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The President of the United States is the head of the executive branch of government. The President serves a four-year term and has the duty to carry out the laws the Congress pass and the ability to veto those laws before they pass. The United States Congress is the legislative branch and is responsible for creating the laws and the budget. It consists of two houses, an upper and a lower. The upper house, the Senate, is made up of two senators per state each of whom represents the whole state and serve for six years. The lower house, the House of Representatives, is made of a number of representatives based on the population of a state with each representative representing a specific district. Representatives serve two-year terms.
Federal elections are held every two years. Elections held in years where the President's office is not on the ballot are called "midterm" elections. Senators' terms are staggered such that only one-third of the Senate is on the ballot per election.