•What is Congress’s impeachment power, and how has it been used in the past?
•What are Congress’s executive powers?
•What is Congress’s investigatory power?
•Article V gives Congress the power to propose amendments by a two-thirds vote in each house.
•In certain circumstances, the Constitution gives Congress special electoral duties.
•If no candidate for President receives a majority in the electoral college, the House decides the election.
•If no candidate for Vice President receives a majority in the electoral college, the Senate decides the election.
•Also, if the vice presidency is vacated, the President selects a successor, who faces congressional approval by a majority vote in both houses.
•The Constitution grants Congress the power of removing the President, Vice President, or other civil officers from their office through impeachment.
•The House has the sole power to impeach, or bring charges against the individual.
•There is then a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds vote of the senators present is needed for conviction.
•The penalty for conviction is removal from office.
•All major appointments made by the President must be confirmed by the Senate by majority vote.
•Only 12 of 600 Cabinet appointments to date have been declined.
•“Senatorial courtesy” is the practice in which the Senate will turn down an appointment if it is opposed by a senator of the President’s party from the State involved.
•The President makes treaties “by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate,... provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.”
•Presently, the President often consults members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Congress may choose to conduct investigations for several reasons:
1. gather information useful to Congress in the making of some legislation
2. oversee the operations of various executive branch agencies
3. focus public attention on a particular subject
4. expose the questionable activities of public officials or private persons
5. promote the particular interests of some member of Congress
According to the Constitution, who has the sole power to impeach the President?
a. The House of Representatives c. the Supreme Court
b. the Vice President d. State courts
Which of the following nonlegislative powers may be exercised solely by the Senate?
a. the power to propose constitutional amendments
b. the power to elect a President if the electoral college fails to do so
c. the power to approve or reject major presidential appointments
d. the power to investigate the activities of public officials
Which of the following is an example of the investigatory powers of Congress?
a. accepting a treaty made by the President
b. the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations
c. the power to lay and collect taxes
d. gathering information useful in making legislative decisions
Answers: A / C / D