Established in Article I of the Constitution, the legislative branch has both the power and duty to legislate. Commonly known as Congress, the legislature is often described as the centerpiece of national representative democracy because the people elect legislators.
Congress includes the House of Representatives, the body representative of the relative population of the states, as well as the Senate, which represents states equally. Legislators elected to the House of Representatives serve in 2-year terms, while elected senators serve in 6-year terms. While there are only two senators per state, the number of legislators elected to the House of Representatives varies per state as it is determined by population.
According to the Constitution, the enumerated powers of Congress include the ability to make laws, lay and collect taxes, regulate both interstate and foreign commerce, declare war, and make all laws necessary and proper to carry out the enumerated powers.