Chapter 11 government

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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.

Committee staffs within Congress

perform an almost entirely legislative function.

One must be ________ years of age to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, and ________ years of age to serve in the U.S. Senate.

25; 30

The second-most powerful federal official (after the president) is often said to be the

Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Campaign spending tends to be a much greater challenge for

challengers and nonincumbents than for 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 professional politicians who want to stay in Congress.

Incumbents may have some problems in reelection campaigns if

All these answers are correct.

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

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

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 take directions from their leaders than House members because
A. senators are prohibited by their state legislatures from taking orders from others.

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

Most of the legislative work of Congress is performed by
A. the standing committees and their subcommittees with jurisdiction over particular policy areas.

the standing committees and their 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

can take effect 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.

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

the president being 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 both cohesion and division within Congress.

The oversight responsibility of Congress is

None of these answers is correct.

News media coverage of Congress and the president is

heavily tilted toward presidential coverage.

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 representation 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 called


Today’s Congress differs from the Congress of the nineteenth century in

the size of total staff the proportion of incumbents who successfully run for reelection the amount of legislation it considers that many members aspire to have a lengthy career All of the answers are correct.

The highest priority for most members of Congress is

getting reelected.

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

a higher overall level of campaign spending more evenly matched competitors more evenly distributed PAC money a closer vote on Election Day All of the answers are correct

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

places more limits on debate is the larger chamber in terms of membership has less of a tradition as a chamber of equals operates within a more restrictive set of rules All of the answers are correct.

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

is not the presiding officer of his/her chamber.

A standing committee in the House or Senate

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 All of the answers are correct

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

conference committee.

The congressional lawmaking process is biased toward

blocking legislation rather than passing it.

The major source of a committee’s power is

its jurisdiction over a particular policy area

On broad issues of national significance, Congress is ordinarily most responsive to the initiatives of

the president.

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

policies affecting special interests

The biggest obstacle to effective congressional oversight is

the sheer magnitude of the task

Congress’s strength as a policymaking institution includes its

a. ability to represent a wide range of interests. b. capacity for compromise and negotiation c. responsiveness to local interests. ALL are correct

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.

________ has the most seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.


There are currently ________ voting members of the U.S. House of Representatives and ________ voting members of the U.S. Senate

435; 100

The author states that successful candidates now run two campaigns

one campaign in Washington raising campaign funds and a second back home appealing for votes

Why do congressional incumbents have such a high rate of reelection?

Incumbents have a great advantage in congressional elections due to the various benefits that incumbency provides. Among these are the ability to claim credit for congressional achievements, provide pork-barrel legislation, perform constituent services, and garner publicity. Incumbents can also represent states or districts that greatly favor a candidate of one party; once elected from a constituency that is not electorally competitive, the incumbent can normally expect an easy road to reelection. Finally, incumbents have an advantage over their challengers in terms of ability to raise campaign funds.

Identify the three congressional agencies and explain the function of each one.

The General Accounting Office (GAO) is the largest congressional agency and has the responsibility of monitoring how executive agencies spend money that has been appropriated by Congress. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the oldest congressional agency and is part of the Library of Congress. It is a nonpartisan research agency that any member may use to obtain information. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is the newest agency and supplies Congress with projections of the nation’s economic situation.

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