The United States Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government. Congress is composed of two chambers, the House of Representatives and the Senate, and is responsible for making laws.
The Senate is made up of two senators from each state, regardless of population. There are 100 senators (two from each of the 50 states), who each serve six-year terms. Approximately one third of the Senate stands for election every two years.
Missouri’s U.S. Senators
B40A Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
260 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
U.S. House of Representatives
The number of representatives each state has in the House is based on each state’s population as determined in the most recent United States Census. All 435 representatives serve a two-year term.
Missouri’s U.S. Representatives
Ann Wagner 202-225-1621
Blaine Luetkemeyer 202-225-2671
Vicky Hartzler 202-225-2876
Sam Graves 202-225-7041
Billy Long 202-225-6536
Jason Smith 202-225-4404
The power of the Executive Branch is vested in the President of the United States, who also acts as head of state and Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for executing laws created by Congress, is elected to office every four years and cannot serve more than two terms.
The executive functions of the Vice President include participation in Cabinet meetings and, by statute, membership on the National Security Council and the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.
The Cabinet includes the Vice President and the heads of 15 executive departments.
Boards, Commissions, and Committees
These organizations were established by congressional or Presidential action, and their functions are not limited to supporting a parent agency. Examples include the Arctic Research Commission, the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship Foundation, and the Social Security Advisory Board.
The Judicial Branch explains and applies the laws. This branch does this by hearing and eventually making decisions on various legal cases. Where the Executive and Legislative branches are elected by the people, members of the Judicial Branch are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
U.S. Supreme Court
The Court is the highest tribunal in the Nation for all cases and controversies arising under the Constitution or the laws of the United States.
Judicial Branch information
General links to lower courts, special courts (including military courts), and support organizations. Visit the Federal Judicial Center to learn about how the courts work, how they are organized, and how they fit into the U.S. system of government.
Courts of Appeal
The 94 U.S. judicial districts are organized into 12 regional circuits, each of which has a United States court of appeals. Missouri is in the Eighth Circuit.