What Congress Can and Cannot Do

Congress is not allowed to do everything! The Constitution grants many important powers to Congress such as the power to coin money, declare war, and provide a military. The Constitution also says some things that Congress CANNOT do. Do you know the difference?

Uncle Sam has to take a skill-sharpening test every six months. You take it, too. Tell which statements are true and which ones are false.


1. Written powers specifically given to Congress by the Constitution, such as the power to declare war, are called enumerated powers.

    True

    False

2. Implied powers are general powers that are stated in the Constitution but are not clearly outlined.

    True

    False

3. Inherent powers are unlisted powers that Congress must have simply because it is part of the government and needs to run its affairs smoothly.

    True

    False

4. The "Elastic Clause" snaps the Congress back within its given limits if it abuses its power.

    True

    False

5. The Congress cannot take away a dead citizen's right of Habeas Corpus, except in cases of rebellion or invasion.

    True

    False

6. A "bill of attainder" is a law passed by the government that convicts and punishes a person without trial.

    True

    False

7. Ex post facto means a crime against the U.S. Postal Service.

    True

    False

8. Two powers that individual states possess are the power to make treaties and the power to coin money.

    True

    False

9. Two powers of Congress are the power to tax products from an individual state and the power to issue titles of nobility.

    True

    False

10. Delegated powers are those given to the federal government.

    True

    False

11. The state and federal governments share concurrent powers.

    True

    False

12. State and federal governments share reserved powers.

    True

    False

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