Powers of Congress Activity Directions

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Introduction to American Government

Powers of Congress Activity

Directions: For each of following situations, identify which power of Congress, if any, is

involved and explain why. There is only one correct answer for the power, but

there may be several correct answers for why.

* Economic Power * Citizenship

* Judicial Powers * Foreign Relations and War Powers

* Electoral Powers * Other Powers

  1. The federal yearly deficit (debt-spending more than the gov't. has) is projected to be $320 billion this year. There is some concern where the money will come from.

Economic – Power to borrow money

2. Business and labor of our country have called for a decrease in imported goods coming into our

country. Congress would like to help reduce the amount of imported goods.
Economic – Power to regulate foreign trade

3. The states of New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire were bombed in a surprise attack by

Iran. Congress would like to respond to those responsible for the attack.
Foreign Relations and War – Power to declare war

4. A special tax is being considered on all new tires to help pay for interstate highways.

Economic – Power to tax

5. The U.S. Army is seeking an additional 10,000 new soldiers for a special anti-terrorist unit. The

Army has requested the additional soldiers from Congress.
Foreign Relations and War – Power to raise and support the military

6. The President wants 10 women he has chosen to become federal judges. All 10 women were

Electoral – Power to approve appointments to judicial positions

7. The United States government has spent more each year than it had taken in through taxes.

Congress wishes to reduce the amount the national government may go into debt.
Economic – Power to approve the spending of money

8. A federal judge was found to have been accepting money from one of the parties in a case, which

is before his court. Many members of Congress want to remove him.
Judicial - impeachment

9. John Adams was selected as President over Andrew Jackson when Jackson did not receive a

majority in the Electoral College.
Electoral – The House chooses a president when no one candidate receives a majority of electoral votes

10. Because of inflation, each dollar is worth much less than it was a few years ago, so people are

using many denominations of money. Congress would like to make each denomination a

different color.

Economic – Power to coin money

11. Many people have been made ill by high level of insecticide contained in milk produced in

Wisconsin. Members of Congress want to require that less insecticide be contained in milk,

which is sold throughout the country.

Economic – Power to regulate interstate trade

12. Many U.S. citizens have been upset by what is going on in Central America politically and

socially, and have become active in the sanctuary movement. Many of these same U.S. citizens

have asked Congress to make these Central American refugees U.S. citizens.

Citizenship - Naturalization

13. Because of the population migration and growth in the Southwest, many of the Federal courts

have become overcrowded with cases. Because of this problem, many of the Federal judges have

asked for more courts to be established.

Judicial – Power to create inferior courts

14. Because of its importance for world peace, much consideration was given to a new agreement

between the U.S. and Russia dealing with nuclear missiles. This agreement was ratified.
Foreign Relations and War – Power to approve treaties

15. Because of the drug related death of Len Bias and several other athletes in the past, many people

wanted to see the death penalty given to those drug dealers who furnish drugs in death related


Judicial – Power to define federal crimes and punishments

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