Unformatted text preview: The Policymaking System in American Politics The Policymaking System The process by The which policy comes into being and evolves over time. evolves Linkage institutions Linkage are political channels through which people’s concerns become political issues on the policy agenda. agenda. Policy Agenda Definition: The policy agenda consists of issues Definition: that attract the serious attention of public officials. that Political issues arise when people disagree about a Political problem and how to fix it. problem Not all policy issues will be considered A government’s policy agenda changes regularly. government’s It may take years to get an item on the policy It agenda, and then several more years to get it acted on. acted Policymaking Institutions Definition: Policymaking institutions are Definition: the branches of government charged with taking action on political issues. taking Legislature (Congress) Executive (President) Courts (Federal and State) Bureaucracies (Federal and State) Policy A choice government makes in response to a choice political issue or public problem political Policy Areas
Social Welfare Social Policies Economic Economic Environment The Budget National Security policy Economic Policy
Monetary Policy and Federal Reserve Board Manipulate supply of money to keep inflation in check Set discount rate, buy/sell bonds Fiscal Policy and the federal budget Keynesian: deficit spending to stimulate economy Supply side: cut taxes Policy Impacts
Does it solve the problem? Does it create more problems? Depending on the answer, policymakers may revisit the issue refine their efforts policy must be on the agenda or ignore the problem if people are or disinterested in the policy disinterested Policy Example: The Clean Air Act—Public Concern Air pollution becomes a problem when a Air sufficient number of people complain about it it Smog in Los Angeles, 1960s Asthma and children Air quality alerts Clean Air Act—Linkage Institutions The issue attracts attention from any The number of linkage institutions number News reports or books on air pollution News problems problems Politicians realize electoral benefits of Politicians advocating air pollution legislation advocating Interest groups and political parties use Interest issue to mobilize support issue Clean Air Act—Institutions In response to pressure from public In (through linkage institutions), policymaking institutions respond with policy solutions: institutions Passing the Clean Air Act of 1970 Issuing Executive Order to create the Issuing EPA EPA Clean Air Act—Evaluation
The Clean Air Act is evaluated over time It is amended in 1977 to extend deadlines It for compliance for The evaluation stage revealed that the The initial Act—however successful in limiting air pollution—was too restrictive and impractical and Clean Air Act Revisited In 1990, the Clean Air Act is again amended in In response to the growing problem of: response Prevailing winds and subsequent problem of Prevailing Acid Rain Acid Current talk of regulating carbon dioxide California has done so, as of 2006 Federal “cap and trade” legislation? Not through Congress, but regulation Not through EPA and supported by courts through Conclusion
Big picture of the policy process that connects all actors: public, media, institutions What’s next? Policymaking process, which focuses mainly on a micro-level understanding of how an issue becomes a policy ...
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