Kids and Students
The US Government is divided into three branches - executive, judicial and legislative.
The executive branch consists of the President and most of the federal agencies who conduct the business of the government at home and overseas. The main job of the executive branch is to execute or carry out the laws and policies of the United States.
The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court as well the federal appellate and district courts.
The legislative branch consists of two parts - the Senate and the House of Representatives, which together form the United States Congress. Each state is represented by two Senators and is divided into a number of Congressional Districts proportional to the state's population. Members of Congress meet in Washington, DC at the United States Capitol Building. (Learn more)
Senator Markey's home state, Massachusetts, is represented in the US Senate by
Massachusetts has 9 Congressional Districts with a Representative for each district.
How a bill becomes a law
A law begins as a bill written by a Representative or a Senator. It first goes to a committee, a smaller group of Congress members with experience debating a certain group of issues. The members of the committee hold hearings to learn more about the issue and may change the bill. Next, they take a vote, and if the bill passes it goes to either the entire House or the entire Senate depending on whether it was written by a Senator or a Representative.
If it passes, the bill then goes to the other half of the Congress for a vote. Once the bill has passed both the House and the Senate, then the President must decide whether to sign it into law or to veto it. If the President vetoes the bill, the Congress can vote to override the President's veto, but this requires the votes of two-thirds of the members of both houses.
What exactly does a Senator do?
A Senator, along with his or her colleagues, decide which laws the country should adopt. Senators propose legislation and then join one another to vote on whether the legislation is good for our country. While all Senators work on behalf of the entire United States, they are elected to represent their home states. Senator Markey represents the concerns and priorities of the citizens in Massachusetts.
The Senate has certain responsibilities that the House of Representatives does not. These responsibilities include agreeing to treaties and confirming federal officials like Supreme Court Justices.
How many Senators are there?
Requirements for becoming a Senator
The United States Constitution requires that an individual seeking the office of US Senator:
-You must be at least 30 years old.
-You must be a resident of the state you’re running for office to represent.
-You must have been a United States citizen for nine years prior to Election Day.
For more information on the United States Senate click here.
First Gov For Kids: First Gov For Kids is the federal government’s interagency Kids' Portal. The site was developed and is maintained by the Federal Consumer Information Center. It provides links to federal kids' sites along with some of the best kids' sites from other organizations all grouped by subject.