AP US Government : Structure of Congress

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for AP US Government

varsity tutors app store varsity tutors android store

Example Questions

← Previous 1 3 4

Example Question #1 : Structure Of Congress

Which description refers solely to the United States Senate?

Possible Answers:

Tries impeached officials

Members have two-year terms

Initiates revenue bills

Initiates articles of impeachment

Contains four hundred and thirty-five members

Correct answer:

Tries impeached officials

Explanation:

Only the Senate can try impeached government officials. The rest of the choices apply to the House of Representatives. The House initiates impeachment procedures and all revenue bills. The Senate has one hundred members with six-year terms.

Example Question #1 : Structure Of Congress

Which of the following types of Congressional Committee consists of members of both houses of Congress?

Possible Answers:

Standing Committee

Conference Committee

Select Committee

Oversight Committee

Joint Committee

Correct answer:

Joint Committee

Explanation:

A joint committee is the only type of committee that includes members of both houses of Congress.

Example Question #3 : Structure Of Congress

What is the name of a Congressional committee designed to correct differences between a House and Senate version of a Bill?

Possible Answers:

A Conference Committee

A House Ways and Means Committee

A Logrolling Committee

A Cloture Committee

A Standing Committee

Correct answer:

A Conference Committee

Explanation:

When there is disagreement between the House and the Senate over the exact language or direction that a bill should be taking, a Conference Committee of members of both houses is formed to try to negotiate these differences.

Example Question #2 : Structure Of Congress

What is the name given to permanent congressional committees tasked with responsibility over one area of government policy?

Possible Answers:

A Standing Committee

A Conference Committee

A House Committee

A Pluralistic Committee

A Majority Committee

Correct answer:

A Standing Committee

Explanation:

A Standing Committee is a long-term, or permanent, Congressional committee that is responsible for one specific area of government policy. Examples include Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Energy, and Commerce: Ways and Means, etc.

Example Question #3 : Structure Of Congress

Who was elected Speaker of the House after the Republicans gained a majority in the House in the elections of 2010?

Possible Answers:

Dennis Hastert

Nancy Pelosi

John Boehner

John McCain

Rand Paul

Correct answer:

John Boehner

Explanation:

The current Speaker of House, first elected when Republicans came to control the House in the election of 2010, is John Boehner. He was narrowly reelected at the beginning of 2013 and is currently serving his second term as Speaker of the House. As leader of the House, majority party Boehner is expected by tradition, but not required, to abstain from House debates.

Example Question #1 : Structure Of Congress

A bicameral legislature is one that __________.

Possible Answers:

has two houses

uses committees

is elected every two years

is elected

has one house

Correct answer:

has two houses

Explanation:

Bicameral means two chambers or two houses, in the case of the United States that is the Senate and the House of Representatives. Unicameral means one chamber or house.

Example Question #5 : Structure Of Congress

The United States Senate has __________ members.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Each state elects two senators as per the constitution, thus  senators from  states. The number  is the current make-up of the House of Representatives where the number of seats is determined by population.

Example Question #8 : Structure Of Congress

Prior to the ratification of the 17th Amendment, what federal office(s) was/were popularly (directly) elected?

Possible Answers:

Both the Senate and the House

The House only

The Senate only

The President only

The President, the Senate, and the House

Correct answer:

The House only

Explanation:

This is a relatively straightforward question. In order to answer, however, you must have understood the distinction between popular/direct election and indirect election. Recall that a directly-elected office means that we the people vote for a person, and then based off of those votes alone, that person is elected (or not). Indirect election, however, means that we the people vote for a person, and then that person votes FOR us to elect the candidate. Do you understand the distinction?

Prior to the ratification of the 17th Amendment, the only popularly elected federal office in the US was the House. In other words, voting members of the public directly cast their ballots for Mr. X or Ms. Y, and whoever gained the majority vote in their district, won.

Senators were NOT directly elected. The founders viewed the passions of the general public to be somewhat too inflammatory (or at least too easily inflamed) to warrant them picking any more than 1 chamber (the House). Senators were elected via state legislatures. In other words, the General Court of Massachusetts (that’s what they call their state legislature) would elect the two senators to represent Massachusetts.

The President was not and is not directly elected. This might be slightly tricky, but remember that WE don’t elect the President: the Electoral College does.

Hence, the correct answer is “the House only.” 

Example Question #2 : Structure Of Congress

You must be ____________ years old and a citizen for ______________ years to be a member of the House of Representatives.
       

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Relatively simple answer here. You must be at least 25 years old, and a citizen for at least 7 years prior to taking office as a Member of the House of Representatives. This reflects the Framer’s belief that the House (the “lower” chamber) was to be the less mature and less deliberative of the two chambers; hence the lower age requirements and the lower citizenship requirements. Note also, that you can be an immigrant and be in the House—so long as you’ve been naturalized, and a citizen for 7 years, you are qualified.

Example Question #3 : Structure Of Congress

You must be __________ years old and a citizen for __________ years to be a Senator.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

You must be 30 years old and a citizen for at least 9 years prior to taking office as a Senator. Contrary to the House, this represents the Framer’s belief that the Senate (the “upper” chamber) was to be the more mature and deliberative of the two chambers; hence the higher age and citizenship requirements. Similar to the House, you can be an immigrant Senator (just with longer naturalization/citizenship requirements). Interestingly, we see the “more mature” element come to play in a few other places, too: confirmation of Article III judges and treaty ratifications. 

← Previous 1 3 4
Learning Tools by Varsity Tutors

Incompatible Browser

Please upgrade or download one of the following browsers to use Instant Tutoring: