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D.C. Politics 101 Quiz E-mail
The following quiz was developed by D.C. Senator Michael D. Brown and Elinor Hart for a breakout session on D.C. politics at the November 2009 convention of the National Council for the Social Studies. Test yourself about how much you know about how your national capital is governed.

Pop Quiz - D.C. Politics 101

1. Washington, D.C. is represented in Congress by:

a) A single voting Delegate

b) A single voting Delegate and 2 non-voting Senators

c) A non-voting Delegate and 2 non-voting Senators

d) None of the Above

2. Washington, D.C. has control over tax money:

a) That it collects from local taxes

b) That is paid by the federal government through an annual Federal Payment

c) It does not control tax money collected locally or federally

d) It has control over only some locally collected taxes and some federal taxes

3. The budget of the District of Columbia is:

a) The only local budget in America reviewed and signed by Congress

b) The only local budget in America reviewed and signed by the President

c) The only local budget in America that can be amended by Congress

d) All of the above

4. The elected City Council and Mayor of the District of Columbia:

a) Can pass legislation that is enacted into law

b) Is only ceremonial and has no power to make laws

c) Can pass legislation but can’t make local laws without the consent of the U.S. Congress

d) Like all other jurisdictions, has control over making local laws

5. Local law enforcement officials in Washington D.C. have the power to:

a) Conduct criminal investigations and prosecute those who violate the law

b) Write parking tickets and issue traffic violations

c) Incarcerate criminals who have been convicted of violating the law

d) All of the above

6. The citizens of Washington D.C. can:

a) Not vote for President of the United States

b) Can vote for President of the United States like all other Americans

c) Have a limited right to vote for President of the United States

d) Must qualify under the 23rd amendment to vote for President of the United States

7. The residents of Washington D.C. pay:

a) The lowest per capita federal income taxes in America

b) The second highest per capita federal income taxes in America

c) The same per capita federal income taxes as the residents of Puerto Rico

d) Are tax exempt

8. The District of Columbia is home to:

a) More veterans per capita than California

b) More veterans per capita than New Jersey or New York

c) 39 Congressional Medal of Honor Winners

d) All of the above

__________________________________________________________________

Answers:

1. d  - D.C. has a non-voting delegate and 2 non-voting "shadow" senators and a non-voting "shadow" representative. Other states when seeking admission to statehood elected "shadow" senators and representatives to press their case with Congress. Statehood only requires Congress passing a bill admitting the state to the union (i.e., passage of an ordinary law by majority vote of both houses and the signature of the President).

2. c - Under the Constitution, Congress exercises "exclusive legislation" over the District and must approve the District's annual appropriations bill.

3. d

4. c

5. b - The D.C. Attorney General can only prosecute misdemeanors.  The U.S. Attorney handles all other criminal matters and the Federal Government controls the District's court system and D.C. prisoners go to Federal prisons.

6. c - The 23rd amendment to the Constitution gives D.C. votes in the electoral college, so District voters can vote for President, but D.C.'s representation in the electoral college is limited to that of the least populous state.  In 1964, the first presidential election since 1800 that District voters could vote in, District voters effectively had only 3/4 of a vote since the District's population should have given it 4 electoral votes, but the 23rd amendment limited it to 3.

7. b - Note residents of Puerto Rico do not pay federal income taxes.

8. d - Yet D.C. has no vote in the Senate and therefore our veterans have no say on whether they go to war, how the military treats them, or what services they can receive from the VA as veterans.

 
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