Portal:Government of the United States

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The Federal Government of the United States (U.S. Federal Government) is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

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Paul Ryan official portrait.jpg
The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, or Speaker of the House, is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives. The office was established in 1789 by Article 1, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, which states in part, "The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers." The current Speaker is Paul Ryan, a Republican who represents Wisconsin's 1st congressional district. The Speaker is second in the United States presidential line of succession, after the Vice President and before the President pro tempore of the Senate. Unlike in some Westminster System parliaments, the Speaker is a leadership position in the majority party and actively works to set that party's legislative agenda, therefore endowing the office with considerable power. The Speaker does not usually personally preside over debates, instead delegating the duty to other members of Congress of the same political party. Aside from duties relating to heading the House and the majority political party, the Speaker also performs administrative and procedural functions, and represents his or her congressional district.

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LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith.jpg
The reading room of the Library of Congress
Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

Current Administration

Obama Administration activity

In the news

22 March 2019 – North Korea–United States relations, China–United States relations
U.S. President Donald Trump removes sanctions targeting North Korea that were imposed Thursday by the Treasury Department on two Chinese companies. (Fox News)
21 March 2019 – Israel–United States relations
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intentions to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a move welcomed by Israel. (CNN)
15 March 2019 – National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States
U.S. President Donald Trump issues his first ever veto after Congress attempts to block his emergency declaration to fund construction of the wall along the Mexico–United States border. (The New York Times)
14 March 2019 – National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States
The U.S. Senate votes 59–41 to cancel President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to fund the wall along the Mexico–United States border. Trump plans to veto the decision. (The New York Times)
13 March 2019 – Trials of Paul Manafort
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is sentenced to 3½ years for money-laundering and obstruction of justice. (The New York Times)
12 March 2019 – United States–Venezuela relations, Crisis in Venezuela
The United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces that the U.S. will be withdrawing all remaining diplomatic staff from Venezuela. The withdrawal follows televised remarks from Nicolás Maduro calling colectivos (paramilitary groups) to active resistance, and alleging that U.S. President Donald Trump masterminded the ongoing nationwide power blackout as part of a "demonic plot" to oust him, by crippling the country's electricity sector with an "electromagnetic attack". (The Guardian) (Infobae)

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