Желев Тест 2

20 Февраль 2014 →

Topic 2. CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL SYSTEM OF THE USA

2.1. The American System of Government

2.2. The Legislative Branch

2.3. The Executive Branch

2.4. The Federal Judiciary

The American System of Government

2.1.1. Read and listen to the following text

The Constitution of the USA sets the basic form of government: three separate branches, each one having powers (“checks and balances”) over the others. It specifies the powers and duties of each federal branch of government, with all other powers and duties belonging to the states.

The American system of government is quite complicated. The country is divided into:

states, counties, towns, cities, townships and villages (plus tax districts and school districts)

Fig. 2.1. American System of Government

C O U N T R Y

S T A T E S

C O U N T I E S

T O W N S

C I T I E S

T O W N S H I P S

V I L L A G E S

TAX DISTRICTS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS

There are, however, several basic principles which are found at all levels of American government.

One of these is the “one person, one vote” principle which means that legislators are elected from geographical districts directly by the voters. Under this principle, all election districts must have about the same number of residents.

Another principle of American government is that because of the system of checks and balances, compromise in politics is a matter of necessity, not choice. It means that the President must have the agreement of the House of Representatives for his financial proposals and programs. He cannot declare war, either, without the approval of Congress. Any treaty must first be approved by the Senate. The rule is “the President proposes, but Congress disposes.”

2.1.2. Match verbs in column A with the nouns in column B.

A

B

1. to specify

a) legislators

1.

2. to elect

b) an agreement

2.

3. to declare

c) a treaty

3.

4. to approve

d) powers and duties

4.

5. to have

e) war

5. to have an agreement

2.1.3. Check yourself. Answer the following sentences

1. What document specifies the powers in the USA?

2. What does ‘one person, one vote’ principle mean?

3. Whose approval does the President need for his financial proposals?

4. Whose support does the President need in political matters?

5. Who takes financial and political decisions in your country?

6. Who approves financial proposals and programs in your country?

The Legislature of the USA

2.2.1. Read and listen to the following text

Congress. Congress is a legislative branch of the national Government. Its existence, authority, and limitations are provided by the Constitution. It consists of two chambers – the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Fig. 2.2. Congress

C O N G R E S S

THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

(435 members)

THE SENATE

(100 senators)

A Congressman is a member of either the Senate or the House of Representatives (elected directly by the voters). However, a member of the Senate is usually referred to as a Senator. There are 100 senators, two from each state. One third of the Senators are elected every two years for six-year terms of office. The Vice-President of the United States presides in the Senate.

The House of Representatives has 435 members who are elected for two-year terms. The number of Representatives from each state is based on its population. The officers in the House include:

Speaker,

Chaplain,

Clerk,

Sergeant-at-Arms,

Doorkeeper and

Postmaster.

All of them are elected. The sergeant-at-arms has a special symbol of office, the mace. During sessions, the flag is raised over the House wing of the Capitol. The mace is on its pedestal. At night, if either House is in session, a light is burning in the dome.

There is no limit to the number of terms a Senator or a Representative may serve. Each member of Congress receives a salary which is fixed by law.

The broad powers of the whole Congress are spelled out in the eighth section of the first article of the Constitution:

to levy and collect taxes;

to borrow money for the public treasury;

to make rules and regulations governing commerce among the states and with foreign countries

to set rules for the naturalization of foreign citizens;

to coin money, state its value, and provide for the punishment of counterfeiters;

to set the standards for weight and measures;

to establish bankruptcy laws for the country as a whole;

to establish post offices and post roads;

to issue patents and copyrights;

to set up a system of federal courts;

to punish piracy;

to declare war;

to raise and support armies;

to provide for a navy;

to call out the militia to enforce federal laws, suppress lawlessness of repel invasions by foreign powers;

to make all laws necessary to enforce the Constitution)

Because legislation only becomes law if both houses agree, compromise between them is necessary.

2.2.2. Translate the following words into your native labguage

Existence (n)

Chaplain (n)

Chamber (n)

Sergeant-at-Arms (n)

Representatives (n)

Doorkeeper (n)

Term (n)

Mace (n)

Preside (v)

Dome (n)

2.2.3. Match the verbs in column A with the nouns in column B

A

B

Example:

1. to make

a) piracy

1. to make laws

2. to set

b) army

2.

3. to levy

c) laws

3.

4. to punish

d) money

4.

5. to declare

e) rules

5.

6. to support

f) for a navy

6.

7. to coin

g) taxes

7.

8. to provide

h) war

8.

2.2.4. Check yourself. Answer the following questions

1. What are the main branches of the federal government of the USA?

2. How are the Congress Houses called?

3. What are members of both Houses called?

4. In what case does a bill become an act?

2.2.5. Choose the topic sentence for each paragraph of the text..

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

The Executive Branch

2.3.1. Read and listen to the following text

The executive branch, which includes the President, Vice-President, and the President’s Cabinet, is responsible for administering and executing the laws.

Fig. 2.3. The Executive Branch

THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH

Vice President

The President’s Cabinet

The President

The President. The President of the United States must be a natural-born citizen, at least thirty five years. He is elected every four years to a four-year term of office, with no more than two full term allowed. He is elected directly by the voters but not by the political party with the most Senators and Representatives. It means that the President becomes or remains the President even if his party may not have a majority in either houses. The President’s policies must be approved by the Congress before they become law. That is why the President must be able to compromise, to be able to convince Congressmen. The US President is assisted by a Cabinet.

The President’s Cabinet - Executive Departments. There are a number of executive departments (Departments of State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Resources, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy and Education). Each department is established by law and responsible for a specific area.

The head of each department (Secretary)

is appointed by the President,

is approved by the Senate and

is directly responsible to the President.

They are his assistants and advisers and resign when the President’s service ends.

Secretary of State. The political power of the Secretary of State is second only to that of the President. The Secretary of State’s duties are:

to maintain peace

to negotiate economic and political treaties

2.3.2. Match the verbs in column A with the appropriate nouns in column B

A

B

Example:

1. to execute

a) treaties

1. to execute laws

2. to maintain

b) the head

2.

3. to remain

c) laws

3.

4. to negotiate

d) the President

4.

5. to establish

e) peace

5.

6. to appoint

f) departments

6.

2.3.3. Change the sentences from passive into active

Example:

The documents must be signed by the everybody.

Everybody must sign the documents.

1. The President is elected directly by the voters.

3. The President’s policies must be approved by the Congress.

4. The US President is assisted by a Cabinet.

5. The head of each department (Secretary)

is appointed by the President.

6. The head of each department (Secretary)



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