NAME _____________________________________________ DATE __________________ CLASS ___________
Guided Reading Activity
Congressional Powers
Lesson 2 Investigations and Oversight
Review Questions
Directions: Read each main idea. Use your text to supply the details that support or explain each
main idea.
A. Main Idea: The ability to investigate social and economic misconduct and to oversee the performance
of government agencies is a critical power of Congress.
1. Detail: A
committee or a committee may conduct
2. Detail: Congressional investigations can lead to
in a government program, to
officials being fired, or to
laws to deal with a problem.
3. Detail: Committees have the power to witnesses or documents, and can
prosecute witnesses who lie for
, and hold them in
for failure to testify or cooperate.
4. Detail: Since Congress must respect the
witnesses just as a court does, congressional committees may offer
, or
freedom from prosecution, to encourage testimony.
B. Main Idea: Most congressional investigations are related to the power of legislative oversight, which is the
power to review executive branch activities on an ongoing basis.
1. Detail: Legislative oversight is a good example of how
work as Congress makes laws, as the executive
branch interprets these laws to carry them out, and as Congress checks on the executive branch’s job
of administering the law.
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NAME _____________________________________________ DATE __________________ CLASS ___________
Guided Reading Activity cont.
Congressional Powers
2. Detail: is inconsistently used due to a lack of staff,
time, and money; lack of voter interest; vagueness of some laws; and lack of objectivity in assessing
the performance of agency workers.
3. Detail: Congress exercises oversight by requiring reports from the executive branch, through studies by
, and through
decisions on whether to expand, reduce, or eliminate programs.
4. Detail: Congressional use of the
was declared
unconstitutional in 1983 and the power to appoint a
has expired.
Summary and Reflection
Directions: Summarize the main ideas of this lesson by answering the question below.
How does legislative oversight support the separation of powers and checks and balances?
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