News use and political discussion are often studied as important factors in understanding the effects of political efficacy on participation. However, measurements of external efficacy often blur distinctions between personal ability and government responsiveness. This study establishes a measure for perceptions of competence in the institutions of democratic government—government efficacy (GE). Drawing on panel survey data from the United States, confirmatory factor analysis introduces GE as a unique construct. Political efficacy dimensions are tested for their impact on news consumption, discussion, and political participation. Results add to the extant literature revolving the role of political efficacy on news use, discussion, and participation.