GED Social Studies : The Senate

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for GED Social Studies

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : The Senate

Any treaties that the Executive branch attempts to enter into are, according to the Constitution, to be subject to the "advice and consent" of the US Senate. Which other set of Executive branch functions does the Constitution specifically state shall also be subject to the Senate's "advice and consent"?

Possible Answers:

The drafting of Executive Orders

The President's choice of Vice President

Whether the President can run for reelection

The appointment of important officials such as Ambassadors and Supreme Court Justices

The dismissal of the President's Cabinet officials

Correct answer:

The appointment of important officials such as Ambassadors and Supreme Court Justices

Explanation:

Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution states: 

[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

The President of the United States is vested with the considerable power to appoint thousands of different officials, ranging in power from low level regulators all the way to the Justices of the Supreme Court. This is an enormous task for one person to undertake, and the drafters of the Constitution provided for Senatorial advice and consent as a check on both abuse and poor performance in appointments by a President. 

Example Question #2 : The Senate

How many Senators are there for each state?

Possible Answers:

Two

Three

One

Four

It varies from state to state based on each state's population.

Correct answer:

Two

Explanation:

The representatives each state gets varies by its population in the House of Representatives. So, California, which is currently the most populous state, gets a lot more representatives than Wyoming, which is currently the least populous state. In the Senate, every state gets two representatives, regardless of size. The system was set up this way because of a disagreement between state representatives at the Constitutional Convention. The larger states' representatives wanted to have their larger populations reflected by greater representation, whereas the smaller states' representatives feared they would have no power in the system and would be mere subjects of the larger states. A compromise was reached, which is called the Connecticut Compromise, or the Great Compromise.

Example Question #3 : The Senate

Which of these states has the most Senators in Congress?

Possible Answers:

California

New York

They all have the same number of Senators

Colorado

Florida

Correct answer:

They all have the same number of Senators

Explanation:

In the American Legislature there are two houses. The House of Representatives, where each state is apportioned a different number of representatives relative to the population of the state, and the Senate. In the Senate, every State has exactly two members, regardless of the population of the state.

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