Influences on Congress. Identify what specific groups and individuals influence the legislators’ decisions?. Objective. Lawmakers ’ views on decisions are seldom based on individual conscience, instead many different groups influence lawmakers’ views. Voters back home,
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Identify what specific groups and individuals influence the legislators’ decisions?Objective
Lawmakers are heavily influenced by the needs and opinions of their constituents (the voters).
Nearly all members of Congress belong to one of the two major political parties & generally support their own party’s stands on legislation.
House members support their parties more strongly than Senate members,
The issues themselves also determine whether members follow their party leaders’ agenda.
Members of Congress usually support their party because party members usually share the same general political beliefs.The Influence of Parties
“Our party was founded on the conviction that wealth and privilege shouldn’t be an entitlement to rule and the belief that the values of hardworking families are the values that should guide us.”
Generally the party favors:
Social welfare programs
Help for low income people
Greater government regulation of bizDemocratic Party
“With a core belief in the primacy of individuals, the Republican Party, since its inception, has been at the forefront of the fight for individuals' rights in opposition to a large, intrusive government.”
Generally the party favors:
Less government regulation of business
Local and state governments
Support for higher income groupsRepublican Party
Presidentswork hard to persuade lawmakers to support laws they want passed and give or withhold political favors to secure lawmakers’ support.Presidential Influences on Congress
The “LBJ Treatment”
Interest groups and their lobbyists represent various interests, including labor and business groups, education and environmental organizations, and minority groups.
Try to persuade lawmakers to support certain policies.
Provide info about policies they support or oppose
Visit lawmakers to ask for support
Encourage citizens to write to Members of CongressSpecial Interest Groups
Political action committees (PACs) are political fund-raisingorganizations that give their funds to support lawmakers who favor the PAC’s position.
Are established by corporations, labor unions etc.
Use funds to support lawmakers who favor a PAC’s positions on issues.
Have increased dramaticallySpecial Interest Groups