DEFINITION of 'Congress'

The legislative branch of the United States government. It is responsible for making laws and helps to balance out the power of the executive and judicial branches of government. Congress has enumerated powers established by the U.S. Constitution, including laying and collecting taxes, borrowing money, regulating commerce and declaring war.


Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each state elects a number of representatives in proportion to that state's population. The representatives serve two-year terms. Each state also elects two senators, who serve six-year terms.

The political power in Congress impacts the financial world directly. For this reason, almost every large industry has many lobbyists in Washington pushing their agendas.

  1. Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge ...

    A bipartisan bill signed into law Apr. 4, 2012 by President Barack ...
  2. Senate Bill

    A piece of proposed legislation that either originated or was ...
  3. Bill Presentment

    The submission of a bill of exchange for payment. A bill, such ...
  4. Sixteenth Amendment

    The amendment within the Constitution that gives Congress the ...
  5. Congressional Oversight Panel - ...

    A panel created by the U.S. Congress in 2008 to oversee for the ...
  6. Legislative Overkill

    A law enacted to stop or prevent the abuse of a loophole, but ...
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    What Is Fiscal Policy?

    Learn how governments adjust taxes and spending to moderate the economy.
  2. Insurance

    The Government And Risk: A Love-Hate Relationship

    Though the U.S. government can help its citizens by subsidizing risky loans, the costs always come back to the taxpayers.
  3. Economics

    How Education And Training Affect The Economy

    Education and training benefit not only the worker, but also the employer and the country as a whole.
  4. Retirement

    Is The U.S. Government Too Big To Fail?

    Some think that the U.S. government is too big to fail, but one must only look at historical examples to know that it's not true.
  5. Insurance

    Free Markets: What's The Cost?

    Some argue that when the free market fails to protect consumers, government regulation is required.
  6. Insurance

    Medicare 101: Do You Need All 4 Parts?

    Medicare is the United States’ health insurance program for those over age 65. Medicare has four parts, but you might not need them all.
  7. Economics

    Understanding Donald Trump's Stance on China

    Find out why China bothers Donald Trump so much, and why the 2016 Republican presidential candidate argues for a return to protectionist trade policies.
  8. Economics

    Will Putin Ever Leave Office?

    Find out when, or if, Russian President Vladimir Putin will ever relinquish control over the Russian government, and whether it matters.
  9. Markets

    Will Paris Attacks Undo the European Union Dream?

    Last Friday's attacks in Paris are transforming the migrant crisis into an EU security threat, which could undermine the European Union dream.
  10. Investing Basics

    What are the fiduciary responsibilities of board members?

    Find out what fiduciary duties a board of directors owes to the company and its shareholders, including the duties of care, good faith and loyalty.
  1. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Like most financial assets held by institutions such as banks and investment firms, UTMA accounts can be escheated by state ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can the IRS audit you after a refund?

    The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can audit tax returns even after it has issued a tax refund to a taxpayer. According ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does escheatment impact a company?

    In recent years, state governments have become increasingly aggressive in enforcing escheatment laws. As a result, many businesses ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What happens if property is wrongfully escheated?

    If your financial accounts, such as bank, investment or savings accounts, are declared dormant and the managing financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do financial advisors help you avoid escheatment?

    Financial advisors can help you avoid the escheatment of your financial assets by regularly reviewing all of your accounts, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are 401(k) accounts escheatable?

    Typically, 401(k) plans are not subject to state escheatment laws because they are covered under the Employee Retirement ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  2. Bullish Engulfing Pattern

    A chart pattern that forms when a small black candlestick is followed by a large white candlestick that completely eclipses ...
  3. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  4. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
Trading Center