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The Federal Bureaucracy
Transcript of The Federal Bureaucracy
The Cabinet Departments
The 15 cabinet departments are led by a Secretary
- chosen for expertise in area
- appointed by President, confirmed by Senate
- must be vetted (review credentials)
- can be fired by President (no approval)
- usually a diverse group (age, gender, race, sometimes
The Cabinet Departments
implements foreign policy
it staffs embassies, or offices of ambassadors in foreign countries
represents US at United Nations
manages the Nation's money
collect and control taxes
borrow and print $
manage armed forces
maintain forts, bases, canals
conduct military intelligence
attorney for US
run FBI, maintain federal prisons
investigate federal law violations
Independent Executive Agencies: similar to cabinet departments, but without status.
Independent Regulatory Agencies: created by Congress. Appointed by President (Senate confirms)
- Quasi-judicial and Quasi-legislative -- issue regulations and enforce penalties.
Government Corporations are businesses that the federal government runs.
The Spoils System
practice of politicians rewarding their followers with government jobs.
(originated when Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson entered
office and fired 1000's of federal workers and replaced them
with their own political supporters.)
The spoils system fostered inefficiency and corruption.
It took a tragedy to kick-start reform.
a large, complex system of APPOINTED, not elected, civil service officials who specialize in their field.
There is a clear hierarchy/chain of command
(formal rules and job specialization)
FACT: when the nation began, the government employed 2,120 people. Today, nearly 3 MILLION people work for the federal government.
Each department has many levels of authority held by officials. It's basically a giant pyramid of people and their held power.
protects public lands and parks
DNR and Native American programs
help farmers (subsidies)
food stamps and school lunch program
business US and abroad
census, weather, patents, weights and measures
Tide and current report
protect American workers (minimum wage, unemployment, job training)
9) Health and Human Services
implements national health policy
Social Security and Medicare
Food, drug, and cosmetic laws (work with FDA)
10) Housing and Urban Development
ensures equal housing
improve roads, sewers
interstates, RR, airports, mass transit regulation and safety standards
plans energy policy (gass and electric sales, conservation programs)
federal assistance programs for public and private schools
14) Veterans Affairs
hospital care and education for veterans and families
15) Homeland Security
Controls the Coast Guard, Border Patrol (immigration), FBI, CIA, Disaster relief (FEMA), Secret Service
Examples: NASA and CIA
TVA FDIC USPS AMTRAK PBS
Federal bureaucrats help make policy. They write rules and regulations, and set standards to implement laws.
FACT: One study shows that on average, the bureaucracy formulates 20 rules to carry out each law.
Ways they help in creating policy:
Bureaucrats provide advice, settle disputes, and aid lawmakers by giving technical information they might not otherwise have.
Independent Agencies and Corporations
bureaucrats chosen on MERIT (written exam, meet certain criteria -- training, education, prior experience)
Reform and the Civil Service
The Bureaucracy at Work: Policy
Chester Arthur, the new president, pushed hard for reform, and Congress passed the
Pendleton Service Act
Some chosen based on
choose someone based on merit (name request)
instead of just looking at the list of applicants
Bureaucracy: a systematic structure that handles the everyday business of an organization
FTC - trade FDA - food and drugs
FCC - media CSPC - product recalls
FEC - campaigns OHSA - health and safety at work
EPA - Environment Federal Reserve - monetary policy (inflation and interest)
How much power should bureaucracy have?
depends on discretionary authority (what can I do with my power before hitting law saying "I can't"?)
Who influences the Bureaucracy?
INTEREST GROUPS INFLUENCE ON BUREAUCRACY
(Interest Groups, Media, Congressional staff)
iron triangle -
How are they chosen?
government employees can't engage in political activities while on duty
How is the Bureaucracy set up?
What does the Bureaucracy do?
Implementation: putting the goals into rules and action.
Regulation: the use of govt authority to control practices
implementation breaks down b/c: lack of money, conflicting goals, bad design, red tape, overlapping responsibilities
rules and restrictions of the other branches and on the private sector (businesses)
agencies - Congress can create & abolish agencies/depts. Congress can reorganize bureaucratic structure.
advice & consent - Senate approves appointments
appropriations - Congress controls the budget (Fiscal policy)
after legislation - Congress can change bills to impact departments
impeachment - Cong can remove officials from office
hearings/invest - Cong holds hearings and investigations to make sure dept acting properly
appointment (patronage) - President nominate and can fire
executive order - order by President that Bureaucracy must carry out
economic powers - President proposes budgets of depts and agencies
judicial review - SCOTUS can declare actions unconstitutional
injunctions - an order that restrains bureaucracy from invading others rights
1st amendment - use of lobbying, protests, media, free speech
litigation - groups can take issues to court