members of Congress
1. The most common occupation among members of Congress before serving in Congress is
a. business executive
b. sales representative
2.. The people that a legislator represents and spends considerable time and effort serving are called
3. Super PACs
a. allow America’s millionaires and billionaires to donate unlimited funds to influence elections.
b. are political advertising councils that design political campaigns.
c. are limited to raising no more than ten million dollars per campaign cycle.
d. raise money to run both positive and negative campaign ads.
e. Options A and D are true.
4. The number of members each state will have in the electoral college
a. cannot exceed fifty members.
b. cannot be changed without a Constitutional amendment.
c. changes every four years.
d. is determined by adding the number of representatives and the number of senators a state has in Congress.
e. is the same so as to ensure that each state plays an equal role in selecting the president of the United States.
5. The committee in the House that proposes time limitations on debate for bills is called the
a. House Debate Committee
b. House Rules Committee
c. House Ways and Means Committee
d. House Debate and Censure Committee
e. Issues Committee
6. Reported voter turnout _________ as age __________.
a. increases, increases
b. increases, decreases
c. stabilizes, increases
d. stabilizes, decreases
e. decreases, increases
a. is typically used by congressional and state political party leaders to shape voting districts in such a way as to
increase the chances of winning more seats
b. is even more accurate now than in the past due to the advances of computer technology
c. helps protect the seats of incumbents
d. is not a common practice in the 21st century
8. In midterm congressional elections,
a. voter turnout increases sharply
b. the president’s political party usually gains seats in Congress.
c. voter turnout falls sharply.
d. incumbents are more likely to lose.
9. Pork-barrel legislation
a. deals with specific projects and their location within a particular congressional district.
b. only deals with specific agricultural subsidies
c. funds efforts to increase the levels of America’s exports.
d. orders state governments to implement a program without providing the funds for doing so.
10 The Constitution states that the required minimum age for the presidency is
a. twenty-five years.
b. thirty years.
c. thirty-five years.
d. forty years.
e. forty-five years.
11.The real leadership power in the Senate rests in the hands of
a. president of the Senate
b. president pro tempore of the Senate
c. Speaker of the Senate
d. Senate majority leader
e. Senate whip
12. Who is the Speaker of the House?
a. The vice-president is also the Speaker of the House.
b. The representative with the longest tenure in the House.
c. The elected leader of the majority party in the House is the Speaker of the House.
d. An employee who formally brings the House into session each day.
e. The president selects the Speaker of the House from the majority party in the House.
13. Congress is a ________ legislature with ________ voting members.
a. unicameral; 342
b. bicameral; 535
c. bicameral; 100
d. unicameral; 630
e. unicameral; 750
14. Before a treaty can become legally binding, the treaty must be
a. approved by three-fourths of the state governments.
b. ratified by the Supreme Court
c. approved by a two-thirds vote in the Senate
d. approved by a super majority in both chambers of Congress.
15. Executive agreements are
a. not valid in foreign policy unless approved by the Senate.
b. agreements between the president and a head of a foreign government that do not have to be approved by the
c. an unconstitutional expansion of power of the president.
d. binding on future presidents.
e. used to achieve trivial matters since the most significant issues must be addressed by the Senate.
16. The State of the Union message
a. helps the President transmit his legislative agenda to Congress and the American people.
b. is as much a message to the American people and the world as it is to Congress
c. is required by the U.S. Constitution and generally delivered in January.
d. has spawned many customs including the tradition that one cabinet member, a “designated survivor”, not attend in
case of a national emergency.
e. All of the above are true.
17.The most important committees in Congress are ________ committees, permanent bodies that possess an expertise
resulting from their jurisdiction over certain areas.
18. Redistricting is
a. the allocation of seats in the House to each state after each federal census.
b. the redrawing of district boundaries within each state to ensure equal district populations.
c. a court order to hold new elections because of voting irregularities.
d. altering a legislative formula that apportions spending among states.
e. Normally a bipartisan exercise.
19.When Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops into Little Rock High School in 1957, it demonstrated that
a. the president may make unilateral use of the emergency powers to protect states against domestic disorder.
b. the president requires the federal court’s approval before using troops in domestic situations
c. the use of the president’s emergency powers against domestic disorder necessitates a request by the governor of
the affected state.
d. the president needs congressional authorization to use troops in both domestic and international situations.
20. In the history of the United States, no president has ever
a. been impeached and acquitted.
b. died while in office.
c. been impeached and convicted.
e. been impeached.
21. A filibuster is
a. an attempt to prevent the passage of a bill through the use of unlimited debate in the Senate.
b. used in the House to force a standing committee to release a bill.
c. a method used by the Speaker of the House to promote the majority party’s legislation.
d. a technique that is unique to the House.
e. a practice no longer permitted by law.
22. The process of compromise by offering to trade support for a legislator’s bill if they support your bill is called
c. horse trading.
d. pork trading.
23. The necessary and proper clause
a. has expanded the role of the national government to the states
b. has increased the powers of state governments at the expense of Congress’ powers.
c. has had little or no effect on the power of the national government.
d. was in the original Constitution but eliminated in a later Amendment.
24. As a chief executive, the president is constitutionally bound to
a. enforce laws, treaties, and court orders.
b. submit a balanced budget to Congress.
c. inform Congress prior to any and all military actions.
d. oversee the actions of state governments.
e. honor all pronouncements of previous presidents.
25. Which of the following is not a function of Congress?
a. Spending time serving constituents
b. Educating the public through hearings and debates
c. Carrying out and executing the laws is has passed
d. Representing constituents
e. resolving conflicts between different groups in the two chambers
26. The power to declare war is given to ___________ under the Constitution.
a. the President
b. the Senate
c. both chambers of Congress
d. the Senate, with the approval of the president
e. the Department of Defense
27. All of the following are true of emergency powers except
a. they have allowed presidents to exercise their powers during times of crisis, particularly in foreign affairs.
b. they were used by President Truman when he authorized the seizure of steel plants during the Korean War.
c. the Supreme Court ruled against Truman’s use of emergency powers during the Korean War.
d. the Supreme Court upheld Truman’s seizing of privately owned steel plants during the Korean War.
e. emergency powers were used by Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War.
28. The Constitution gives the vice president
a. the job of presiding over the Senate and voting in case of a tie.
b. many responsibilities independent of presidential authority.
c. the job of Chief of Staff to the president.
d. the power to debate legislation the president supports in the House
29. The founders of the American republic believed that most of the power exercised by a national government should be
in the hands of
a. the chief executive.
b. the legislature.
c. the electoral college.
d. the bureaucracy.
e. the judiciary.
30. All of the following are true of Congress except
a. it is a bicameral legislative representative body.
b. it is held in high esteem by the American public.
c. its members spend considerable time serving constituents.
d. its functions include lawmaking and oversight.
e. its individual members are valued by home districts.
31. __________ powers are specifically established by the written language of the Constitution.
32. Which of the following best explains the small number of women in Congress?
a. More men than women vote and men tend not to vote for women candidates
b. Women do not have organizations or PACs supporting their candidacy.
c. Incumbency is a very powerful resource and most incumbents have been men.
d. Women do not make effective representatives.
e. Women do not want to run for Congress.
33. In most states Congressional district lines are drawn by
a. a small group of political party leaders in the state legislature.
b. a non-partisan state panel of commissioners.
c. a non-partisan panel elected in special elections.
d. a group of retired judges elected by party leaders.
e. at a forum chaired by a state’s U.S. Senators.
34. The following two presidents are the only ones in American history to have actually been impeached.
a. Andrew Johnson and William Clinton
b. Richard Nixon and Franklin Roosevelt
c. Andrew Jackson and William Clinton
d. Thomas Jefferson and Martin VanBuren
e. Lyndon Baines Johnson and Harry Truman
35. The role the House of Representatives plays in impeachments can best be compared with that of a
b. grand jury.
c. prosecuting attorney.
d. defense attorney.
e. defense witness.
36. A proposed piece of legislation is called a
e. line item veto
37. In general, members of the House seek committee assignments that will
a. bring them the largest numbers of campaign donors.
b. give them greater media exposure.
c. allow them to influence decisions that are of special importance to voters in their own district.
d. allow them more personal time with the president.
38. When the president infers powers from the “rights, duties, and obligations of the presidency, these are called
a. delegated powers
b. necessary and proper powers.
c. inherent powers.
d. war powers.
e. expressed powers
39. The State of the Union address is
a. required by a law passed by Congress in 1802 and renewed ever since.
b. requested by the president and comity demands that his request is always accepted.
c. based on tradition but was discontinued during the Great Depression and World War II.
d. mandated by the Constitution.
e. requested by the media and always agreed to by the president and Congress.
40. Which of the following statements concerning the representation of women and minorities in the U.S. Congress is
a. Representation of women and minorities has decreased by one-third since the 1970’s.
b. Representation of women and minorities has increased over the past two decades but is not comparable to their
proportions in the general population.
c. Since the mid-1990s, the number of women and minorities in Congress roughly reflects their proportions in the
d. Women and minorities are overrepresented in the House but underrepresented in the Senate.
41. The concept of cloture refers to
a. a method used to defeat legislation in the Senate.
b. action taken by the House Rules Committee that must be approved by the Senate.
c. closed meetings held by both parties to elect their leadership in Congress.
d. a process that attempts to limit debate on a bill in the Senate.
e. the resolution that adjourns Congress.
42. The whips assist the party leaders by
a. voting to support the party platform at the national convention
b. attempting to convince the general public to support a particular bill.
c. passing information to and from members of Congress in accordance with the desires of the leadership of the
d. gathering research information
e. collecting monetary contributions from donors
43. U.S. foreign policy may be carried out through
b. economic aid.
c. technical assistance.
d. military intervention.
e. All of the above are true.
44. In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which
a. required congressional approval before the president could dismiss the Secretary of Defense.
b. limited the president’s use of troops in military action without congressional approval.
c. extended the president’s power over the military.
d. was necessary because of the increased threat of nuclear war.
e. allowed the president to declare an unlimited national emergency.
45. The 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC allows
a. corporations, unions, and individuals to donate unlimited funds to presidential campaigns.
b. corporations, unions, and individuals to donate unlimited funds to entities that are “independent” of the
c. corporations, unions, and individuals to donate unlimited funds to political parties.
d. political parties to create special funds to donate to candidates from federal monies.
46. The right to vote
a. has been expanded since the writing of the Constitution.
b. has not been extended to those without property.
c. has been given to aliens as long as they are registered to vote.
d. can never be taken away.
e. is taken away if one doesn’t vote in five elections.
47. A campaign advisor who tries to convince journalists of the truth of a particular interpretation of events is called a
a. news consultant.
c. spin doctor.
d. fact checker.
e. win engineer.
48. Campaign blogs and podcasts
a. have improved candidates’ ability to deliver their message to voters without media filter.
b. have made it more difficult for candidates to control their campaigns.
c. are not followed by mainstream news media.
d. are sometimes created for the candidate by professional strategists.
e. Options A and D are true.
49. Which of the following groups tends to be overrepresented in the electorate?
a. Wealthier people
b. People under the age of sixty-five
c. Very young voters aged eighteen to twenty-four
d. The poor and homeless
50. In midterm elections
a. voters choose all members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
b. national elections are held in which candidates for president are not on the ballot.
c. voters choose one-third of the members of the U.S. Senate.
d. All of the above are true.
True of False
51. Since the 1930s, Congress has delegated far less authority to the president than in earlier eras.
52. The idea of agency representation identifies the best representative as the one who shares a similar racial ethnic religious or occupational background with those he or she represents.
53. The most powerful person in the House of Representatives is the Chief Whip.
54. The job of a conference committee is to reconcile House and Senate versions of a bill.
55. The Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority leader influence committee assignments and schedule legislation for debate.
56. The idea of sociological representation identifies the best representative as the one who fulfills campaign goals regardless of racial ethnic religious or occupational backgrounds.
57. As Commander and Chief the president is allowed to make military decisions but only with the approval of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff.
58. As chief diplomat, the president negotiates treaties, recognizes foreign governments, and makes executive
59. The story of Gravina Island’s “Bridge to Nowhere” concerns redistricting.
60. Although the Supreme Court recognized the power of a president to issue an executive order, they also decided this is
not an absolute power. 1952 Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v Sawyer.
61. To enact a presidential pardon a president needs a two-thirds majority vote from the Senate.
62. In regards to the executive office, there was concern that the constitutionality of the 1947 Presidential Succession Act
might be challenged at a later date.
63. The Cabinet is not a constitutionally sanctioned political body but rather a tradition.
64. It is the role of Congress to legislate Cabinet agencies and approve Presidential cabinet appointments.
65. Promoting human rights has been the chief priority of U.S. foreign policy.
66. During the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy centered around the idea of “appeasement” not “containment.”
67. By the 2008 election, the representation of women and minorities in Congress was roughly comparable to their
proportions in the general population.
68. About 50 percent of incumbents win re-election.
69. The vice president also serves as Speaker of the House of Representatives and breaks tie votes.
70. Media tend to cover stories with high dramatic or entertainment value and avoid more substantive political coverage
in order to draw a large audience.