The Legislative Branch © North Carolina Community College System Clip art from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx Photos from http://directory.usayfoundation.org/NC.html and http://www.opencongress.org/wiki/North_Carolina_congressional_dis tricts_and_candidates The U.S. Constitution sets up one government with three branches. Each branch has some power. • The Legislative Branch makes the law • The Executive Branch enforces the law • The Judicial Branch interprets and applies the law No branch has all the powers. The U.S. plan of government is a system of checks and balances or a system with separation of powers. Separation of powers keeps one branch from getting too strong and taking over the government. The three branches must work together. 2 1 3 First, we look at the legislative branch. The Legislative Branch of government is the U.S. Congress. Congress has two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Senate House of Representatives Every state of the United States is represented in Congress. Each state has two Senators. Every state has an equal voice in the Senate. Senate There are 50 states in the United States, so there are 100 Senators in the Senate. A U.S. Senator represents all the people of his/her state. • North Carolina’s two Senators are Richard Burr and Kay Hagan • We elect a U.S. Senator to serve for 6 years. The House of Representatives has 435 voting members. States with a big population have a larger number of Representatives than states with a small population. House of Representatives • We elect a U.S. Representative for 2 years. • A Representative serves the people in his/her District. Part of Alamance county is in one District and the rest is in another. The Representatives serving Alamance County are Howard Coble and Brad Miller. In Congress The Senate gives small states an equal voice with large states. Senate The House gives states a voice based on population. House of Representatives Only Congress can make laws for the United States. Congress can also: • print money • declare war on other countries • make treaties • organize and arm military forces Next we look at the Executive Branch.