Congress - the House and the Senate, US Government Illustration

Congress - the House and the Senate
For Kids

For Kids

The government of the United States is composed of three branches - the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch.

The legislative branch is referred to as Congress. Congress is composed of two large groups - the House and the Senate. Both the House and the Senate have elected representatives from all 50 states. Members of the House are based on state population, so a state with a large population has more representatives in the House than does a state with a smaller population, keeping in mind that government is by the people and for the people. But the Senate is composed of 2 senators per state no matter how many people live in that state, because the two sides of Congress were designed with a balance of power in mind. A great deal of thought went into creating our government.

The legislative branch (Congress) makes new laws. Congress also approves monies needed to fund programs. The president can veto any law Congress makes, but Congress has the right to vote and overrule a presidental veto, again providing a balance of power.

Learn About Congress - Interactive Learning Modules

The U.S. House of Representatives Explained (interactive)

Find your representative (from your state)

The U.S. Senate for Kids

What is Congress?

Congress for Kids

Legislative Branch for Kids

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Checks and Balances

Take the Quiz, interactive (with answers)

For Teachers

Congress Link lesson plans

Free Presentations in PowerPoint format

See Also: 3 Branches of Government

Congress Link

U.S. Congress

Sources of Law (iCivics)