Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Due to a special event taking place in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, areas regularly included in the tour of the Capitol, such as the Rotunda and National Statuary Hall, will not be available for tours until the conclusion of the event at approximately 12:30 p.m. The Capitol Visitor Center will remain open throughout the day, and guide-led opportunities in the Capitol Visitor Center will be available during the event.

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