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Congressional AmbivalenceThe Political Burdens of Constitutional Authority$
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Jasmine Farrier

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813192628

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813192628.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Congress and the Cycle of Ambivalence

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Congressional Ambivalence
Author(s):

Jasmine Farrier

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813192628.003.0001

This book shows how and why US Congress is particularly ambivalent about delegating authority on issues that address the “national interest” but have profound local policy and electoral consequences. This institutional ambivalence is reflected in a cycle that has different permutations in each area but that generally follows a pattern of delegation of power, followed by expression of regret in various direct and indirect ways, followed often by more delegation. The book presents case studies that explore the institutional and political causes of delegation as well as the significant consequences of these actions. The central premise of the book is that we cannot fully understand the role of Congress in the American political system without recognizing how the cycle of ambivalence reflects and affects the power balance between the Congress and the president. The book also explores the causes and consequences of ambivalence from Congress' perspective by analyzing prominent areas that combine foreign and domestic policy and reflect trade-offs between national and local interests and political perspectives.

Keywords:   US Congress, institutional ambivalence, regret, national interest, delegation of power, US president, public policy

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