The United States government is comprised of three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. The executive branch includes the president, vice president, cabinet, and executive agencies and departments, while the legislative branch includes the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judiciary consists of the district, appellate, and Supreme courts.
The president serves as head of the executive branch, and he is tasked with signing bills into law and making executive appointments. The vice president helps the president carry out his duties and also serves as the president of the Senate, casting votes in the event of a tie. The Senate is the upper house of the U.S. legislature, while the House of Representatives is the lower house. Both houses that make up the legislative branch are together referred to as Congress.
The number of representatives in the House is based on population size, which varies between congressional districts in the individual states. The number of senators is set at 100, with two per state.
The judicial branch consists of district courts, which hold original jurisdiction, meaning that they hear federal cases first. Appellate courts are where court decisions made in district courts are appealed to so that they can be reviewed. The Supreme Court hears only a handful of cases per year, and it decides if laws are constitutional.