The primary duty of the legislative branch of government is to introduce, review and pass legislation. The legislative branch of the government is the only branch of the government that can pass new laws. This is done through the utilization of a committee system, which divides the members of Congress into smaller groups that are responsible for reviewing legislation and determining whether to introduce it to the floor for debate.
The legislative branch of the government is comprised of two houses. The House of Representatives has 435 members elected to two-year terms. The number of members elected to the House of Representatives that is granted to each state is determined by that state's population. The Senate is comprised of 100 Senators, two from each state, who are elected to six-year terms. The terms of Senators are staggered, however, so that at any given time, about one-third of the Senate is up for re-election. In addition to its legislative duties, the legislative branch of the government is also responsible for declaring war, approving treaties, impeaching officials, investigating those situations that impede or affect the ability of the government to function properly and approving officials appointed by the president. In addition to those powers outlined in the U.S. Constitution, Congress also has the power to enact any law that it deems "necessary and proper."