What is the federal government?

The federal government is the national government of the United States of America. It includes the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. The executive branch is responsible for enforcing the laws of the United States. Its main components include the president, the vice president, government departments, and independent agencies. The president is the leader of the country and commander in chief of the armed forces; the vice president is the president of the Senate and the first in line for the presidency should the president be unable to serve; the departments and their heads (called Cabinet members) advise the president on decisions that affect the country; and independent agencies help carry out the president's policies and provide special services. The legislative branch is the lawmaking branch of the federal government. It is made up of a bicameral (or two-chamber) Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judicial branch, made up of the Supreme Court and other federal courts, is responsible for interpreting the meaning of laws, how they are applied, and whether or not they violate the Constitution.


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