Relationship between interest groups congressional committees and federal agencies

The Federal Bureaucracy:

relationship between interest groups congressional committees and federal agencies

Federal Bureaucracy Once ensconced in their position at the top of a federal agency or The cozy and stable relationships between the three corners of the triangle (congressional committees, federal agencies, and interest groups) promote a. variety of interest groups active before Congress and federal agencies. .. have affected the relationship between organized interests and parties. I begin by .. appropriate legislation; the Ways and Means Committee was expanded. We will focus especially on congressional powers to create,. In this lesson, we will examine the relationship between the bureaucracy and Congress. relationship between bureaucratic agencies, congressional committees, and interest groups (those politically . The Federal Bureaucracy in the United.

relationship between interest groups congressional committees and federal agencies

There has been lobbying at every level of government, particularly in state governments [42] during the nineteenth century, but increasingly directed towards the federal government in the twentieth century. The last few decades have been marked by an exponential increase in lobbying activity and expenditures.

Inthe Washington Post estimated that there were 13, registered lobbyists, describing the nation's Capitol as "teeming with lobbyists. These firms usually have some lawyers in them, and are often founded by former congressional staffers, legislators, or other politicians. Corporations[ edit ] Corporations which lobby actively tend to be few in number, large, and often sell to the government.

Tactics of Interest Groups

Most corporations do not hire lobbyists. In the first decade of the s, the most lucrative clients for Gerald Cassidy 's lobbying firm were corporations, displacing fees from the appropriations business.

Presidential Power: Crash Course Government and Politics #11

For example, aircraft manufacturer Boeingwhich has sizeable defense contracts, pours "millions into lobbying": Of that sum, 53 percent went to Democrats. Like lawmakers, many lobbyists are lawyers, and the persons they are trying to influence have the duty of writing laws.

Well-connected lobbyists work in Washington for years, know the issues, are highly skilled advocates, [60] and have cultivated close connections with members of Congress, regulators, specialists, and others. They understand strategy and have excellent communication skills; many are well suited to be able to choose which clients they would like to represent.

relationship between interest groups congressional committees and federal agencies

When a client hires them to push a specific issue or agenda, they usually form coalitions to exert political pressure. As one lobbyist put it: It's my job to advance the interests of my association or client.

My style of lobbying is not to have big formal meetings, but to catch members on the fly as they're walking between the House and the office buildings.

Access is vital in lobbying.

Lobbying in the United States

If you can't get in your door, you can't make your case. Here we had a hostile senator, whose staff was hostile, and we had to get in. So that's the lobbyist safe-cracker method: Many lobbyists become campaign treasurers and fundraisers for congresspersons. This helps incumbent members cope with the substantial amounts of time required to raise money for reelection bids; one estimate was that congresspersons had to spend a third of their working hours on fundraising activity.

At the same time, it is hard for outside observers to argue that a particular decision, such as hiring a former staffer into a lobbying position, was purely as a reward for some past political decision, since staffers often have valuable connections and policy experience needed by lobbying firms. Still, persuasion is a subtle business, requiring a deft touch, and carelessness can boomerang.

A maxim in the industry is for lobbyists to be truthful with people they are trying to persuade; one lobbyist described it this way: As an indirect tactic, lobbyists can try to manipulate public opinion which, in turn, can sometimes exert pressure on congresspersons.

  • What is it and how is it organized?
  • Tactics of Interest Groups
  • Report Abuse

Lobbying today generally requires mounting a coordinated campaign, using targeted blitzes of telephone calls, letters, emails to congressional lawmakers, marches down the Washington Mallbus caravans, and such, and these are often put together by lobbyists who coordinate a variety of interest group leaders to unite behind a hopefully simple easy-to-grasp and persuasive message.

These can be difficult and complex, take time to learn, require full disclosure, [60] and mistakes can land a lobbyist in serious legal trouble. Gifts for congresspersons and staffers can be problematic, since anything of sizeable value must be disclosed and generally such gifts are illegal. Lobbyist Gerald Cassidy encouraged other clients to give for causes dear to a particular client engaged in a current lobbying effort.

Cassidy reportedly donated a million dollars on one project, according to one report, which noted that Cassidy's firm received "many times that much in fees from their clients" paid in monthly retainers. This is essentially what happened in the Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal. There was a concerned client—in this case, an Indian casino —worried about possible ill-effects of legislation on its gambling business; and there were lobbyists such as Jack Abramoff who knew how to exploit these fears.

The lobbyists actively lobbied against their own casino-client as a way to ratchet up their fears of adverse legislation as well as stoke possible future contributions; the lobbyists committed other violations such as grossly overbilling their clients as well as violating rules about giving gifts to congresspersons.

relationship between interest groups congressional committees and federal agencies

Numerous persons went to jail after the scandal. The following are factors which can make fraud a fairly easy-to-do activity: A fraud similar to Abramoff's was perpetrated in Maryland by lobbyist Gerard E. Evans, who was convicted of mail and wire fraud in in a case involving falsely creating a "fictitious legislative threat" against a client, and then billing the client to work against this supposed threat. On the state level, one study suggested that much of the lobbying activity targeted the offices of governors as well as state-level executive bureaucrats; state lobbying was an "intensely personal game" with face-to-face contact being required for important decisions.

One study suggested this was particularly true for battles surrounding possible decisions by the Supreme Court which is considered as a "battleground for public policy" in which differing groups try to "etch their policy preferences into law". I had my clients understand that just as other clients who had nothing to do with them, would step up and give contributions to congressmen they needed to have some sway with, so similarly they needed to do the same.

Policy in areas such as telecommunications and banking generally emerges from much more complex issue networks involving diverse players who are united, if anything, by their expertise in the area.

Grass-roots campaigns An interest group can influence policy by marshalling its constituents and appealing to the public for support.

Committees and the Iron Triangle

It may urge its members to write to their representative and senator or even call them on the eve of an important vote. The NRA is known for its effective use of this tactic. Direct mail can also reach people who are not members and solicit both their backing for a particular policy and a contribution.

Interest groups may also directly help candidates who support their positions by providing them with campaign workers and using their own members to get people to vote; they may publicly endorse candidates for office as well as give money to the candidates' campaign funds.

Political action committees Political action committees PACs are groups that raise and distribute money to candidates. They may be affiliated with an existing interest group, such as a labor union or trade association, but they can be independent. When changes in campaign financing laws in limited the amount of money an individual could contribute, PACs became a major force in American politics. The number of PACs has grown dramatically in the last 20 years, as has the amount of money they donate.

PACs are not always separate from other interest groups. Often they are the campaign-financing wing of a larger lobbying effort.

relationship between interest groups congressional committees and federal agencies

It is not surprising that labor unions give the overwhelming majority of their contributions to Democratic candidates while most business groups favor Republicans. It is unclear how much the contributions actually change policy. Because most of the money goes to incumbents and because research has not turned up much evidence that members of Congress change their votes in response to contributions, many scholars doubt that the money has any direct impact.

On the other hand, a member of Congress keeps a busy schedule and has little time to consider the desires of everyone. Contributions are a good way to buy time, either opening channels of access to representatives or convincing them to work hard promoting legislation. Litigation When Congress and the executive branch are unresponsive, interest groups can turn to the courts for remedy. The NAACP, for example, played a major role in the landmark civil rights cases of the s and s.