Congress Organization and Dynamics
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A question pack on Congressional Politics from Saylor Academy.
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What are the main responsibilities of congressional standing committees?
Working out legislative differences between what the president and their constituents would prefer
Appointing and voting on judicial nominees
Passing budget resolutions and providing constituency service
Writing legislation and providing legislative oversight of government agencies
What is the most important factor in determining a member of Congress's vote?
Level of education
What percentage of bills introduced in Congress actually become law?
When does most of the lobbying by special interest groups occur?
When a bill is introduced
When a bill passes the House
When a bill passes the Senate
When a bill is in committee
Which congressional officer is in charge of getting members to the floor for important votes?
President Pro Tempore
Speaker of the House
Which of the following best describes what happens to most bills introduced in Congress?
They usually die by inaction at the committee stage.
They usually pass one chamber but not the other.
They usually are voted down on the floor of the House or Senate.
They usually are bottled up in the House Rules Committee.
Why do members of the majority in Congress have an important advantage?
Because they are all incumbents
Because they hold all the leadership positions, including committee chairs
Because they receive higher salaries than minority-party members
Because they have the exclusive right to introduce legislation
Why is it so difficult for Congress to pass laws?
Bills can be defeated at many points in the process.
Passing a bill is costly.
The sheer size of the institution causes many bills to get lost.
Bills have to be approved by party leaders.
“Pork barreling” refers to which of the following?
Congressional assistance to agricultural interests
Grants to private lobbying firms and companies
Public works projects and grants to specific districts paid for by general revenues
Legislation that bestows special benefits on members of Congress
In Congress, most legislative work is done in ______________.
Full sessions of Congress
The legislator’s home district
Conference with the president
According to the “State of the Media 2011” report, most people get their news from which source?
All of the following have been the historical trend regarding midterm elections EXCEPT:
The president’s party usually loses seats in Congress.
The president’s party usually gains seats in Congress.
They generally reflect voter discontent with the president.
Voter turnout is significantly lower than presidential elections.
According to the video “Congress and the Media,” the media’s coverage of Congress can generally be described as ______________.
Executive ______________ is the presidential power to keep communications with his staff confidential.
Federal judicial nominees must appear before the ______________ to answer inquiries.
House Judiciary Committee
Senate Judiciary Committee
Senate Ethics Committee
House Rules Committee
The congressional staffer in charge of maintaining a positive public image for a member with the news media is a ______________.
Chief of staff
The ______________ has the power to confirm presidential nominations.
House and Senate
If both the president and vice president are unable to fulfill their duties of office, who is the next in line of succession?
Senate President Pro Tempore
Secretary of State
Speaker of the House
White House Chief of Staff
Most studies on bias in the media have found which of the following?
Results are inconclusive.
Bias in the media is overwhelmingly conservative.
Bias in the media is overwhelmingly liberal.
Bias does not exist.
Presidents have tried to bypass Congress’s judicial confirmation power by doing which of the following?
Installing “temporary” judges without congressional approval
Not nominating a candidate when the Senate is controlled by the opposing party
Issuing an executive order to appoint the nominee without congressional approval
Not utilizing senatorial courtesy
The House of Representatives has the power to impeach which of the following?
All of the above
What is the authority of Congress to investigate the executive branch and its agencies called?
None of the above
What was one of the major findings of the 1947 Hutchins Commission report?
The press needed to improve itself in the name of morality, democracy, and self-preservation.
The increasingly concentrated media ownership system had a negative impact on the quality of the news and information Americans received.
Public broadcasting had been hindered throughout its existence by political pressures and funding shortages.
As the key government agency that oversaw the broadcasting industry, the Federal Communications Commission was poorly managed and in need of significant reform.
What was the rationale of the Constitution’s framers for giving Congress the power to declare war?
To ensure that the president would not conspire with foreign nations
Because Congress would, collectively, have more military experience than the president
To delay a decision to go to war
All of the above
What was the “Republican Revolution” of 1994?
The year the Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress since 1952
The year that all Democratic incumbents in Congress were defeated
The year that Republican congressional candidates outspent Democratic candidates for the first time in history
All of the above
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