COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update

The Capitol Visitor Center will be closed for tours beginning Thursday, March 12th at 4:30 p.m. All tours are cancelled. We expect to reopen for tours Friday, May 1st at 8:30 a.m. We regret any inconvenience this may cause you, and we look forward to welcoming you to the Capitol Visitor Center at a future date.

Congress and the Executive Branch: Balancing Power

“Iron-fisted Breach,” drawing by Jerry Costello, Knickerbocker News, April 23, 1952

Article I, Section 1, of the Constitution declares that “all legislative Powers” are “vested in a Congress of the United States.”

Congress is the central law-making body to which the executive and judicial branches respond. Congress writes and debates the laws that govern the United States, and it can override presidential vetoes. The Senate’s advice-and-consent power over treaties and both chambers’ important role in amending the Constitution also indicate the legislature’s essential role in the nation’s representative government.