|The unit covers the questions of legislative power. Legislative branch of a government together with executive and judiciary is | |another key branch in the separation of powers. | |The unit is composed of texts on issues of legislative branch including materials on the US Congress and Parliament of | |Lithuania. The texts are followed with language activities and glossary related to the topic in question. The unit also provides | |listening tasks on the materials taken from VOA Learning English and internet grammar activities. | |The learning objectives of this unit are: | |to understand the essence of the term “legislative power”; | |to read the materials dealing with the question of legislative power which is vested in the Congress of the USA and Parliament of | |Lithuania; | |to do all the activities related to the acquisition of the necessary vocabulary; | |to listen to the audio news report; | |to learn the basic vocabulary necessary to speak, read and listen on different aspects related to legislative power. |
United States Congress
1. The United States Congress is the bicameral legislative institution of the federal government of the United States of America. It consists of two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election. The Congress meets in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. The House of Representatives consists of 435 members who represent a district and serve a two-year term. House seats are apportioned among the states by population. Every state is constitutionally guaranteed at least one seat. The 100 Senators serve staggered six-year terms. Each state has two senators, regardless of population. Every two years, approximately one-third of the Senate is elected. 2. Article I of the US Constitution sets forth most of the powers of Congress, which include numerous explicit powers. Constitutional amendments have granted Congress additional powers. Congress also has implied powers. 3. The US Constitution vests all legislative power in the Congress. The House and Senate are equal partners in the legislative process. Legislation cannot be enacted without the consent of both the House and the Senate. The Congress has the power to make all laws which are necessary and proper for carrying into execution all other powers vested by the US Constitution in the government of the United States. 4. However, the Constitution grants each chamber some unique powers. The Senate is responsible for ratifying treaties and approving top presidential appointments. Revenue-raising bills must originate in the House of Representatives. The House of Representatives also has the sole power of impeachment, while the Senate has the sole power to try impeachment cases. 5. Congress has authority over financial and budgetary matters. It lays and collects taxes, duties, imposts and excises, pays the debts and provides for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. The Sixteenth Amendment extended power of taxation to include income taxes. The Congress also has the authority to borrow money on the credit of the United States, regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the states, and coin money. 6. The power of the purse is one of Congress' primary checks on the executive branch. It plays a critical role in the relationship of the United States...
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