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Religions 2016, 7(2), 16; doi:10.3390/rel7020016

Religious Groups as Interest Groups: The United States Catholic Bishops in the Welfare Reform Debate of 1995–1996 and the Health Care Reform Debate of 2009–20101

1
Department of Government, Georgetown University, 3700 O St NW, Washington, DC 20057, USA
2
Department of Government, School of Public Affairs, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy A. Byrnes
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 5 February 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Catholic Bishops in US Politics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [552 KB, uploaded 22 February 2016]   |  

Abstract

The United States has a long history of religious influence on public policy: the anti-slavery movement, progressivism, prohibition, civil rights, abortion, school vouchers, school prayer and nuclear disarmament are all issues that have involved religion and religious groups in policymaking. In recent decades, the number of religious interest groups (as well as interest groups in general) has greatly expanded, but the role that the religious organizations play as interest groups in the policy arena has received relatively little attention. How are they similar to and different from other interest groups? What tactics do they use? How successful are they? Under what conditions is success or failure more likely? This article examines Roman Catholic religious groups as interest groups in the congressional policymaking process. First, it places Catholic interest groups in the context of the interest group literature, and second, it examines Catholic interest groups’ activity in the passage of welfare reform in 1996 and in the passage of health care reform in 2010. In both cases, they played a greater role in context-setting than in actually changing provisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: U.S. Catholic Bishops; health care reform; welfare reform; Affordable Care Act; interest group lobbying; Religion and Public Policy; Abortion; Catholic Interest Groups; congressional politics; President Obama U.S. Catholic Bishops; health care reform; welfare reform; Affordable Care Act; interest group lobbying; Religion and Public Policy; Abortion; Catholic Interest Groups; congressional politics; President Obama
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Cammisa, A.M.; Manuel, P.C. Religious Groups as Interest Groups: The United States Catholic Bishops in the Welfare Reform Debate of 1995–1996 and the Health Care Reform Debate of 2009–20101. Religions 2016, 7, 16.

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