American Politics Notes: April 10th, 2008•Both houses make their own rules and they cannot tell each other what to do.•In today’s Congress, you will not see very many filibusters. The threat of a filibuster stops things from getting to the floor. The Bureaucracy•Since the 1930s, no President has gained control over the bureaucracy. Presidents learn very quickly that they cannot control the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is considered the “fourth branch” of the American government because it is independent from the executive branch. Unique Elements of the Bureaucracy•One of the unique elements of the bureaucracy is its longevity. Members of the federal government who have been working since 1959 have seen ten presidents, half of whom have died. That is longevity. More people work longer in the bureaucracy than in any other office of government. •Another unique element is its size. There are about three and a half million people who work for the federal government. About half are military employees and about half are
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