Congress

Adults and children with candles and crosses standing outside at night (© AP Images)

The right to religious freedom

The International Religious Freedom Act promotes the fundamental right of people worldwide to worship according to their own conscience.
Illustration of people on ladders pushing up ceiling to make room for large dollar sign (State Dept./D. Thompson)

What is a debt ceiling and why does it matter?

The legal limit on how much debt the U.S. government can take on is called the debt ceiling. It's a good bet it will be in the news again soon.
Illustration of people carrying giant rolled-up document up U.S. Capitol steps (State Dept./D. Thompson)

How a bill becomes law

A combination of traditions, "checks and balances" and math all factor into how a bill becomes a law in the United States.
Illustration of person drawing on easel with Congress and crowd behind him (State Dept./D. Thompson)

The president’s budget explained

Creating the U.S. budget is a yearlong process that begins with the president’s plan. The two branches of Congress wrangle over it. Everyone has to agree.
People bowing their heads on baseball field (© AP Images)

Annual baseball game brings Republicans, Democrats together

One day after a gunman fired shots at members of Congress practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game, nearly 25,000 fans showed support.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence side by side, with Trump pointing at Pence (© AP Images)

What do U.S. vice presidents do?

Vice presidents play a big role in the U.S. government. They are first in line to succeed the president and serve as emissaries, counselors and advisers.
President Donald Trump waving (© AP Images)

Here’s President Trump’s first address to Congress

President Trump makes his first address to a joint session of Congress, laying out his priorities for the year.
President Trump and Neil Gorsuch shaking hands (© AP Images)

Trump names Supreme Court nominee: Who is he and what happens...

President Trump has nominated Neil Gorsuch to be a U.S. Supreme Court justice. He's an experienced federal judge from Colorado. What happens next?
Northeast U.S. map with pins in Washington and New York City (State Dept./Doug Thompson)

Insights of a Russian writer traveling in the U.S.

What can one learn about America through the lens of a Russian journalist? An award-winning Russian writer traveling in the U.S. tells us.