We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution, Level 3
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U.S. Senate Historical Office
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Lesson 21 Purpose
Congress often is called America's first branch of government because of its lawmaking powers and its control over the nation's purse. More than any other branch of the national government, it is the people's branch. Members of Congress are directly accountable to those who elect them. This lesson examines Congress's constitutional powers and how Congress represents both the people and the states.

When you have finished this lesson, you should be able to explain basic differences between Congress and the British Parliament and how Congress reflects America's commitment to representative government and federalism. You should be able to identify several constitutional sources of congressional power. You also should be able to identify some of the challenges that members of Congress face in representing and serving their constituents. Finally, you should be able to evaluate, take, and defend positions on contemporary issues about congressional representation and organization. Audio ]
Lesson 21      What is the Role of Congress in American Constitutional Democracy?
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