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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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NASA insignia
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the executive branch agency responsible for the nation's civilian space program and aeronautics and aerospace research. Since February 2006, NASA's self-described mission statement is to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research." NASA was established by the National Aeronautics and Space Act on in July 1958, replacing its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). NASA has led U.S. efforts for space exploration since, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle. Currently, NASA is supporting the International Space Station and has been developing the manned Orion spacecraft. NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System, advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate's Heliophysics Research Program, exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic missions such as New Horizons, and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs.

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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

18 February 2019 – 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis
In a speech, U.S. President Donald Trump urges the Venezuelan military to abandon Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro or "lose everything". (Reuters)
18 February 2019 – North Korea–Vietnam relations
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet with Vietnamese General Secretary and President Nguyễn Phú Trọng in Hanoi ahead of talks with U.S. President Donald Trump. (Fox News)
16 February 2019 – Political appointments by Donald Trump
State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert withdraws from consideration for the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations nomination. Jonathan Cohen has been serving in that position since January 1, 2019, following Nikki Haley's resignation. (NPR)
15 February 2019 – United States–Mexico barrier, Trump wall
U.S. President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency Concerning the Southern Border of the United States. (Fox News)
14 February 2019 – Special Counsel investigation
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe confirms he ordered the probe on U.S. President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, citing concerns that arose from the dismissal of James Comey. (CBS News)
14 February 2019 – Political appointments by Donald Trump
The U.S. Senate votes to confirm Trump nominee William Barr as United States Attorney General with a vote of 54–45. (NBC News)

Current legislation


Pending cases

Supreme Court cases

Lower courts


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