Congress, the Bureaucracy, and Public Policy

Congress, the Bureaucracy, and Public Policy

Congress, the Bureaucracy, and Public Policy

Congress, the Bureaucracy, and Public Policy

Excerpt

We expect a student who reads this book to come away with an understanding of the critical nature of the relationship between Congress and the federal bureaucracy. The examples we have used should give the student a feel for part of the substantive business of the United States government and should also give the student a better sense of how and where to seek additional examples of that business. We also think the student who uses this book will be able to use simple English to explain to herself or himself and to others a number of patterns in American policy making.

Public policy making at the national level in the United States is both important and complicated. It is important because it affects the daily lives of all residents of the United States and sometimes affects the lives of people in other nations. It is complicated because of the vast number of items on the agenda of the national government and because of the large number of individuals and institutions that get involved in decisions about public policy.

Central to the complex and important business of public policy making is the interaction between Congress and the federal bureaucracy. Existing books about public policy usually either ignore this relationship or merely allude to it, implying that it is too mysterious to be comprehended. In fact, it is comprehensible and -- happy thought! -- there are patterns in the relationship that help reduce the confusion surrounding national policy making. We have sought to portray those patterns in clear terms. And, above all, we have sought to give concrete, interesting, and timely examples of the relationships that illustrate the patterns.

A further word is necessary about our choice of examples. Because of the necessities of the publishing process, we could have no examples later than the end of 1985. We have sought to sprinkle our examples over the last few decades rather than concentrate them all in the last few years or . . .

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