Part I: the ap united states government course examination

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1. All of the following were powers that the Constitution explicitly gave to Congress EXCEPT:

    a. to establish a national bank

    b. to borrow money

    c. to establish a post office and post roads

    d. to create courts

    e. to raise and support an army and navy


2. Today the expressed powers of Congress listed in Article I of the Constitution

    a. strictly limit the powers exercised by Congress

    b. limit congressional powers very little since so many other powers have evolved

    c. form the framework for policymaking and the basis of congressional powers through the years

    d. have been changed extensively through the formal amendment process

    e. are open to constant reinterpretation by the Supreme Court


3. Which of the following is a special power granted by the Constitution to the House of Representatives?

    a. The House must confirm all presidential nominations to federal office.

    b. The president must seek the "advise and consent" of the House on all treaties with foreign countries.

    c. All bills of revenue must originate in the House.

    d. The House has exclusive control of all bills of revenue.

    e. The House has the Constitutional right to form a Committee of the Whole to simplify the lawmaking process.


4. All of the following accurately describe the organization of the House and Senate EXCEPT:

    a. Time limits on debate are set in the House; no time limits are set in the Senate

    b. The House forms a Committee of the Whole; the Senate does not.

    c. The House may prohibit amendments to a bill on the floor; the Senate may not.

    d. The Senate has a Rules Committee; the House does not.

    e. Both Houses consider legislation in legislative committees.


5. The office of the Speaker of the House is

    a. much more powerful today than ever before

    b. controversial; many representatives believe that it should be abolished

    c. so much les powerful than it was at the turn of the century that the office of the majority leader is now more powerful

    d. less powerful than it was at the turn of the century, but still a powerful position

    e. almost powerless today, but is an important ceremonial position  


6. All of the following are powers of the Speaker of the House EXCEPT:

    a. recognition of members who wish to speak

    b. directing of business on the floor

    c. exercising political and behind-the-scenes influence

    d. exercising substantial control over which bills get assigned to which committees

    e. appointing new members to standing legislative committees


7. Which of the following is a largely ceremonial position in the Senate?

    a. majority leader

    b. minority leader

    c. president pro tempore

    d. majority whip

    e. minority whip


8. The most important step in shaping a bill in the process of becoming a law is

    a. introduction of the bill on the floor of the House or Senate

    b. consideration in standing committees and subcommittees

    c. debate on the floor

    d. consideration in conference committees

    e. feedback from the executive branch in a formal address by the president


9. Which type of committee is formed exclusively to hammer out differences between the House and the Senate?

    a. standing committees

    b. committees of the whole

    c. joint committees

    d. select committees

    e. conference committees


10. What is the most usual fate of a bill introduced in Congress?

    a. death by pigeonholing

    b. death before it goes to committee

    c. death on the floor

    d. death by presidential veto

    e. passage into law


11. Who is primarily responsible for assigning members of the House and Senate to legislative committees?

    a. the Speaker of the House and the president of the Senate

    b. the parties, primarily the majority party

    c. the president and vice president

    d. the majority and minority leaders

    e. the Rules Committee


12. Today committee chairmen are selected by

    a. the Speaker of the House and the President pro tempore of the Senate

    b. the seniority system; the committee member from the majority party that has been on the committee the longest is automatically named chairman

    c. the seniority system largely, but the membership of the majority party may select them by secret ballot

    d. the president

    e. the electorate

13. Which of the following are important powers of the Rules Committee?

        I. setting time limits on floor debate

        II. deciding whether or not amendments will be allowed from the floor

        III. deciding which bills may be allowed to go to the floor

        IV. deciding whether or not amendments must be germane to the bill

     a. I, II, and III only

    b. I and II only

    c. I, II, III, and IV

    d. III and IV only

    e. I, II and IV only

14. Congressional caucuses

    a. decide who will hold key leadership positions in Congress

    b. are primarily social groups of representatives or senators

    c. almost always based their membership on ideological points of view

    d. make recommendations to the president regarding action on bills that he must sign

    e. act informally, but they often actively promote their issue or special interest

15. All of the following are characteristics of members of Congress EXCEPT:

    a. Most are male.

    b. Most are from upper-middle or upper income backgrounds.

    c. Representatives are generally older than are senators.

    d. Most are Protestant.

    e. Most are white.


16. A bill debated under "closed rules"

    a. can exist only in the Senate

    b. may be considered with strict time limits and no amendments allowed from the floor.

    c. exists in both houses, but may have nongermane amendments only in the Senate

    d. may have strict time limits, but amendments from the floor must always be allowed

    e. may have amendments from the floor, but no time limits may be imposed

17. Racial gerrymandering

        I. involves rearranging district lines to allow a minoirty representative to be elected

        II. is controversial

        III. was proven unconstitutional by the "one person, one vote" Supreme Court decision

    a. I and II only

    b. I and III only

    c. II and III only

    d. I only

    e. I, II, and III

18. All of the following are hurdles a bill must pass in BOTH houses before it becomes a law EXCEPT:

    a. committee consideration and debate

    b. the Rules Committee

    c. Floor debate

    d. a vote by a quorum of the membership

    e. presidential signature or veto


19. The practice of one member of Congress supporting another member's pet project in return for support for his or her own project is known as

    a. pork barrel legislation

    b. logrolling

    c. gerrymandering

    d. incumbency

    e. filibustering


20. All of the following types of votes are used in both the House and the Senate EXCEPT:

    a. teller

    b. voice

    c. division

    d. roll call

    e. electronic


21. Which of the following is a constitutional duty of the vice president?

    a. to assist the president in performing his duties

    b. to be an ambassador-at-large to foreign countries

    c. to preside over the House of Representatives

    d. to preside over the Senate

    e. to give the "State of the Union" message


22. Which of the following are true statements regarding the qualifications for the presidency?

        I. No president has been close to the minimum age requirement (35) when elected to the office.

        II. No one born in another country has ever been president.

        III. No one has ever served as president who has lived in the United States for at least fourteen years.

    a. I and II only

    b. I, II, and III

    c. I and III only

    d. II and III only

    e. II only

23. All of the following are expressed presidential powers in the Constitution EXCEPT:

    a. commands the armed services

    b. makes treaties with foreign nations, with the "advice and consent" of the Senate

    c. appoints ambassadors and judges, with the "advice and consent" of the Senate

    d. may veto a bill passed by Congress

    e. may exercise executive privilege

24. According to James Barber, which type of president is most likely to be genial and well-liked but less likely to have a distinguished term of office?

    a. passive-active

    b. passive-positive

    c. passive-negative

    d. active-negative

    e. active-positive


25. A president's persuasive powers are generally aimed at which audience?

        I. fellow politicans and leaders in Washington

        II. party activists and officeholders outside Washington

        III. the public

    a. I and II only

    b. I only

    c. I and III only

    d. III only

    e. I, II, and III


26. Which of the following accurately describes the president's line-item veto power?

a. The president never has had a line-item veto power.

b. The president has always had a line-item veto power.

c. The president has had the line-item veto power since 1997.

d. The president's line-item veto power was declared unconstitutional in 1997.

e. Presidents have always resisted the line-item veto power.

(refer to the following quote to answer questions 27 and 28)

There is no "absolute unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances." 

27. The above is a quote from

a. Article II of the Constitution

b. the Federalist #51

c. United States v. Nixon

d. the Bill of Rights

e. Raines v. Byrd


28. The quote helps to define the presidential power of

a. treaty negotiation

b. persuasion

c. impoundment

d. executive privilege

e. appointment of federal officials


29. The concept of "divided government" refers to

a. a president of one party, the vice president from another

b. division of power between national and state levels

c. one house of Congress one party as the majority, the majority of the other house being from the other party

d. elected officials vs. appointed officials

e. Congress having a majority party that is different from the party affiliation of the president

30. A party's vice presidential candidate is usually chosen by

a. a direct general election

b. the party convention delegates

c. the party "bosses"

d. the primaries

e. the party's presidential candidate


31. Which of the following government officials are appointed by the president, but do NOT need to be confirmed by the Senate?

a. the White House Staff

b. the Executive Office of the President

c. Cabinet members

d. Supreme Court justices

e. judges in District and Appellate Courts 


32. All of the following are agencies in the Executive Office of the president EXCEPT:

a. Office of Management and Budget

b. Central Intelligence Agency

c. National Space and Aeronautic Administration

d. Council of Economic Advisers

e. Office of Personnel Management



33. All of the following were appointed as cabinet positions by George Washington EXCEPT:

a. Secretary of State

b. Secretary of the Interior

c. Secretary of War

d. Attorney General

e. Secretary of the Treasury


34. All of the following accurately describe the usual relationship between a president and the cabinet EXCEPT:

a. The department secretaries usually act fairly independently from the president.

b. Cabinet members spend the large majority of their time on departmental business.

c. Cabinet members seek to defend and promote their own departments in cabinet meetings.

d. Cabinet members often compete with one another for resources and attention.

e. Cabinet members function as the president's representative to the departments.


35. When the founders created the electoral college, they almost certainly believed that

a. the electoral college would not work, but they needed a compromise to allow the Constitution to be ratified.

b. the electoral college would be split often into southern and northern wings

c. the ideal way to select the president was by vote in the state legislatures

d. the electors would vote for favorite sons, thus often sending the election to the House of Representatives

e. popular vote should replace the electoral college as soon as possible


36. Under the 22nd Amendment, which of the following would be ineligible to run for president?

a. a sitting president running for a third full term

b. a sitting vice president who had never run for president before

c. a sitting president who had served 1 1/2 years of a previous president's term plus one full term of his own

d. a sitting president running for a second term

e. a sitting vice president who had been president for one term before


37. Today if a president becomes ill and cannot fulfill his duties, who determines whether he vice president becomes acting president?

a. the vice president alone

b. the White House staff, with the approval of Congress

c. both houses of Congress, but no one from the executive branch

d. the vice president and the cabinet, but only with the approval of Congress

e. the vice president and the cabinet, but if the president disagrees, Congress decides the issue.


38. According to the 25th Amendmhent, when the office of vice president is vacated

a. it remains open until the next election

b. it is automatically filled by the Speaker of the House of Representatives

c. it is automatically filled by the president pro tempore of the Senate

d. it is filled by the president's appointment, with both houses of Congress approving the nomination.

e. it is filled by the president's appointment, but the approval of Congress is not necessary


39.What characteristic distinguishes the presidential/vice presidential team of Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller?

a. They are the only team in U.S. history that come from the same state.

b. Both filled positions vacated by the death of the previous occupant.

c. Neither of them was elected to their respective offices by the American public.

d. Both had held their respective positions previously.

e. Both resigned before they completed their terms of office.



40. According to the Constitution, who can be impeached from public office?

a. Only the president and v ice president of the United States

b. the president, vice president, court justicesand other civil officers

c. The president, vice president, and members of Congress

d. only members of Congress and the president

e. only Supreme Court justices


41. Which of the following Weberian principles did the Pendleton Act reinforce?

a. hierarchical authoirty structure

b. task specialization

c. extensive rules

d. the merit principle

e. impersonality


42. All of the following are characteristic of the U.S. government bureaucracy EXCEPT:

a. Federal agencies are responsible to both Congress and officials in the executive branch.

b. federal agencies share responsibilities with organizations at state and local levels of government.

c. Government agencies in the U.S. operate under closer public scrutiny than agencies in most other countries

d. U.S. government agencies regulate privately owned enterprises, rather than operate publicly owned ones.

e. All U.S. government agencies are part of the fifteen cabinet departments.


43. Andrew Jackson employed a spoils system in hiring government workers in order to

a. reward party loyalists with key federal posts.

b. ensure that upper-class, white males retained government positions

c. make federal agencies more responsible to Congress

d. decrease the rapid turnover in the federal service

e. provide for a more hierarchical organization of the bureaucracy

44. Which of the following most accurately describes the growth of the bureaucracy since the end of World War II?

a. The number of federal bureaucrats has increased dramatically over the past fifty years.

b. The number of federal employees has remained a relatively constant percentage of all civilian jobs.

c. Whereas the number of federal employees has grown slightly, state and local government jobs have actually decreased.

d. Due to government cutbacks, the number of federal, state, and local government jobs has decreased significantly

e. The federal bureaucracy that tends to foreign affairs has grown significantly, but domestic agencies have all but disappeared.

45. All of the following statistics accurately reflect characteristics of federal civilian employees EXCEPT:

a. nearly half are women

b. more than 25% are minority.

c. about one-third are employed by the Defense Department.

d. only about 11% work in the Washington area.

e. federal civilian employees more closely replicate the characteristics of the American public than do members of Congress.


46. Which of the following cabinet departments was created LAST?

a. Department of State

b. Department of Justice

c. Department of Energy

d. Department of Agriculture

e. Department of Commerce

47. The Federal Trade Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission are all examples of

a. cabinet departments

b. independent regulatory agencies

c. independent executive agencies

d. government corporations

e. agencies within the Department of Commerce

48. An example of a government corporation is

a. the Securities and Exchange Commission

b. the Social Security Administration

c. the U.S. Postal Service

d. General Services Administration

e. the National Aeronautics and Space Administration


49. Congress oversees the agencies in the executive branch in all of the following ways EXCEPT:

a. giving any one job to more than one agency, keeping any single agency from

becoming all powerful.

b. influencing the appointment of agency heads

c. authorizing money that may be spent on a given program by an agency

d. holding hearings to question possible agency abuses

e. firing agency heads, cabinet secretaries, and White House staff


50. The president may exercise authority over the executive brach agencies in all of the following ways EXCEPT:

a. appointing people who support his point of view to senior executive levels

b. issuing executive orders to agencies

c. exercising authority through the Office of Management and the Budget

d. appointing federal court justices to investigate alleged wrongdoings of an agency

e. reorganizing or combining agencies to reward or punish them.


51. The points of the iron triangle are

a. Congressional subcommittee to president to Supreme Court Chief Justice

b. Speaker of the House to president to Supreme Court Chief Justice

c. governors to president to mayors

d. subcommittee members to interest groups to agency heads

e. agency heads to department secretaries to president


52. The National Performance Review headed by Vice President Al Gore recommended that reforms in government organization include all of the following EXCEPT:

a. more centralization of control of governmental agencies in the president's office

b. closing and/or consolidating offices

c. reducing programs

d. allowing funds for creative innovation

e. eliminating federal support for some agencies.

Unit Four Answers

1. a

2. c

3. c

4. d

5. d

6. e

7. c

8. b

9. e

10. a

11. b

12. c

13. a

14. e

15. c

16. b

17. a

18. b

19. a

20. e

21. D

22. a

23. e

24. b

25. e

26. d

27. c

28. d

29. e

30. e

31. a

32. c

33. b

34. e

35. d

36. a

37. d

38. d

39 . c

40. b

41. d

42. e

43. a

44. b

45. c

46. c

47/ b

48. c

49. e

50. d

51. d

52. a

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