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All Their Eggs in One Basket? Ideological Congruence in Congress and the Bicameral Origins of Concentrated Delegation to the Bureaucracy

Department of Political Science, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129, USA
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 May 2018 / Published: 12 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intersection between Law, Politics and Public Policy)
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Abstract

What drives congressional choices to concentrate implementation authority for legislative enactments among relatively few bureaucratic institutions? And are increased levels of concentration in implementation power associated with intercameral ideological proximity in Congress? I theorize that greater ideological congruity between the House and Senate drives increased levels of concentration in delegated implementation authority to federal agencies. By examining every significant legislative enactment from 1947 to 2012 that delegates implementation responsibility to at least one federal agency, I consider the legislative dynamics of decisions regarding the range of institutions charged with policy implementation in the American administrative state. I find that increased concentration of implementation authority is associated with greater ideological congruence between pivotal members of the House and the Senate. These results suggest that the preferences of key officials in Congress contribute to defining the breadth of bureaucratic implementation authority in the federal policy process. View Full-Text
Keywords: delegation; policy implementation; legislative politics; administrative politics delegation; policy implementation; legislative politics; administrative politics
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Peterson, J.C. All Their Eggs in One Basket? Ideological Congruence in Congress and the Bicameral Origins of Concentrated Delegation to the Bureaucracy. Laws 2018, 7, 19.

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