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
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
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