The constructive debate over critical social and political issues made the Constitution possible in 1787. Today, there is a need to foster a similar level of civility and seek ways to establish civic dialogue that advances the common good while respecting voices of dissent.
Congress, which consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate, is the legislative branch of government—its duty is to make the laws. Article I of the Constitution defines the structure and powers of Congress and how its members are elected. The composition of the two chambers—the House representing the people, and the Senate the states—resulted from the most important compromise made at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, and helped ensure the ratification of the Constitution.
The Constitution provides the authority for government at national, state, and local levels to help enable the economy to operate, and to restrain concentrated economic power. Article I allows Congress to regulate interstate commerce, tax and coin money, and enforce contracts and copyrights. Governmental policy aims to resolve questions about taxes, regulation, federal budgets and deficits, and unemployment in ways that ensure freedom of economic choice and opportunity.
Because the Constitution is fundamentally predicated on governance by “We the People,” it requires that its citizens be educated and well informed. The Supreme Court has called education “the very foundation of citizenship.” Under our constitutional system, the primary responsibility for educating the citizenry resides with the states. The federal government provides substantial assistance to improve the quality of education.