Am Govt Homework 2 Answers - Student Six

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Answer the first five questions, and then two of the remaining three:

1. What do you think are the six most important powers of Congress?

War Powers

Citizenship Power

Admiralty Power

Commerce Power

Money Power

Postal Power

2. What prevents New Jersey from requiring homeschoolers to take public school exams each year?

The No Child Left Behind law prevents it. This law says that if the state requires homeschoolers to take the public school exams, then schools can’t accept certain federal funding.

3. Explain what fraction (approximately) of the U.S. Senate is elected every two years, and the reason why only some of the senators are up for election on Election Day.

One third of the U.S. Senate goes up for election every two years, as it has been two years since our last senate election, one third of the senate will be up for election this November. Currently there are 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans seated. For the Republicans regain control, they must win an additional four seats from the Democrats. There is a good chance of this happening in Nebraska, but it may be negated by the loss of a seat in left-leaning Maine.

4. Describe in simple terms how a "bill" becomes law at the federal level. (E.g., a congressional committee first considers proposed legislation ....)

A bill begins with an idea for a law; this idea may be made to draft which is used by a house or Senatorial committee. During this review the draft may be passed, or killed by the committee. If the draft is passed by the committee it becomes a bill, which then goes to the House or Senate depending on which committee passed it. If the bill is passed, then it goes before the other chamber for debate. If any changes to the bill are made in this chamber, then it must chamber must go back to the first chamber for approval of the changed bill. Once both chambers have passed the same version of the bill, it is to the president’s desk for his signature, the president has the power to veto the bill killing it, or sign it, making it into law. Congress can override a veto with a two thirds majority out of both chambers.

5. Give an example not in the lecture of a power the federal government lacks.

The federal government is restricted from establishing a state religion. The first amendment in the bill of rights states this.

6. What is "textualism", and do you think that "legislative history" should be considered when interpreting the meaning of a law? Explain.

Textualism is the adherence to a particular text. Legislative history can be used to help better understand a law, but the meaning of a law should never be pulled directly out of its history, as then the law may take an earlier meaning that was not meant to be used.

7. Explain a difference between the political system in the United States and the one in England.

In England, the government is based on a Parliament with two houses, one that is elected by the people, the other is appointed by a variety of different methods. This parliament elects a prime minister to lead it. This system quite different from the U.S. government system in the following ways: The UK places the Parliament at the center of their government whereas in the U.S. system the President is at the center, the U.S. president is not always the same political as the majority of congress, whereas in the UK, The Prime Minister almost always is of the same party as the house majority, thus making it much easier to pass legislation.

8. Which political party do you expect to win control of the U.S. Senate on Election Day this year, and why?

Extra credit (answer two of the following four questions):

9. Explain the role of committees in Congress, with actual or hypothetical examples.

10. The constitutionality of "ObamaCare" was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012 based on which clause(s) of Article I of the Constitution? Discuss.

11. Draft a new law that Congress would have the power to pass to give additional protection to homeschooling.

12. Which political party controls the House of Representatives today, and by what margin (approximation is fine)? E.g., is it controlled by Democrats by a 235-200 margin? What do you think the margin will be in January 2013?


Sorry for the lateness, I was sick with pneumonia.