PrefaceThis book grew out of a continuing interest in the activities of policymaking.
As an observer of American politics, one notices that, like perpetual motion
machines, two processes are always underway. Individuals and groups are always
pressing Congress to give focused attention to particular problems, and Congress
is always in the business of making policy to address some particular problem.
These processes are rather visible thanks to continual updates by the national
media. What is less visible from a public perch is the process by which the
content of specific policy responses is determined. What happens when a group
goes forth to enter the policymaking thicket to press Congress for a response to
its problems? How are decisions made about which aspects of a problem are
addressed in policy responses and which aspects are neglected? What happens to a
group's idea of what would be an ideal or preferred response to its problems?
What factors structure the policy debate on a particular problem? These are the
kinds of questions which provoked the research and writing of this book.The policy debates presented in this book come from the congressional
legislative record, and some explanation of its contents and use are in order. The
congressional legislative record is an invaluable source for tracking policy
debates and other activities of the Congress and other federal agencies. It is
comprised of four major parts, which were used extensively in this study.
|1. ||The Committee hearings record is the most extensive and detailed record of
congressional activities. Most hearings are held by subcommittees in each house,
and the records are published by the subcommittee and the parent full committee.
Select committees and joint committees also hold hearings and publish their
|2. ||Committee prints are often continuing-interest reports prepared as follow-up on
key issues raised in committee hearings. They provide background on issues and
some analysis as well. Committee prints are usually prepared by committee staff
and published on behalf of select, standing, and joint committees.|
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The Making of Energy and Telecommunications Policy.
Contributors: Georgia A. Persons - Author.
Publisher: Praeger Publishers.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1995.
Page number: ix.
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