not make laws. The executive branch executes laws made by Congress, while the judiciary interprets the same laws based on the constitution. Additionally, Congress differs from the other branches as it has exclusive powers of appointment of executives. These executives then join the judiciary or the executive branches of government.
Roles of Other Branches of Government
The other branches of the US government are the judiciary and the executive. As stated, the judiciary interprets laws that have been drafted by the legislature (Congress) (“Current Legislative Activities”, n.d). On the other hand, the executive branch of government focuses more on the execution of the law.
Why Separate Branches Carry Out Different Governing Responsibilities
One of the reasons why the different branches carry out various governing responsibilities is autonomy and independence. To avoid bias and enhance democracy, the different branches are independent of each other and only conform to their stated roles and responsibilities.
Identify Who Represents You in the Community Where You Live both State and Federal
The current Senator from Colorado is Michael Bennet, while George W. Cook is in the House of Representatives.
Committees Michael Bennet serves
Michael Bennet sits on several committees including:
- Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
- Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry.
- Senate Committee on Finance.
Current Legislative Activities (n.d). Web.
Constitution Society (n.d). Constitution of the United States of America. Web.