AP Gov. Ch. 11

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Which of the following is true of the Democrats’ position in Congress after the 2006 election?

They were unable to slow or halt the Iraq War despite controlling both houses of Congress

Congressional staffers spend most of their time on

constituency service and public relations

Legislation whose tangible benefits are targeted solely at a particular legislator’s constituency is

pork-barrel legislation

Compared to House incumbents, Senate incumbents are more likely to face the problem of

a strong challenger

Compared to other congressional campaigns, open-seat races tend to have all of the following characteristics except

a more predictable outcome

Compared to the Senate majority leader, the Speaker of the House has more power because

(all these answers are correct) – the House places more limits on debate – the House is the larger chamber in terms of membership – the House has less of a tradition as a chamber of equals – the Speaker is that chamber’s presiding officer

In contrast to the Speaker of the House, the Senate majority leader

is not the presiding officer in his/her chamber

A standing committee in the House or the Senate

(all these answers are correct) – is a permanent committee – has jurisdiction over a particular policy area – has authority to draft, amend, and recommend legislation – is usually organized according to the seniority principle

When the House and Senate pass different versions of a bill, the differences are resolved by a

conference committee

Committee staffs within Congress

perform almost an entire legislative function

One must be___years of age to serve in the US House of Representatives, and___years of age to serve in the US Senate

25; 30

The second most powerful person in Washington DC (after the president) is often said to be

the speaker of the US House of Representatives

Campaign spending tends to be greatly more important

for challengers and non-incumbents rather than incumbents

In the nation’s first century,

service in Congress was not seen as a lifetime career for most of its members

The modern Congress is different from the nineteenth century Congress in that

most members are now career politicians who want to stay in Congress

Incumbents may have some problems in reelection campaigns if

(all these answers are correct) – disruptive issues such as general public discontent with Congress becomes prominent – the incumbent is tainted with chargers of personal misconduct or corruption – the election is a midterm election, and the incumbent is of the same party as the president – through redistricting, they are placed in a disadvantageous district

Because of the inherent tension in Congress between the need for strong leadership at the top and the individual congressional member’s need to act according to local concerns,

power in the Congress is widely dispersed

Senators are generally less likely to follow orders of their leaders than House members because

senators think of themselves as being equals and are only willing to be led by persuasion

Which one of the following statements about the seniority principle is most accurate?

Seniority is no longer absolute in selection of committee chairs, but is usually followed

Most of the legislative work of Congress is performed by

the standing committees and subcommittees with jurisdiction over particular policy areas

Which nation does not have a one-house dominant legislature?

the United States

Through a vote for cloture, the Senate

can end a filibuster

A pocket veto differs from a regular presidential veto in that the pocket veto

applies only when the Congress is not in session

Congress’s inability to consistently provide leadership on broad national issues is due to

the fragmented nature of Congress

Congress typically takes presidential proposals

only as a starting point

In which area has Congress been more likely than the president to exert leadership

policies affecting special interest

In initiating broad legislative proposals, the president enjoys all of the following advantages over Congress except

the president is granted more authority by the Constitution in the area of lawmaking

Most members of Congress are

concerned with national issues, but even more concerned with local ones

By and large, partisanship is

a huge source of cohesion and division within Congress

The oversight responsibility of Congress is

none of these answers is correct

The biggest obstacle to effective congressional oversight is

the sheer magnitude of the task

The major function of Congress is to

enact legislation

Bills are formally introduced in Congress by

members of Congress only

Most of the work on legislation in Congress is done

by committees and their respective subcommittees

The scheduling of bills in the Senate is left up to

the Senate majority leader

News media coverage of Congress and the president is

heavily tilted to presidential coverage

There are currently___voting members of the US House of Representatives and___voting members of the US Senate

435; 100

What is the strategy employed in the Senate to prevent a bill from coming to a vote?


For a bill to pass in either chamber of Congress

it must receive the support of a simple majority of its members

The dominant policymaking political institution during most of the nineteenth century was


Defining the conditions and scheduling a bill for floor debate in the House of Representatives is the responsibility of the

Rules committee

Which of the following statements is true?

Party-line voting has increased in recent years

Since the founding of the United States, the debate over the representative function of Congress has centered on whether

the primary concern of a representative should be the interests of the nation or of his or her constituency

The trading of votes between members of Congress so that each gets the legislation he or she wants is


"Mark up" of a bill means that

None of these answers is correct

Committees kill roughly___percent of the bills submitted in Congress


More than___percent of all PAC contributions go to the incumbents


A bill has been approved in the House and Senate, albeit in slightly different versions. The bill now goes to

a conference committee

About___percent of all state legislators are women


If the Rules Committee applies the "closed rule" to a bill,

no amendments will be permitted

What is Congressional oversight, and what are the obstacles to effective oversight?

– Oversight by the Congress on the Executive Branch. This includes the monitoring of federal agencies, programs, activities, and policy implementation. An implied power. – Obstacles: magnitude of the task. There are hundreds of agencies and thousands of programs; if Congress were to focus solely on monitoring all the activities, there wouldn’t be time for anything else

Describe the typical process by which a bill becomes a law

1. A bill will be introduced to the House by a representative 2. It’s sent to a committee where it is either thrown of the table, amended, or voted on 3. The Rules Committee decides when and how it will be debated 4. The House voted on the bill and if it passes the bill goes to the Senate where the process is repeated 5. If there are any changes, the bill goes to the Conference Committee to compromise 6. It is sent to the president to either sign or veto

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