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The United States Government
The United States Government is the federal government of the United States of America, a republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the president, and the federal courts, respectively.
The current president of the United States is Donald Trump. He was elected in 2016 and will serve a four-year term. The president is the head of state and the head of government. The president is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
The president’s duties are to:
-Enforce federal laws
-Propose and pass laws (with the help of Congress)
-Make treaties (with the advice and consent of the Senate)
-Nominate federal judges and executive branch officials (with the advice and consent of the Senate)
-Serve as commander-in-chief of the armed forces
-Fulfill other responsibilities as outlined in the Constitution
The Vice President
The Vice President of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government, after the President of the United States, and ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The current Vice President is Mike Pence, who assumed office on January 20, 2017.
The Cabinet is a body consisting of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, who are generally the heads of the federal executive departments.
The president is not required to seek confirmation from the Senate for Cabinet nominees, although many presidential appointees have been confirmed by the Senate. President-elect Joe Biden has indicated that he intends to nominate members of his Cabinet in December 2020.
The United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both representatives and senators are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment.
The House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is one of the two houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate. The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution. The House is composed of 435 representatives, each representing a congressional district, chosen apportionment among the 50 states by population every ten years. While the “People’s House” may originate any bill on any topic, bills cannot be submitted for debate or vote in the full chamber unless they have been first referred to and passed through committee.
The Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which, along with the House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate Chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Each state is represented in the Senate by two senators. These senators serve staggered six-year terms, meaning that every two years, one-third of the seats are up for election. When a senator’s term expires, he or she may run for reelection.
The Powers of the Senate
The Constitution grants the Senate several important powers. These include advising and consenting to presidential appointments and ratifying treaties. The Senate also tries impeachment cases brought against federal officials by the House of Representatives.
The United States Supreme Court
The United States Supreme Court is the highest court in the nation, and its decisions have a profound impact on American life. The Court hears cases on a wide range of topics, from the death penalty to same-sex marriage, and its justices are among the most powerful people in government.
The current Supreme Court consists of nine justices: eight Associate Justices and one Chief Justice. The Associate Justices are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate, while the Chief Justice is nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate with the advice and consent of the other justices.
The Supreme Court meets in Washington, D.C., and its proceedings are open to the public. The Court typically hears oral arguments in October and issues its decisions in late June or early July.
The United States Supreme Court is an important institution in American democracy, and its decisions can have a profound impact on American life.
The United States Economy
The United States has experienced a period of strong economic growth in the past year. The gross domestic product, or GDP, grew at a rate of 2.3 percent in 2018, outpacing most other developed countries. The stock market has also soared to new heights, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing above 26,000 for the first time ever in January of 2018. The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. Wages are finally starting to rise after years of stagnation, and inflation remains relatively low.
The Gross Domestic Product
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a measure of the market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given period of time. It is also considered as an indicator of the standard of living. The GDP growth rate measures how fast the economy is growing. The United States has the largest economy in the world with a GDP Of about 19 trillion dollars.
The Unemployment Rate
The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 3.6 percent in September, and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 275,000 to 5.9 million. These improvements in the labor market reflected a significant turnaround from the 2018 annual average of an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent and employment level of about 159.3 million. (See table A-1.)
The Inflation Rate
The inflation rate is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by consumers for a basket of selected goods and services. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) produces the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers (CPI-U), which is often used as a measure of inflation. The CPI-U covers all urban consumers and about 87 percent of the total U.S. population. The BLS also produces the Producer Price Index (PPI), which measures average changes in prices received by domestic producers of goods and services.
The most common way to measure inflation is to calculate the percentage change in a price index from one period to another. For example, if the CPI-U was 150 in May 2017 and 152 in May 2018, the inflation rate would be (152-150)/150 = 1.3 percent for the 12-month period from May 2017 to May 2018.
In general, economists are more interested in changes in inflation over longer periods, such as years or decades, than they are in changes over shorter periods, such as months or quarters. For this reason, economists often use an annualized rate of inflation, which smoothes out short-term fluctuations and makes it easier to compare inflation rates over time. For example, if the CPI-U increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 2 percent between April 2018 and April 2019, that would be an annualized inflation rate of 2 percent for that 12-month period.