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The Structure of the United States Government
the US Flag “the stars and stripes & old glory” (1777) 13 horizontal stripes = 13 original states 50 stars = 50 modern states Red stripes – courage, white – liberty, a field of blue – loyalty. the US Coat-of-Arms an eagle with a bundle of rods in the left claw, the olive twig – in the right. the Motto: E pluribus unium (“Out of many”) the US nickname – “Uncle Sam”
Federal Government Legislative branch Executive branch Judicial branch the Senate the House of Representatives the Congress the President the President’s Cabinet the Vice-President Federal judiciary 50 states judiciaries Supreme Court system of Federal Courts
Questions I Fill the gaps in the following sentences: The flag of the US called … was adopted in … The flag of the US consists of … … stripes equal to the number of … …, with a blue union marked with … white stars equal to the number of … The red stripes proclaim …, the white … and a field of blue … The Coat-of-arms represents an eagle, holding … of … in the left claw and … … in the right claw. The motto on the Coat-of-arms is … The nickname of the US is … …
II Fill in the chart Federal Government III Matching Legislative branch a. the Supreme Court and the system of Federal Courts 2. Executive branch b. the Congress c. the President, the 3. Judicial branch Vise-President and the President’s Cabinet
The Legislative branch Vested in the Congress The Congress: the Senate & the House of Representatives the Senate: 100 members (2 from each state); chosen by voters of the entire state; is to represent the whole state; senator (6 years) must be at least 35 years old, US citizen for 9 years, resident of state he represents; the House of Representatives: 435 members (acc. to the number of congressional districts in the state = the number of representatives), representative must be at least 25 years old, US citizen for 7 years, resident of the state he represents. FUNCTIONS of the Congress: to make laws + raise money by means of taxes and borrowings; make rules for trade with foreign countries & between states; set up post offices and federal courts below the US Supreme Courts; organize the armed forces; declare war. The Senate must approve: 1. by majority vote the president’s appointment of such officials as ambassadors, cabinet members & federal judges; 2. by a 2/3 majority vote a treaty between the US & a foreign country before a treaty becomes a law.
The House of Representatives has its special power. Only a member of the House can introduce a bill to raise money but the money raising bill must be passed by the Senate before it becomes a law. Most of congressmen work is done in committee meeting where bills are studied, experts are heard & recommendations are made. During 2-year term 20 000 bills may be introduced 16 standing committees in the Senate & 20 in the House of R. (sift & sort the bills) The chairman – who has served longest on the committee. The committees in the Congress are: I Senate Standing Committee: 1) aeronautical space science 8) finance 2) agriculture & forestry 9) foreign relations 3) appropriations 10) government operations 4) armed services 11) interior & insular affair 5) banking & currency 12) judiciary 6) commerce 13) labour & public welfare 7) district of Columbia 14) post office & civil service 15) public works 16) rules & administration
II House Standing Committees: 1) agriculture 11) interstate & foreign commerce 2) appropriations 12) judiciary 3) armed services 13) merchant marine 4) banking & currency 14) post office & civil service 5) district of Columbia 15) public works 6) education & labour 16) rules 7) foreign affair 17) science & aeronautics 8) government operations 18) internal security 9) house administration 19) veterans affairs 10) interior & insular affairs 20) ways & means
How a bill is made a law A Senator/a Representative introduces a bill → to the clerk of its house, clerk – a number & title – first reading → to the proper committee. May decide unwise/unnecessary – tumble the bill, thus killing it or if it worthwhile & hold hearings. → a vote (if favourable – sent back to the House). Clerk reads to the House – second reading → debates. Third reading – by title only. → a vote → to the other house of Congress (defeated or passed with/ without amendmence) – if defeated – dies, if passed with amendments – Joined Congressional Committee must be appointed to iron the differences → to the President – signs and bill becomes a LAW/ vetoes & sends back.
Questions I Fill in the table The Congress The number of the members The member must be The number of the committees
II Matching house administration public works science & aeronautics Senate Standing foreign relations House Standing Committees interior & insular affair Committees veterans affairs labour & public welfare III Complete the chart FUNCTIONS of the CONGRESS
The Executive branch Vested in the President, Vice-President & the President’s Cabinet. responsible for administrating & executing the laws President – 4 years (begins at noon on January,20). Must be natural born citizen, at least 35, at least 15 years – a resident of the US. Elections are held in 2 stages: 1 – voters choose electors, 2 – voters elect the President. P. administers National Government through instructions to Heads of departments & agencies (appointed & removed by him); appoints higher officers (Cabinet Ministers, ambassadors, federal judges); has initiative in foreign affairs; can’t be forced to make a treaty. = Commander-in-Chief; can involve the country in a state of war; can reject legislation. the Vice-President, elected with President for 4 years; presides the Senate; may be used to as a contact man among Senators, may sit at Cabinet Meetings as an understudy to the President, takes his place if he’s unable to finish his term.
The Cabinet includes the secretaries of the major 11 executive departments, who are directly/fully responsible to the President’s Cabinet members meet frequently with the President in the Cabinet Room of the executive officers in the White House as a council of advisers. 11 secretaries are Heads of 11 executive departments: 1. secretary of state 7. secretary of commerce 2. secretary of the treasury 8. secretary of labour 3. secretary of defence 9. secretary of health, education 4. attorney general and welfare 5. secretary of the interior 10. secretary of housing & urban 6. secretary of agriculture development 11. secretary of transportation There are many independent agencies in the Federal Government.
Questions I Fill the gaps The executive branch is vested in …, … and … It is responsible for ... and … the laws. The President is elected for … years. He must be … citizen, at least … years old and for at least … years a resident of the US. Elections are held in 2 stages: … … The … is elected with the President for … years. He presides over … II Complete the list of the secretaries *Secretary of state * * *Secretary of commerce *Secretary of the treasury * * *Secretary of labour *Secretary of defence * * Secretary of the interior
The Judicial branch Dual court system: Federal judiciary & 50 states judiciaries Federal judiciary: the Supreme Court & the system of Federal Courts. Supreme Court: Chief Justice & 8 associate Justices. (October - June). Duty: decide whether the laws passed by the Congress agree with the Constitution or not. Judicial power – the power to hear & decide the 2 classes of cases: criminal or civil. Judge of Supreme C. is appointed for life. The Chief Justice & the 8 Justices – during a case. 4 types of courts in the USA: 1. Courts of appeals 2. District Court 3. Courts of Claims 4. Customs Courts
Questions I Complete the chart The Judicial branch Federal judiciary Supreme Court II Name 4 types of courts in the US