Title page for ETD etd-0127103-115005

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Blair, William
URN etd-0127103-115005
Title Bureaucratic Influence in Congressional Roll-Call Voting
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
James Garand Committee Chair
Stacia Haynie Committee Member
Wayne Parent Committee Member
William Clark Committee Member
Bob Newman Dean's Representative
  • bureaucracy
  • roll-call voting
  • congress
Date of Defense 2002-12-18
Availability unrestricted
The focus of this dissertation is on one of the many relationships that exist between the bureaucracy and government: decision-making by elected representatives and the political influence of government employees on their decision-making. Specifically, it is with bureaucrats and the degree to which they may utilize political influence to create a disproportionate influence over government policy and decision-making in the United States House of Representatives.

I argue that the inherent qualities of bureaucrats suggest that they are significant and influential constituency for representatives. They are an identifiable constituency to representatives, and have the means and opportunity to wield political influence. Therefore, I suggest that bureaucrats are a reelection constituency for representatives. My analysis suggests that representatives do indeed respond to government employees as a reelection constituency.

The findings illustrate several conclusions. First, bureaucrats have a moderating effect on the roll-call fiscal conservatism of representatives. Secondly, the election cycle is revealed to have a mediating effect on this bureaucratic effect. I demonstrate that representatives are more responsive to bureaucrats in the midterm congresses than in presidential congresses. Finally, I identify a party effect on bureaucratic influence that suggests that Republicans representatives that are more attentive to government employees than Democrats. I suggest that Democratic House members are already relatively liberal in their roll-call behavior on fiscal policy and a natural constituency for bureaucrats. Conversely, Republicans may discover that they can cultivate this core constituency for their reelection efforts by become more moderate in their roll-call fiscal conservatism.

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