Portal:Government of the United States

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The Federal Government of the United States (U.S. Federal Government) is the national government of the United States, a federal republic in North America, composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and several island possessions. The federal government is composed of three distinct branches: legislative, executive, and judicial, whose powers are vested by the U.S. Constitution in the Congress, the President, and the federal courts, respectively. The powers and duties of these branches are further defined by acts of congress, including the creation of executive departments and courts inferior to the Supreme Court.

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The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. It is the largest library in the world. The head of the Library is the Librarian of Congress, currently James H. Billington. The Library was established by Congress in 1800, and was housed in the United States Capitol for most of the 19th century. After much of the original collection had been destroyed during the War of 1812, Thomas Jefferson sold 6487 books, his entire personal collection, to the library in 1815. After a period of decline during the mid-19th century the Library of Congress began to grow rapidly in both size and importance after the American Civil War, culminating in the construction of a separate library building and the transference of all copyright deposit holdings to the Library. During the rapid expansion of the 20th century the Library assumed a preeminent public role, becoming a "library of last resort" and expanding its mission for the benefit of scholars and the American people. The Library's primary mission is researching inquiries made by members of Congress through the Congressional Research Service. Although it is open to the public, only Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices and other high-ranking government officials may check out books. As the de facto national library, the Library of Congress promotes literacy and American literature through various projects.

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LOC Main Reading Room Highsmith.jpg
The reading room of the Library of Congress
Photo credit: Carol M. Highsmith

Current Administration

Obama Administration activity

In the news

25 April 2019 –
The Washington Post reported that in June 2017 President Donald Trump secured the release of Otto Warmbier, a dying prisoner of North Korea, by agreeing to pay the regime in that country $2 million, described as a payment for hospital bills. (The Washington Post)
A federal district court in Washington State issued a preliminary injunction against enforcement of an initiative by the Donald Trump administration ("gag order") that would have restricted doctor-patient communications about abortion in family planning clinics that receive US taxpayer funding. (Reuters)
24 April 2019 –
Asia Press reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered the execution by firing squad of four foreign ministry officials following the failure of his February Hanoi summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, after accusing them of "selling information to the U.S." before the summit. (Daily Mail) (Yahoo News)
19 April 2019 – 2019 Western Libya offensive, Libya–United States relations
The White House says President Donald Trump has spoken to Libyan Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar about recent developments in Libya. During the call, Trump recognised Haftar's efforts to combat Islamic terrorism and secure Libya's oil reserves. (BBC)
18 April 2019 – Special Counsel investigation (2017–2019), Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections
The redacted version of the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is released by U.S. Attorney General William Barr. The investigation did not find any conspiracy between President Donald Trump and the Russian government regarding the accusation that they collaborated to win the 2016 presidential election. The report did not rule out if the Trump administration committed obstruction of justice. The Department of Justice also stated some members of Congress will receive a less-redacted version of the report in the near future. (The New York Times) (USA Today)
16 April 2019 – Yemeni Civil War (2015–present), Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, Saudi Arabia–United States relations
U.S. President Donald Trump vetoes a Congressional resolution that sought to end U.S. support for Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen. (Reuters)

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Supreme Court cases

Lower courts


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