AP Gov Chapter 13 Quiz

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Where is the real work of Congress done? In what officials is most of the power of Congress found?

The real work of Congress is done in the legislative committees of the House and Senate. The chairmanships of those committees hold the most power.

Standing Committee

More or less permanent bodies w/ specified legislative responsibilities.

Select Committee

Groups appointed for a specific purpose usually only lasting a few Congresses.

Join Committee

Those on which representatives and Senate both serve.

Conference Committee

Joint committee to resolve difference in the SEnate and House version of the same bill.

Why are standing committee’s the "important ones"?

Standing committees are the important ones because they’re the only ones that can propose legislation by reporting a bill out to the House or Senate.

Generally speaking, what determines who became the chair of a standing committee?

Seniority on the committee governs the determination of the chair of a standing committee.

About what number of aids does a House member have? A senator?

A house member has 17 assistants and a senator has over 40 on average.

What is a major job of congressional staff?

Help constituents solve problems, casework, do things for voters, help w/ policy.

Congressional Research Service

Works exclusively for the United States Congress, providing policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. As a legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress, CRS has been a valued and respected resource on Capitol Hill for nearly a century.

Sources of Bills

-Congress people -Interest groups -Executive branch/agencies -Constituents

Framers wanted legislation to be:

-Slow to create coalitions -Deliberate -Thoughtful

Introduction of bill

Speaker sends bill to standing committee where most bills die.

If a bill is accepted then:

1) Referred to subcommittee 2) Goes back to standing committee and is approved or rejected then sent to the floor.

Poison Pill Amendment

Makes amendment to purposely kill another amendment.

Order of bill

1) Standing committee (only committee to send bill to the floor) 2) Subcommittee 3) Standing committee 4) Then sent to the floor.

Simple resolution

(Passed by House/Senate) is used for matters such as establishing the rules under which each body will operate.

Concurrent resolution

Settles housekeeping and procederal matters that affect both houses.

What happens when a bill is sent to a standing committee?

Speaker-sends to standing committee- most bills die. Only ones who can propose legislation by proposing a bill out to the Full house or Senate.

Where do tax bills originate?

In either House.

What is a particularly powerful committee?

Ways and Means Committee.

What’s the purpose of a discharge petition?

Bill out of standing committee onto floor (218 members have to sign), very hard to get to work.

Rules for bills onto floor

Rules committee: sets procedures. Close: no amends Open: amends Restricted: specific amends All limit debate- 5 minutes total. (House) Senate has no debate limit.

Who schedules bills for floor debate in the House? SEnate?

Speaker and majority leader.


Minimum # of members who must be present for business to be conducted (100 members, "Committee of the Whole". They debate, amend, and generally shape the bill, but cannot pass it.

Cloture rule

Purpose is so each Senator is limited to 1 hour of debate on the bill under consideration. 16 votes are required.

What’s the final action the president can take on a bill? What can Congress to do "override" a presidential action?

The president can either signature or veto the bill. Requires 2/3 of those present to override the veto and must be roll call.

Closed rule

Order from House Rules committee that sets strict time limit on debate and forbids a bill from being amended.

Open rule

Order from House Rules committee that permits a bill to be amended on the floor.


A provision added to a piece of legislation that’s not germane to the bill’s purpose.

Christmas tree bill

When a bill has a lot of riders.

Voice vote

Members shouting "yea" or "nay".

Division (standing) vote

Answering "yea" or "nay" to their names.

Pork barrel legislation/earmarks

Bills that give tangible benefits (highways, dams) to constituents in hopes of winning their vote in return.

Log rolling

Bribing and reassuring vote.

Franking privilege

To keep constituents informed about government, members use newsletter and questionaires as campaign literature.

Ways and Means Committee

B/c House’s special position in relation to revenue legislation, handles those bills and particularly powerful.

The president pro tempore presides over its sessions or appoints another senator to do so. The president pro tempore is elected by the Senate and is customarily the longest serving senator in the majority party.

Blue Dogs

A group of United States Congressional Representatives from the Democratic Party who identify themselves as moderates.

Political polarization

The process by which the public opinion divides and goes to the extremes. It can also refer to when the extreme factions of a political party gain dominance in a party.


A partisan is a committed member of a political party. In multi-party systems, the term is widely understood to carry a negative connotation – referring to those who wholly support their party’s policies and are perhaps even reluctant to acknowledge correctness on the part of their political opponents in almost any situation. Partisanship can be affected by many factors including current events, figureheads (presidents), decisions, and even location.

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