Congress: The legislative branch of the federal government. Congress consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Constituents: A group of residents represented by an elected official.
District: The geographical area in a state represented by a House member. Within a state, congressional districts are drawn so that each has an average of about 650,000 citizens.
Government: Different nations have different kinds of governments but all governments have some system of leadership and laws. Government make, enforce, and interpret laws. Governments also look out for the general welfare of the people and manage conflicts.
Interest Group: A group of individuals who share some common goals and try to influence public policy to meet these goals. Also called "special interest group."
Legislator: An elected person who represents citizens in Congress and helps make laws.
Pork Barrel: The term began as a political reference in the post–Civil War era. It comes from the plantation practice of distributing rations of salt pork from wooden barrels. When used to describe a bill, it implies the legislation is loaded with special projects for Members of Congress to distribute to their constituents back home, courtesy of the federal taxpayer.
Public Policy: A decision or action of government that addresses problems and issues.
Representative Democracy: In a representative democracy, citizens choose a small number of people to represent their interests and negotiate differences on their behalf.
U.S. Senator: An elected person who represents citizens of a particular state in the Senate.U.S. Representative: An elected person who represents citizens of a particular district in the House of Representatives.