The Legislative Branch
Established by Article I of the Constitution, the Legislative Branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, which together form the United States Congress. The Constitution grants Congress the sole authority to enact legislation and declare war, the right to confirm or reject many Presidential appointments, and substantial investigative powers.
Members of Congress
Find your Congresspersons
Directory of the United States Congress 1774-present
A searchable biographical directory of Congress.
Having trouble putting a face to a name, the pictorial directory can help. Access photos for members of Congress from the 105th Congress (1997-98) forward.
A project of the Clerk of the House, this site offers historical essays, biographical information, educational resources and more about female members of Congress.
Finding Legislation Online
Bills for current and past Congresses can be found several places. Here are two sites to get you started. If you still have trouble contact the TCCL Government Documents department.
The Legislative Process in brief
|Bills||A bill is the form used for most legislation, whether permanent or temporary, general or special, public or private.|
|Joint Resolutions||There is little practical difference between a bill and a joint resolution. Both are subject to the same procedure, except for a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution.|
|Concurrent Resolutions||Matters affecting the operations of both the House of Representatives and Senate are usually initiated by means of concurrent resolutions. They are not presented to the President for action.|
|Simple Resolutions||A matter concerning the operation of either the House of Representatives or Senate alone is initiated by a simple resolution. They are not presented to the President for action.|