The legislative branch forms one of the three branches of the government. The other two branches include the executive and the judicial branch. The Congress makes up the legislative branch and consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has two members from each state who serve a 6 year term. The number of members in the House of Representative depends on the size of the state with large states having more representatives (Gershman, 2008).
Every society requires laws to govern its operation. To achieve developmental and societal goals, laws that will guide such processes must be laid down. As such, it is the legislative branch of the government that is given the role of creating the laws under the constitution. Thus, it is the most powerful branch as the executive and judicial ones are only responsible for enforcing and interpreting the laws that it makes.
The constitution stipulates that the legislature is responsible for the overall welfare of the society. It makes decisions that are particularly significant for the way the nation handles its issues. For example, it makes policies that affect the economic system (for instance, taxes) as well as decisions regarding the safety of the country such as engaging in the war with an enemy.
The legislative branch derives its power exclusively from the Constitution. This is stipulated in article 1 of the Constitution. However, under the same Constitution it has the powers to propose amendments to the Constitution (Duignan, 2009).
Current examples of the situations when the legislative branch has exercised its powers include making laws regarding the federal budget. In the year 2011 the Congress passed the laws that required that the debt ceiling should be raised. Additionally, it reduced the expenses of the government. The legislature has also made the decision regarding the withdrawal of forces from countries such as Iraq as well as joining forces with NATO in stabilizing volatile Arab nations.