Lying in State of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

The public is invited to pay their respects to Representative Elijah E. Cummings Thursday, October 24 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. Please enter through the Capitol Visitor Center.

On Thursday, October 24, the Capitol Visitor Center will be closed for normal operations, and all Capitol tours are cancelled.

On Wednesday, October 23, the second floor of the Capitol will be closed to the public. The Capitol Visitor Center will offer modified tours of the Capitol.

If you have a tour reservation and would like to reschedule, please click here or contact the Visitor Services Office at (202)226-8000.

On Friday, October 25, the Capitol Visitor Center will reopen for normal operations and Capitol tours at 8:30 a.m.

What Congress Does

Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government that represents the American people and makes the nation's laws. It shares power with the executive branch, led by the president, and the judicial branch, whose highest body is the Supreme Court of the United States. Of the three branches of government, Congress is the only one elected directly by the people.

Article I—the longest article of the Constitution—describes congressional powers. Congress has the power to:

  • Make laws
  • Declare war
  • Raise and provide public money and oversee its proper expenditure
  • Impeach and try federal officers
  • Approve presidential appointments
  • Approve treaties negotiated by the executive branch
  • Oversight and investigations