AP US Government : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

In American politics, who is involved in an iron triangle?

Possible Answers:

A Congressional committee, an interest group, and the bureaucracy

An interest group, the bureaucracy, and the judiciary

The media, a Congressional committee, and the bureaucracy

A Congressional committee, the president, and the judiciary

The President, the bureaucracy, and the media

Correct answer:

A Congressional committee, an interest group, and the bureaucracy

Explanation:

An iron triangle involves the policy-making relationship among a Congressional committee, the bureaucracy, and an interest group. The committee provides funding and political support to the bureaucracy, the bureaucracy provides low regulation and special favors to the interest group, and the interest group provides electoral support to the committee. In return, the bureaucracy provides policy choices and execution to the committee, the committee provides friendly legislation and oversight to the interest group, and the interest group provides congressional support (via lobbying) to the bureaucracy.

Example Question #2 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

A Legislative grants of money to finance a specific government program are called __________

Possible Answers:

committee clearances.

hard money.

appropriations.

bundling.

soft money.

Correct answer:

appropriations.

Explanation:

The name given to a Legislative grant of money to finance a specific government program is "appropriations."

Example Question #3 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

Which of these best describes the process by which the President can be removed from office?

Possible Answers:

A two-thirds vote of the House and the Senate calls for impeachment, then a trial is conducted by the Supreme Court in which the President must be found guilty to be removed from office.

A two-thirds vote of the Senate calls for impeachment, then a trial is conducted in the House in which the President must be found guilty to be removed from office.

The Vice-President calls for a public referendum, and if the majority of people support impeachment, then the President goes to trial in the Senate and, if found guilty, is removed from office.

None of these; only a general election can remove a President from office.

The House votes for impeachment, then the Senate conducts a trial in which the President must be found guilty to be removed from office.

Correct answer:

The House votes for impeachment, then the Senate conducts a trial in which the President must be found guilty to be removed from office.

Explanation:

A President can be impeached only under very specific circumstances. First the House must vote for impeachment by a simple majority, but, this simply states that the President must stand trial, so the case moves to the Senate, where the trial takes place. A two-thirds vote is needed in the Senate to remove the President from office.

Example Question #4 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

Which of these Presidents came within one vote in the Senate of being impeached and forcibly removed from office?

Possible Answers:

Richard Nixon

Andrew Johnson

Theodore Roosevelt

Bill Clinton

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Correct answer:

Andrew Johnson

Explanation:

Andrew Johnson was the President who had to deal with the reunification of the North and South during the inaugural years of Reconstruction. In 1867, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, which prohibited the President from removing his own appointed officials from office. Johnson ignored this act when he removed his secretary of war and replaced him with Ulysses S. Grant. He was impeached by the House as a result, and was almost removed from office, surviving the trial in the Senate by one vote.

Example Question #5 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

Who is the only man to have served as both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?

Possible Answers:

John Jay

Roger B. Taney

Franklin D. Roosevelt

William H. Taft

Grover Cleveland

Correct answer:

William H. Taft

Explanation:

The only man to serve as both President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was William H. Taft. Taft became President following the end of Theodore Roosevelt’s Presidency, but had always favored a position on the Supreme Court and was something of a reluctant President. He lasted only one term as President and was granted his wish to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1921, when he was nominated by President Harding. He would serve as Chief Justice for nine years until his ill health forced him to step down shortly before his death. As a Chief Justice Taft, encouraged the Judiciary Act of 1925, which expanded the Supreme Court’s power to give priority to cases that they considered of national importance.

Example Question #6 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

Yearly limits set by Congress on what an agency can spend are called __________.

Possible Answers:

yearly remonstrations

restrictive rule

trust funds

annual appropriations

annual authorizations

Correct answer:

annual authorizations

Explanation:

Annual authorizations are budgets established by Congress for various government agencies on a yearly basis.

Example Question #7 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

Which of these best describes a coalition government?

Possible Answers:

When the two major political parties agree to work towards the collective good of the nation and put aside bipartisanship

When the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of government work together under the leadership of the same party

When a group of smaller parties and interest groups combine and work together to form a majority in Congress

When two or more national governments work together on the international stage—such as through the United Nations—to advance their collective cause

When two seemingly disparate interest groups work together to advance both of their issues

Correct answer:

When a group of smaller parties and interest groups combine and work together to form a majority in Congress

Explanation:

A coalition government occurs more often in Parliamentary systems than it does in the American system, but it has occurred previously on rare occasions throughout American history. A coalition government occurs when a group of smaller parties or interest groups work together and combine their representation in order to form a majority in Congress.

Example Question #8 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

In a Unified Government __________.

Possible Answers:

the Judiciary does not challenge any decisions undertaken by the Legislative Branch

Congress and the Executive Branch are controlled by the same party

the President has the majority support of the population

the two major political parties work together for a greater good

the states all agree on which direction the national government should be taking

Correct answer:

Congress and the Executive Branch are controlled by the same party

Explanation:

In a Unified Government, in contrast to a Divided Government, the Legislative and Executive Branches are both controlled by the same party. This allows much more legislation to get passed. In a Divided Government, one of the parties controls Congress and the other controls the Presidency. This often leads to gridlock.

Example Question #9 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

The War Powers Act of 1973 was designed to __________.

Possible Answers:

decrease the number of troops stationed in Vietnam

overturn the United States’ commitment to the United Nations

increase the number of troops stationed in Vietnam

prevent the president from declaring war without the granted support of Congress

prevent the President from signing peace treaties without the consent of Congress

Correct answer:

prevent the president from declaring war without the granted support of Congress

Explanation:

The War Powers Act of 1973 was designed to eliminate the president’s ability to unilaterally declare war or commit the armed forces without the prescribed support of Congress. It was issued in response to the United States’ prolonged involvement in Korea and Vietnam, both conflicts that occurred without a formal declaration of war being issued by Congress.

Example Question #10 : Relationships Between Federal Institutions

Executive privilege __________.

Possible Answers:

refers to the President’s right to veto legislation that he or she deems unconstitutional

relates to the right of the President to withhold information or testimony from Congress

refers to the president’s right to veto any legislation he or she chooses

refers to the president’s ability to pardon criminal offenders

relates to the president having exclusive control over the armed forces

Correct answer:

relates to the right of the President to withhold information or testimony from Congress

Explanation:

Executive privilege allows the president and other important members of the Executive branch to withhold information from, and refuse to testify to, Congress. It is most relevant in U.S. History to the refusal of Richard Nixon to provide certain evidence to Congress during his trial over the Watergate incident.

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