AP US Government : Congressional Procedures

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Congressional Procedures

The Senate procedure to end a filibuster is called __________.

Possible Answers:

double jeopardy

a pocket veto

recidivism

judicial review

a cloture

Correct answer:

a cloture

Explanation:

The Senate procedure to end a filibuster, which requires a three-fifths vote in the Senate, is called the Cloture Rule. It originally required a two-thirds vote in the Senate, but this proved too difficult to attain, so the limit was lowered to three-fifths.

Example Question #2 : Congressional Procedures

Which of the following is not a power of the Senate?

Possible Answers:

Confirm federal judicial appointments

Impeach officials

Try impeached officials

Ratify treaties

Elect the Vice President in the event that neither presidential candidate receives enough votes in a presidential election

Correct answer:

Impeach officials

Explanation:

The right to vote to impeach officials is reserved for the House of Representatives, but it is the Senate that has the power to try the officials that the House of Representatives votes to impeach.

Example Question #3 : Congressional Procedures

Logrolling is best defined as __________.

Possible Answers:

an exchange of political favors or concessions in order to assure the support of a bill

the term given to the adoption of British common law into the United States Constitution

the waning power of a President in the last months of his Presidency

the policy of maintaining a large armed force to discourage other nations from attacking the United States

support offered by a representative to a bill that favors the representative's home district

Correct answer:

an exchange of political favors or concessions in order to assure the support of a bill

Explanation:

Logrolling is the term given to the exchange of political favors between two individuals or groups. One group offers political concessions to another group in exchange for the second group offering its support in favor of a bill that the first group wishes to get passed.

Example Question #4 : Congressional Procedures

An unrelated amendment, added to a bill in order to try and pass a controversial measure in the legislature is called a(n) __________.

Possible Answers:

rider

runner

filibuster

cloture

enigma

Correct answer:

rider

Explanation:

In Congressional procedure it is quite common for one group to try to add an unrelated amendment to a bill that seems likely to garner a lot of support. The usual goal is to try to pass a controversial or unpopular measure by hiding it in a much larger bill about something unrelated. This amendment is called a “rider.”

Example Question #5 : Congressional Procedures

A temporary committee created for the purpose of tackling a specific issue is called a __________.

Possible Answers:

standing committee

outlined committee

joint committee

Ways and Means Committee

select committee

Correct answer:

select committee

Explanation:

A Select Committee is a temporary committee created with a prescribed purpose, usually to investigate one particular issue, and is then disbanded once that issue has been dealt with.

Example Question #6 : Congressional Procedures

A discharge petition is __________.

Possible Answers:

a movement organized by those in opposition to a political figure, designed to remove that person from office

a process by which Congress can oversee and overrule a decision made by the Supreme Court

related to the power of Congress to remove Supreme Court Justices from office if they are deemed to be unfit for service

related to expediting the removal of American military forces from their involvement in prolonged or stagnated foreign wars

a process by which the House can remove a Bill that has stalled in a specific House committee and bring it to the attention of the full House

Correct answer:

a process by which the House can remove a Bill that has stalled in a specific House committee and bring it to the attention of the full House

Explanation:

A discharge petition is a means by which the House can vote to remove a Bill from a committee and bring it to the House Floor for discussion. It requires an absolute majority to be utilized, and so is rarely done successfully.

Example Question #7 : Congressional Procedures

What is the name given to the ability of a Member of Congress to mail a letter to a member of his or her constituency free of charge?

Possible Answers:

Cloture Rule

Gerrymandering

Franking Privilege

Huey Doctrine

Gossamer Rights

Correct answer:

Franking Privilege

Explanation:

The ability of a Member of Congress to mail a letter to a member of their constituency, without having to pay for the service, is called Franking Privilege. It is designed, at least in theory, to encourage increased interaction between a representative and those that they represent.

Example Question #8 : Congressional Procedures

Roll calling in Congress, to determine if the minimum number of representatives are present in order to pass or discuss a resolution, is called a __________.

Possible Answers:

Cloture Rule

Quorum Call

Teller Vote

Closed Poll

Sequential Referral

Correct answer:

Quorum Call

Explanation:

A Quorum is the minimum number of representatives required to be present in a government body in order to carry official business. A Quorum Call then is a roll call designed to see if the minimum number of representatives are present.

Example Question #9 : Congressional Procedures

The Cloture Rule is designed to __________.

Possible Answers:

undermine a Judicial ruling

veto a congressional action

overrule a Presidential veto

bring a Congressional debate to a quick end

encourage the use of the filibuster

Correct answer:

bring a Congressional debate to a quick end

Explanation:

The Cloture Rule is designed to combat the occasional use of a filibuster in Congress. A filibuster is when one individual speaks indefinitely, but according to congressional procedure, with the intention of preventing Congress from debating or passing a bill. The Cloture Rule stated that, with a two-thirds majority (now three-fifths) vote of Congress, a filibuster can be ended and the debate quickly terminated.

Example Question #10 : Congressional Procedures

To be sent to the president, a bill must be passed by _____________.

Possible Answers:

a majority vote of congress

an agreement of senior members of congress

the House

both the House and the Senate

the Senate

Correct answer:

both the House and the Senate

Explanation:

The constitution of the United States explicitly lays out bill procedure. A bill is first introduced into the House. Once it is approved there, it goes to the Senate. Then a committee of members from both the House and the Senate meet to hammer out differences in the bill before it is sent to the President to be signed or vetoed.

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