The Federal Assembly — the Parliament of the Russian Federation is th representative and legislative body of the Russian Federation It consists of two chambers: the Federation Council and the State Duma. The Federation Council includes two representatives from each constituent entity of the Russian Federation and the State Duma consists of 450 deputies. The Federal Assembly is a permanently functioning body. The Federation Council and the State Duma sit separately. Their sessions are open, but they have the right to pass the decision to conduct closed sessions. Each chamber forms committees and commissions to hold appropriate hearings. Both chambers set up the Accounts Chamber to monitor implementation of the federal budget.
Federal laws adopted by the State Duma on the following issues must compulsorily be examined by the Federation Council:
- the federal budget;
- federal taxes and levies;
- financial, currency, credit and customs regulation, money emission;
- ratification and denunciation of international treaties of the Russian Federation;
- the status and protection of the state border of the Russian Federation;
- war and peace.
Federation Council also considers a set of other issues. In particular, it approves decisions on changes of borders between constituent entities and sanctions the introduction of martial law and a state of emergency. Without the Federation Council approval, military forces cannot be used outside the country. Within its competence, there is appointment and dismissal of the Prosecutor General and judges of the supreme body of the judicial branch, the deputy Chairman and half of the auditors of the Accounts Chamber. Additionally, the Federation Council has the right of final decision on the impeachment of the President and the announcement of new elections of the President.
The following is within the jurisdiction of the State Duma:
- consent to the appointment of the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation by the President of the Russian Federation;
- deciding the issue of confidence in the Government of the Russian Federation;
- appointment and dismissal of the Chairman of the Central Bank, the Chairman and half of the auditors of the Accounts Chamber;
- the Commissioner for Human Rights;
- announcement of amnesty;
- bringing charges against the President of the Russian Federation for his impeachment.
The Executive power is exercised by the government which consists of the Chairman of the Government (the Prime Minister), deputy chairmen and the federal ministers. The Chairman's candidate is appointed by the President with the consent of the State Duma. Should the selected candidate be rejected three times, the President appoints the Prime Minister himself, dissolves the State Duma and announces new elections. Additionally, the Chairman of the Government proposes to the President candidates for the posts of deputy chairmen and the other federal ministers.
The government presents a draft budget to be discussed by the State Duma and it provides its implementation and realization of financial, credit and monetary policies. It carries out measures to ensure the legality, rights and freedoms of the citizens, to protect property, public order and combat crimes. It ensures state security, and the realization of foreign policy. The government ensures the implementation of a uniform state policy in the sphere of culture, science, education, social security, health, and ecology.
Task 1. Paragraph check. Choose the most suitable heading from the list A-G for each paragraph (1-6) of the text. There is one extra heading which you do not need to use.
A The structure of the Federal Assembly
B The powers (competence) of the State Duma
C The laws considered by the Federation Council
D The appointment of the Chairman of the Government
E The duties and powers of the government
F The issues within the jurisdiction of the Federation Council
G The procedure of no confidence in the government
Task 3. Put the missing verbs into these sentences:
1. The Federation Council... two representatives from each region.
2. The Federation Council and the State Duma ……. separately but they have the right ……. the decision ... closed sessions.
3. The Federal Council ….. decisions on changes of borders between the constituent entities.
4. The State Duma ... charges against the President and gives suggestion on his impeachment.
5. Should the selected candidate be rejected three times, the President ……… the Chairman of the Government himself ... the State Duma and ……… new elections.
Task 4. Scan the text to choose the best ending to these incomplete sentences.
1. The Parliament consists of ... (one branch only, two chambers, several committees).
2. The Federation Council and the State Duma sit... (separately, together, with other governmental subcommittees).
3. Military forces cannot be used outside the country without the approval of ... C The State Duma, the Federation Council, the President).
4. Appointment of the Supreme body of the judicial branch is within the competence of ... (the Chairman of the Government, the Federation Council, the Treasury).
5. Charges against the President can be issued by... (the government, the deputy chairmen, the State Duma).
6. The Chairman's candidate is appointed by ... ( the deputy Chairman, the Federation Council, the President).
Task 5. Say if it is True or False.
1. The Federal Council doesn't approve decisions on changes of borders between the constituent entities.
2. It is within the competence of the State Duma to appoint and dismiss the Chairman of the Central Bank.
3. The government consists only of the federal ministers.
4. The Chairman's candidate is not to be approved by the State Duma.
5. Should the selected candidate be rejected three times, the President appoints the Prime Minister himself.
6. A draft budget is to be discussed by the State Duma.
7. Measures to ensure state security are carried out by the government.
Task 6. Answer the following "Whose-right-is-it” questions.
1) ... to approve the President's appointment?
2) ... to appoint the Accounts Chamber?
3) ... to have the final decision on the impeachment of the President"?
4) ... to dissolve or decline the power of the Government or dissolve the State Duma?
Task 7. Read the text in detail to answer the following questions:
1) What kind of a functioning body is the Federal Assembly?
2) Are there clear limitations of competence in each chamber in the Federal Assembly?
3) What chamber has the right to conduct closed sessions?
4) What chamber is responsible for the consideration of financial problems?
5) In what connection does the word "impeachment" appear in the text?