What Is Congress?

The U.S. government is made up of the executive branch, the judicial branch, and the legislative branch. The executive branch, led by the President and the Vice President, enforces our laws. The judicial branch, led by the Supreme Court, interprets our laws. The legislative branch, which makes our laws, is the Congress.

Congress has two parts: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. Each state has two U.S. Senators and at least one U.S. Representative; the more residents a state has, the more U.S. Representatives it is allowed. There are 100 U.S. Senators and 435 U.S. Representatives.

The laws Congress makes help Americans. There are laws that say kids have to go to school, laws that set standards for vehicle and highway safety, and laws that protect animals and nature. Congress meets in the Capitol in Washington, D.C. You can learn more about the Capitol by visiting Art & History or Around the Capitol.