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Presentation on theme: "INTEREST GROUPS AND THE BUREAUCRACY IB TOK 1/Gov Ms. Halle Bauer."— Presentation transcript:


2 What are interest groups?  Interest Group: An organization of people with a common goal or interest that lobbies to influence policy decisions  Institutional Interests: Organizations that represent other organizations and institutions General Motors, Chamber of Commerce  Membership Interests: Organizations of individual members with common political goals NAACP, NRA When entire public benefits (not just members): public- interest lobby For instance, Common Cause lobbied to give the vote to 18-year- olds




6 Why interest groups?  There is a diversity of interests and opinions in America  American government is set up to give groups the opportunity to influence policy  Interest groups are protected as a form of political speech  Our laws permit private organizations and nonprofit organizations to have tax-exempt status OR lobby for their interests  National Organization for Women  Our political parties leave something to be desired…

7 What do interest groups do?  Supply updated information on policy issues to lawmakers  Give political cues to officials by describing how policy changes will affect the public and how the issue fits in with the political party platform and agenda  Make ratings to influence public opinion of lawmakers  Public opinion polls  Encouraging constituents to write to their Congressmen  Writing editorials supporting the interest group’s position  Attempting to sway public opinion with grassroots lobbying on ballot initiatives So what is “credible” information? Provide Credible InformationHow?

8 What do interest groups do?  Try to influence policy on particular issues by encouraging lawmakers to vote one way or the other on the issue at hand What kind of knowledge is most persuasive?  PACs: Political Action Committees aligned with interest groups can spend money to influence legislatures  Super PACs have fewer restrictions on donations, given that the PAC is an “independent-only” organization  Protests: Sit-ins, marches, picketing Persuade LegislatorsHow?

9 How are interest groups funded?  Foundation grants  Federal grants and contracts  Federal grants support projects that the group sponsors, not the lobbying itself  Mailings to supporters  Appeal to emotions GrantsSolicitation

10 Over 50% interest groups represent corporate interests 1/3 of interest groups are professional organizations 4% of interest groups are public-interest groups 2% of interest groups represent civil or minority rights Who do interest groups represent?

11 Some examples…  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce  General Electric  University of California  Koch Industries  Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America  American Medical Association  Susan B. Anthony List  American Association of Retired People  National Rifle Association  The College Board  National Education Association Insttitional InterestsMember Interests

12 THE BUREAUCRACY A large, complex organization of appointed officials

13 What is the bureaucracy?  A large, complex organization of appointed officials who oversee and enforce the laws  Congress and the President both have authority over the American bureaucracy  Federal agencies work with state and local agencies to ensure laws are carried out properly  Government by proxy: Lawmakers use the bureaucracy to staff and administer federal programs and do the work of the laws


15 What does today’s bureaucracy look like?  The Great Depression paved the way for greater government involvement in economic and social problems  WWII required more bureaucracy to oversee the war effort  9/11 created a new department (Homeland Security)  Merit: Competitive Service Exam  Civil servants who align with President’s views  Cabinet, judges, ambassadors  Confidential positions (aides)  Noncareer executive assignments (policy) HistoryRecruitment

16 What does today’s bureaucracy look like?  56% Male  44% Female  69% White  31% Racial Minorities  Agencies have discretionary authority, but…  Laws restrict ability to hire, fire, build, sell  Congress typically assigns several agencies to one job  As a result…  Government is slow to act  Agencies are inconsistent  “Red tape” Demographics (2004)Constraints

17 Then: The Iron Triangle Now: An Issue Network

18 How does Congress oversee the bureaucracy?  Congress approves every agency  All money spent by agencies is first approved by Congress (power of the purse)  Authorization legislation sets spending limits on programs  Approved funds must be appropriated for a specific purpose  House Appropriations Committee approves each agency’s budget Except when trust funds are used for public benefits (SS)

19 How does Congress oversee the bureaucracy?  Legislative veto: Congress would block agency actions by voting them down before they took effect  These resolutions did not require the President’s signature  Ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL in 1983  Congressional investigations: Congress can investigate an agency’s decisions and outcomes

20 Is red tape always negative? What knowledge issues are important in the federal bureaucracy? Is our bureaucracy a “fourth branch” of government?

21 A Guide Model Congress Bill: Parts 2 and 3

22 MC Bill Part 2: Bureaucracy  Cabinet department  Head of department  Responsibilities of department that correspond with the bill  Judicial powers to enforce the bill  National Institutes of Health (Part of Department of Health and Human Services)  Frances Collins, Director  Conduct and fund medical research with federal dollars  Allocate funds (approved by Congress) for new stem cell research projects, oversee research reports; No fines involved Part 2 Instructions Part 2 Example: Stem Cell Research

23 MC Part 3: Interest Groups  Interest group in support of bill  History, purpose, advantages to bill  Interest group in opposition to bill  History, purpose, disadvantages to bill  American Association for the Advancement of Science  Citizens Against Government Waste Part 3 Instructions Part 3 Example: Stem Cell Research


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