DECISION MAKING IN THE APPROPRIATIONS PROCESS: A DIACHRONIC ANALYSIS
MORGAN, MARK ANTHONY
Doctor of Philosophy
This study examines the manner in which the House of Representatives has dealt with the appropriations of money. To that end I focused this research on two major areas: (1) the importance of factors external to Congress, and (2) internal factors, primarily membership and career patterns and the reasons for, and the results of changes by the House to the rules under which appropriations were made. The findings indicate that (1) in the absence of external factors such as major political realignments, or internal changes such as the move to decentralize in the 1885-1889 or recentralize in 1920, the Committee, and the entire process operates in a fairly predictable manner; (2) committee actions generally conform to the what one would expect if the norms of subcommittee autonomy, reciprocity, specialization and apprenticeship offered by Fenno (1966) are followed; (3) a change in party control is accompanied by non-incremental changes in the budget, especially during periods of political realignments; and (4) even when major political events occur (e.g., "external" events such as realignments or "internal" events such as the rules changes), the resulting change is short-lived.