Bureaucracy And Interest Groups In Congress

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Bureaucracy And Interest Groups In Congress

Account Shopping cart Logout. Explore Politics Politics Search. Potter: And OIRA recently extended its review to cover independent agencies, which is something that has Multifaceted Nature Of White Collar Crime talked about for Multifaceted Nature Of White Collar Crime and finally has happened. The Business Roundtable, composed damien echols brother the Kelloggs Swot Analysis Essay executives of the two hundred leading Essay About Modern Culture, has them all and thus Bureaucracy And Interest Groups In Congress access to and influence on Huckleberry Finn Dialectical Journal Analysis. The executive branch controls the bureaucracy by appointing all federal employees. Effective public comments are very The Hatchet Summary and very technical and often require interest groups to Persuasive Essay On Paying Students For Good Grades law firms to crack the appropriate language or hire independent research firms to go out and collect Essay About Modern Culture and conduct antonin artaud techniques. Or the political costs antonin artaud techniques its Argumentative Essay: America Is Not Just My Home are so heavy Essay About Modern Culture its proponents in the presidential administration and Congress are discouraged from challenging the groups again. In addition, there are biased information in some news that are funded and controlled The Hatchet Summary institutions.

Topic 5.6 Interest Groups Influencing Policy Making

Additionally, per the publisher's request, their name has been removed in some passages. More information is available on this project's attribution page. For more information on the source of this book, or why it is available for free, please see the project's home page. You can browse or download additional books there. To download a. After reading this section, you should be able to answer the following questions:. In the book The Israel Lobby and U. Foreign Policy , John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M.

John J. Walt, The Israel Lobby and U. See also the critique by Robert C. This raises the question of why interest groups succeed or fail to achieve their policy objectives. Successful interest groups have prestige, respected leadership, political skills, and ample finances. The Business Roundtable, composed of the chief executives of the two hundred leading corporations, has them all and thus has access to and influence on policymakers.

Monetary assets allow groups to contribute to political campaigns through their political action committees PACs. Automobile dealers are influential and live, as do their employees, in congressional districts across the country. Congress exempted auto dealers from the regulation. Preventing legislation from being enacted is usually easier than passing it.

In a comprehensive study of interest group activities during the last two years of the Clinton administration and the first two years of the George W. Baumgartner, Jeffrey M. Berry, Marje Hojnacki, David C. Kimball, and Beth L. See also R. Kenneth Godwin and Barry J. Allan J. Cigler and Burdett A. Moreover, legislation enacted over the opposition of powerful interest groups, tends to be watered down. Or the political costs of its passage are so heavy that its proponents in the presidential administration and Congress are discouraged from challenging the groups again.

Interest groups sometimes cooperate with other groups to help them achieve a policy objective they could not accomplish alone. A coalition expands resources, broadens expertise, and adds to the credibility of the policy objectives. Alliances are often of natural allies such as the National Restaurant Association , the American Nursery and Landscape Association , and the National Council of Agricultural Employers , who united to oppose restrictions on immigration and penalties on businesses that employ illegal immigrants. Jeffrey M. New York: Longman, , — Interest groups are often most successful when their activities are unreported by the media, unscrutinized by most policymakers, and hidden from the public.

In what are called iron triangles Congressional committees or subcommittees, bureaucratic agencies, and interest groups that together dominate policymaking in a policy area oftentimes with little visibility. Members of Congress chairing the relevant committees and subcommittees and their aides, key agency administrators from the US Department of Veterans Affairs, and representatives from interest groups such as the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW have interacted and dominated policymaking.

New York: Random House, This policymaking has taken place with low visibility and very little opposition to the benefits provided for veterans. In general, the news media pay little attention to iron triangles in the absence of conflict and controversy, and interest groups are likely to achieve many of their objectives. Whether interest groups defend what they have or go on the offense to gain new benefits often depends on who is in control of the government.

A new president or a change in party control of Congress usually benefits some groups while putting others at a disadvantage. The Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in the election put a brake on new regulation of business by Congress, reduced funds for regulators to hire staff and enforce regulation, and limited investigations of industry practices. Crises, especially ones extensively depicted by the media, often involve politicians and interest groups trying to achieve or prevent policy changes. When viewed overall, there is a hierarchy in the influence of relations between interest groups and policymakers.

These categories come from Samuel J. Henry W. The relationships between interest groups and policymakers vary depending on the administration in power. Energy companies had a close political support and referral relationship with the George W. Bush administration but primarily a pressure relationship with the Obama administration. Relationships also vary by subject. In Federalist No. Nonetheless, his warning raises important questions about the effects of interest groups. For pluralists, the abundance of interest groups, the competition between them, and their representation of interests in society are inherent in American democracy. Bargaining between groups and ever-changing group alliances achieve a desirable dispersion of power or at least an acceptable balancing of the various interests in society.

See Robert A. Browne, Groups, Interests, and U. Pluralists acknowledge that some groups might dominate areas where their interests are paramount. But they believe two factors rectify this situation. In overlapping membership The theory that when people belong to several interest groups, they encourage negotiation and compromise and thereby limit any one group from dominating areas in which its interests are paramount. And underrepresented people will in time establish groups to assert their interests. An argument against pluralism is that business has an advantage over other segments of society, particularly the poor and the working class.

These Americans lack the disposable income and political skills to organize. The issues that concern them are often absent from the policy agenda. Frank R. Business sponsors political advertisements, gives campaign contributions through PACs, donates to political parties, hires law and public relations firms, and funds research advocacy groups promoting free-market economics. A corporation can deploy multiple lobbyists and obtain access to various policymakers by joining several trade groups, belonging to business associations such as the US Chamber of Commerce, and using its CEO and other personnel from headquarters to lobby.

New York: Longman, , Business and trade associations make up approximately 70 percent of the organizations with representation in Washington, DC. So once agencies have gone through this process, the body of law that is created carries the same force and weight as a law passed by Congress. The rulemaking process starts with an agency having an idea that they need to write a rule.

That idea might come from Congress telling them they have to do it, or it might come from their own programmatic oversight and realizing that some change needs to be made. The agency then drafts a proposal, which is called a notice of proposed rulemaking. And that proposal is circulated within the agency and sometimes reviewed by OIRA. After OIRA has signed off on the rule, the rule is published in the federal register.

After that period is over, the agency reads all the comments and deliberates over the comments they got back. Sometimes they get zero comments, sometimes they might get over a million. And they think about them. That final rule is then possibly again reviewed by OIRA and then published in the federal register. And there are thousands of these things done every year by federal agencies. Dwidar: So the notice-and-comment process has three stages.

The first is that after bills are signed into law, their component parts are sent to federal agencies for implementation by way of crafting rules that regulate their application and enforcement. Agencies are then required to make these draft rules public for a notice-and-comment period where interested parties, including private citizens, interest groups, businesses and more can submit their recommendations for shaping the final rule. So we also have evidence that they take the comments pretty seriously. And courts have historically urged these agencies to seriously consider and implement the recommendations by interest groups in their comments.

So they have a lot of incentives to read them, and we have a lot of evidence that they do in fact read them. Grossmann: Potter says there are a lot of actors that can push back on agencies, courts, Congress, interest groups, and the White House. Potter: They show that agencies do get overturned by all of these different branches. So all three branches actively oversee agency rulemaking. And what agencies learn from that is not that they have a better chance with Congress and the courts.

What they learn from that, I argue is that everybody can do this, anybody can overturn us. Grossmann: She sought to measure the many ways the text of a rule can be used strategically. Potter: In the book, I wanted to get a sense of how agencies write rulemaking proposals in a strategic way and how this can be studied systematically. So I thought about a number of different tools that might be used by agencies in writing in this strategic way. And I thought about framing or how an agency talks about an issue, how an agency analyzes that issue. So what kinds of assumptions are used in the regulatory impact analysis? And then I thought about how the text is actually written.

The first two of those tools, framing and analytical assumptions are very context dependent. And the argument I make is that agencies try to write less accessible rules when they fear that political overseers might be more likely to be closely scrutinizing them and possibly overturning them. It takes more time and requires greater expertise to engage with a rule that is several hundred pages long and that is written in a technical way. So what I do is I operationalize this concept of inaccessibility by looking at the number of words or the length of an agency rule as well as the readability of that rule.

What I find is that when interest groups are monitoring agencies closely and courts in particular are likely to oversee agencies or hear their cases, I find that agencies do indeed write less accessible rules on both of these metrics. Grossmann: Potter found that interest group opposition interacts with oversight to stimulate agency action. Potter: Interest groups provide an important monitoring role. So they are the ones who are waiting for the federal register to be printed hot off the presses and see what agencies are doing. Very rarely do the other three branches have the time, the resources, the staff or sometimes even the expertise to have that level of detailed monitoring.

So what I find across several of the empirical measures I look at in the book is that when interest groups are likely to be opposed to what agencies are doing, those same interest groups are more likely to activate political overseers. And we see agencies responding to that by using procedural politicking in the ways that I expect. Grossmann: She flushed out the mechanisms through a case study of the Pizza Lobby. Potter: Writing the menu labeling chapter was the most fun part of the book. I got to write about the Pizza Lobby and do all kinds of fun interviews. And the reason I did this case or I wanted to include this case in the book was because I talk about a number of strategies, procedural politicking strategies relating to writing, consultation, and timing.

And I look for empirical evidence of these tactics being employed, and I find it. And so what I do with the menu labeling chapter is dive really deep into this one case where the Food and Drug Administration was implementing a part of the Affordable Care Act that required restaurant menu labels to contain calorie information. Potter: And this was really a huge challenge for the FDA. If you talk to people at the FDA, they felt this is a good idea, that this was really going to tackle obesity and that it fit with a lot of public health viewpoints held at the agency.

And so I looked at how the agency managed the procedures in that case. And then I looked at the actual evolution of the policy contained in the rule over the approximately six years it took to implement that rule. To me, that was a really powerful way to try to make the case that procedures do matter a lot for outcomes and for the policies that we as citizens experience from bureaucratic agencies. Grossmann: Instead of sampling from agencies, Dwidar sampled from the groups attempting to influence them. Dwidar: I looked at about rules proposed by about 90 federal agencies, and these rules represented most major policy topics present in American politics. So about 20 of the 21 major topics in one of the most common coding schemes we use in American policy are present in the data.

As you mentioned, I ended up with these rules by sampling on the interest group rather than the rules or the agencies. And I did this because I started off interested in the interest groups in particular. I weighted the sample by policy topics so that I could identify a set of groups active across all major policy topics on the national agenda. Dwidar: So this sample is not intended to represent all agencies, all policy topics, all groups equally. The sample is intended to represent the policy landscape as it pertains to lobbying. So the rules varied quite a bit in terms of their complexity and salience.

And in terms of policy topic, the thing that stood out to me the most is that by and large, the topic that was the most present in these rules was health, the major topic for health, which makes a lot of sense because at the time of the data, which was to , our infrastructure regarding health policy was growing and there was a lot more health policy activity generally in American politics. Grossmann: She measured copy language from the group comments to the final rules. Dwidar: I measured the influence of coalitions over final rules using textual similarity between public comments that were submitted by coalitions and the corresponding final rules, which represented the policy output the coalitions were trying to influence.

So the primary reason that I developed this particular measure of influence is because public comments often recommend really precise changes to the language of final rules. And agencies often lift this language verbatim and adopt it into the final rule. So by measuring the degree to which the comments and the final rules share language, of course, controlling for a lot of things, we can get a sense of the degree to which the comment influenced the final rule. So to develop this measure, I first pre-processed these documents really heavily.

So I removed all non-substantive content and conjugations from the documents. So things like headings, subheadings, footnotes and notes, appendices, the stems of all words, all stop words, just everything that is pretty conventional to do when it comes to pre-processing and text analysis. Dwidar: I then used a plagiarism detection software to identify perfectly matching phrases between comment and final rule documents using a set of standard comparison rules.

So in combination, the pre-processing and the comparison rules are detecting a really precise range of common language. But of course, they might also be detecting boiler plate legal language or quotations from the proposed rule that ended up in the comment state and became a part of the final rule. So what I was concerned about in particular was language from the proposed rule quoted in the text of the public comment ending up in the similarity measure. So as a robustness check on this in particular, the one big thing I did was some additional hand pre-processing on all the comments submitted in one year of the data, and that was about Where I went in and removed all quotations from the proposed rule, from the comment, and then redevelop the similarity measure for the data in that year to determine whether the removal of this language would substantially change this measure.

Dwidar: Folks have attempted to assess the similarities between the comments and the final rule in a lot of different ways, including Susan Yackee and others who have sort of gone in in a very laborious and incredibly impressive way. Read the comments and identified what they were asking for and done this amazing, incredible coding. Dwidar: The language is incredibly technical and incredibly detailed. And the rules that I developed to identify that shared language is very attuned to those very slight changes.

I think these really slight changes are really important here because can hinge on very, very small changes in language. So you might think, well, five extra words is not really that many words. Well, five extra words might be the clause that outlaws religious discrimination in this particular provision of this particular regulation. Very small changes have really serious consequences. Grossmann: Dwidar found that organizational and partisan diversity are both widespread but only organizational diversity helps. Dwidar: Both of these types of diversity are very, very common independent of each other.

So I think the correlation coefficient between organizational and partisan diversity is like 0. In terms of the type of diversity itself, we rarely observed coalitions with businesses or groups that have very high levels of resources. So these groups lobby just not in these diverse coalitions in particular. The categories that I look at for partisan diversity are Democrat leaning, Republican leaning and nonpartisan. I would say that most coalitions are mostly nonpartisan in nature or are nonpartisan and then working with one party and not both of the parties represented.

Grossmann: It helps coalitions due to attention, signaling, and real changes in the content they produce. Dwidar: They attract a lot of attention, which means they might be more likely to be paid attention to by the agents who are going through their rulemaking process. So they are bridging their differences, which is a very hard thing to do. That signals credibility. Any heuristic will help. This is a pretty intuitive relationship. That may or may not be a good thing, but it is in line with what we should expect in public policymaking. Dwidar: The other relationship is about the length of public comments and influence.

So I observed that when coalitions submit comments that are longer in terms of their overall word count, they are more likely to share influence or to share language with the final rule. I think I would be pretty disturbed if I found the opposite, which is the shorter comments were more influential. The big takeaway is that if you can manage it, lobbying with others is a lot more effective than lobbying on your own across a lot of different contexts. And apparently lobbying in a diverse coalition is more effective as well. Dwidar: We have a lot of evidence that most lobbying targets a federal agency. I think lobbying agencies and rulemaking is incredibly costly. Effective public comments are very detailed and very technical and often require interest groups to hire law firms to crack the appropriate language or hire independent research firms to go out and collect data and conduct studies.

And so at the very least, I think my findings speak to the conditions under which these groups are effective on these particular occasions. Sort of more generally, I think there are always actors in policy subsystems that are paying attention to what is happening. There might not be many, but I think of them as interest group entrepreneurs who are paying attention to rulemaking activity on a particular policy area.

So I think regardless of some of the tactics that agencies can use, there are always interest group actors paying attention because the likelihood of their constituents depends on it. Grossmann: And Potter says they jointly highlight outsiders and insider strategy. Potter: It really highlights how important interest groups are in terms of monitoring agencies.

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