FAQS are available on the following topics:
- U.S. Government and Politics
- Trade and Business
How many members of Congress are there, and how long are their terms of office?
The U.S. Congress is bicameral, composed of two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senfate. The Senate has 100 members: two senators for each of the fifty states. Senators are elected for six years. One third of the Senate is elected every two years. The House of Representative comprises 435 Representatives. The number representing each state is determined by the population, but every state is entitled to one representative. Representatives are elected every two years. A Resident Commissioner for Puerto Rico, and Delegates from American Samoa, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands complete the composition of Congress. The Resident Commissioner and Delegates have no vote in the full House but they do vote in the committees to which they were assigned.
Which is the "upper" house in Congress?
Neither. By virtue of its smaller membership, the longer term of office for its members and higher age requirement, the Senate perhaps conveys a more prestigious image than the House of Representatives and while many Representatives leave the House to run for the Senate the reverse rarely happens. However they are of equal rank in most matters. The Constitution has given each some specific responsibilities. For example the House originates all revenue bills, it elects the President if the Electoral College fails to do so and it recommends impeachment of federal officials. The Senate has the power to confirm executive appointments and recommend treaty ratification and it is the chamber, which has the power to convict on impeachment charges.
How does a Congressional bill become Federal law?
This complicated process is explained in the House of Representatives document “How Our Laws are Made”. Broadly speaking, a proposed law, whether initially introduced in the House or the Senate, and some bills are introduced in both houses simultaneously, must be passed by both the House and the Senate, in exactly the same form, and then approved by the President, before becoming law.
What is the American equivalent of Hansard, the daily record of proceedings in Parliament?
The Congressional Record, available full text at GPO Access, a service of the US Government Printing Office, is the daily record of proceedings on the floor of the House and the Senate.
Note that the Congressional Record does not include the texts or transcripts of House or Senate committee hearings.
What is the current membership of the U.S. Cabinet and what other departments comprise the Executive branch?
This information is available in detail at the U.S. Government’s official web portal.
How can I obtain a list of addresses for all U.S. embassies and consulates?
Key Officers of Foreign Service Posts. Guide for Business Representatives lists the contact details for all United States embassies and consulates worldwide, with the names of key officers
Please note:If you are a Ugandan citizen and are the victim of a fraud/crime, please contact the Uganda Police Force even if you believe the offender/group originates in the United States. The police will pass on the relevant information to international agencies as required.
How do I identify a scam or fraud?
If you wish to complain about an Internet fraud to the U.S. government, you may contact the Internet Fraud Complaints Center or you may wish to register your complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Other websites you may find useful:
What is the national anthem of the U.S.?
"The Star Spangled Banner", was ordered played at military and naval occasions by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, but was not designated the national anthem by an Act of Congress until 1931. The words were written in 1814 by Francis Scott Key, who had been inspired by the sight of the American flag still flying over Fort McHenry after a night of heavy British bombardment. The text was immediately set to a popular melody of the time, To Anacreon in Heaven.
You can find sheet music and recordings of “The Star Spangled Banner” and several other popular patriotic American melodies at the Information USA wed page -
Flag Facts: How many stars and how many stripes are on the U.S. flag? When are new stars added?
There are 50 stars representing the 50 states and there are 13 stripes representing the 13 original states. The flag has thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white; there is a blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing 50 small white five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars; the 50 stars represent the 50 states, the 13 stripes represent the 13 original colonies; known as Old Glory; the design and colours have been the basis for a number of other flags including Chile, Liberia, Malaysia, and Puerto Rico. For further information, about the flags.
What is the current population of the U.S.?
Up to the minute information can be found at the population website -
U.S. Census 2000 U.S. law requires a census be taken every ten years, an undertaking that's been performed every decade since 1790. It forms the basis for determining how the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are equitably distributed among the 50 states. The census also is critical in determining how federal funds are distributed to states and localities.
FedStats, a U.S. government web site, provides a one-stop web site for all U.S. government statistics, including:
- A-Z index with direct access to data listings in 275 categories
- Fast Facts Web links that allow users to get major economic and social statistics and online versions of the most frequently requested tables from the U.S. Statistical Abstract
- Keyword search capability for Internet users to search Web sites linked to FedStats
Where can I find information about U.S. participation in international sporting events?
The Director of International Sports Initiatives oversees the U.S. State Department's involvement in international athletic competitions and its support of international athletic events, including the Olympics, develops new sports programs, and serves as a U.S. Government primary contact with the international sports community. You can visit the sports website.
Do I need a visa to visit the United States?
All Ugandans traveling to the United States must have a valid visa. Information on the visa application process is available here (link to visa services page).
How do I participate in the diversity visa (green card) lottery?
The green card lottery is officially known as the diversity visa lottery.
Instructions for the diversity immigrant visa program are here.
How do I claim back the sales tax I paid while in the United States?
You can only claim back the sales tax for purchases from selected stores in the state of Louisiana. For more information click here for a list of selected stores.
How do I access a nonimmigrant Application?
You cannot claim back sales tax from any other state. Each state in the U.S. has the right to charge its own local taxes, including a sales tax on certain purchases. The sales tax varies from state to state and from item to item. This sales tax is not the same as VAT in Uganda and cannot be claimed back except, as noted above, in Louisiana.
How do I obtain travel information about the United States?
If you are planning a trip to the United States and you have access to the Internet, we suggest you search for the specific locations you wish to visit. All states, big cities, and well-known tourist attractions have their own websites.
The American Information Resource Center located at the U.S. Embassy offers access to the Internet or you may ask the Resource Center staff to help you find books about the area you would like to visit.
How do I take my medications with me on my trip to the United States?
The U.S. Customs Service enforces Federal laws and regulations, including those of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Do I need an international driver's license to drive in the United States?
We recommend that you obtain an International Driver's License before departing if you intend to drive in the United States. An International Driving Permit serves as proof of validation of your Ugandan license.
How do I find an address, phone number or zip code?
If you know the person's name but not the street address or the state, you can try searching the online telephone directories. Of course, if your person has a relatively common name, you will get a lot of results. Business names may also be located in this manner:
If you know the person's address but not the phone number, you can try searching a reverse directory:
If you know the phone number but not the name or address, you can try searching a reverse directory:
If you know the complete address but need to find out the zip (post) code:
If you need to know the two-letter abbreviation for any state:
- Abbreviation lookup – USPS website.
How do I tell you what I think about the U.S. government?
You may contact us.
You may write us a letter:
Office of Public Affairs
1577 Ggaba Road, Nsambya
P.O Box 7007
Tel.: (256) 414-233231/259791/2/3/5
How do I address the Ambassador?
Envelope – The Honorable Jerry P. Lanier
Salutation – Sir or Dear Ambassador Lanier
Closing – Sincerely
How do I send a letter to President Barack Obama?
You may mail a letter to President Obama at this address:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
You may email the President at this address:
How do I address the President?
Envelope – The President
Salutation – Dear Mr. President
Invitation – The President
Or if abroad – The President of the United States of America
Closing – Respectfully
What can you tell me about Uganda?
If you are interested in Uganda, the country and its culture, please contact the Ugandan Embassy in the country where you reside. Americans should contact the Ugandan Embassy in Washington, D.C.
5911 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20011
Tel.: (202) 7267100 through 7102, 0416
Fax: (202) 7261727
Other websites you may find useful:
- Uganda. Government of Uganda -
- Uganda. Tourism, Travel and General Information - myuganda
- Consular Information Sheet (U.S. Dept. of State) - Consular Information Sheet
How do I register to vote in the United States?
You must be an American citizen and be at least 18 years of age on or before Election Day. Your registration form must be received by the electoral office in the state where you last resided at least 30 days before the election.
Complete the on-line version of the federal post card application by following the instructions provided by your state on the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website - fvap.gov website.
Other websites that may be useful:
What can you tell me about the military history of the United States?
We suggest you first visit the American Information Resource Center, located at the U.S. Embassy for general information about U.S. military history. If you cannot find what you want, please ask a librarian to assist you.
Other websites that may be useful:
- Military history (U.S. Department of Defense) - Military history
- Military history and military science (Library of Congress) - Library of Congress
- Military resources: military history (U.S. National Archives & Records Administration) - American military history website
What time is it in the United States?
The continental United States is divided into four times zones: Eastern, Central, Mountain, and Pacific. Alaska and Hawaii are each in their own time zone. The continental states observe daylight savings time during the summer months.
Some websites you may find useful: