COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update

The Capitol Visitor Center is closed for tours. All tours are cancelled. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Capitol Visitor Center at a future date.

Congress and the Executive Branch: Balancing Power

“Iron-fisted Breach,” drawing by Jerry Costello, Knickerbocker News, April 23, 1952

Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution declares that “all legislative Powers” are “vested in a Congress of the United States.”

Congress is the central law-making body to which the executive and judicial branches respond. Congress writes and debates the laws that govern the United States, and it can override presidential vetoes. The Senate’s advice-and-consent power over treaties and both chambers’ important role in amending the Constitution also indicate the legislature’s essential role in the nation’s representative government.