1 INSTITUTIONS, POLICY, AND POLITICS IN THE CASES OF SPACE AND THE ENVIRONMENT By WENDY N. WHITMAN COBB A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Wendy N. Whitman Cobb
3 For Grandmom
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I am greatly indebted to my family, extended and otherwise, for their support and encouragement while I prepared this dissertation. I would like to thank in particular my parents for always standing by me during this endeavor. I would also be remiss if I do not thank my husband and his largely unexpected deployment to Afghanistan for his assistance and support in c Finally, there are no words to thank the members of my committee for their advisement and encouragement including my chair, Larry Dodd, and members Richard Conley, Beth Rosenson, David Hedge, and Matthew Jacobs. Any errors or om issions that remain are entirely my own.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 7 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ................................ ................................ ........................... 10 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 11 CHAPTER 1 INSTITUTIONS AND POLICY ................................ ................................ ................ 13 Policy Lifecycles ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 17 Which Institutions? The Congress, President, and Bureaucracy ........................... 21 Congress ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 21 The President ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 27 Bureaucracy ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 33 Plan of the Dissertation ................................ ................................ ........................... 38 2 A THEORY OF INSTITUTIONAL POLICY LIFECYCLES ................................ ....... 41 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 43 Phases of the Lifecycle ................................ ................................ ........................... 49 Issue Uptake ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 50 Issue Assimilation and Routinization ................................ ................................ 54 Issues in Crisis ................................ ................................ ................................ 59 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 62 3 HUMAN S PACEFLIGHT AND CLEAN AIR ................................ ............................ 64 Human Spaceflight ................................ ................................ ................................ 66 Clean Air ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 71 In stitutional Interaction: An Overview ................................ ................................ ..... 77 Results: Clean Air ................................ ................................ ............................ 80 Results: Human Spaceflight ................................ ................................ ............ 82 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 85 4 A TALE OF TWO CHAMBERS ................................ ................................ ............... 88 A Difference in Chambers ................................ ................................ ....................... 90 Legislating ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 95 Hearings ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 100
6 Clean Air ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 101 Human Spaceflight ................................ ................................ ......................... 105 Investigations ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 108 Clean Air ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 109 Human Spaceflight ................................ ................................ ......................... 111 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 113 Hypothesis 1B: Senate Precedence in Phase One ................................ ....... 113 Hypothesis 2A: House Leadership in Phase Two ................................ .......... 114 Hypotheses 3A and 3B: Congressional Influence in Times of Crisis ............. 116 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 117 5 EXECUTIVES AND POLICY ................................ ................................ ................ 150 Nominations ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 154 Presidential Papers ................................ ................................ ............................... 158 Case Studies in Presidential Initiatives ................................ ................................ 164 Human Spaceflight: Similar Proposals, Dif ferent Outcomes .......................... 164 Clean Air ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 171 Discussion ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 179 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 181 6 BUREAUCRATIC INFLUENCE AND DISCRETION ................................ ............. 187 What Influences Discretion? ................................ ................................ ................. 189 Measuring Discretion ................................ ................................ ...................... 192 A Model of Bureaucratic Discretion ................................ ................................ 199 Results ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 201 Beyond Discretion: Other Forms of Bureaucratic Influence ................................ 205 Human Spaceflight ................................ ................................ ......................... 206 Clean Air ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 208 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 210 7 LOOKING AHEAD WHILE LOOKING BACK ................................ ........................ 215 Findings ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 216 In the Universe of Policies: Potential Limitations to the Application of the Institutional Theory ................................ ................................ ............................ 222 Looking Ahead: Using the In stitutional Theory of Policy Lifecycles to Predict ..... 225 Human Spaceflight ................................ ................................ ......................... 226 Clean Air ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 229 Policy and Politics ................................ ................................ ................................ 232 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 235 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 243
7 LIST OF TABLES Table P age 4 1 Institutional differences between the House and the Senate and their effects 121 4 2 NASA authorization bills ................................ ................................ ................... 123 4 3 Clean air legislation ................................ ................................ .......................... 124 4 4 Clean air riders ................................ ................................ ................................ 124 4 5 Clean air hearing activity by chamber in percentages ................................ ...... 125 4 6 Clean air hearings by topic in percentages ................................ ....................... 127 4 7 House clean air hearings by topic in percentages ................................ ............ 128 4 8 Senate clean air hearings by topic in percentages ................................ ........... 130 4 9 Huma n spaceflight hearing activity by chamber in percentages ....................... 131 4 10 Human spaceflight hearings by topic in percentages ................................ ....... 133 4 11 Ho use human spaceflight hearings by topic in percentages ............................. 134 4 12 Senate human spaceflight hearings by topic in percentages ............................ 136 4 13 Clean air GAO reports by chamber in percentages ................................ .......... 138 4 14 Clean air GAO reports by topic in percentages ................................ ................ 139 4 15 House clean a ir GAO reports by topic in percentages ................................ ...... 141 4 16 Senate clean air GAO reports by topic in percentages ................................ ..... 142 4 17 Human spaceflight GAO reports by chamber in percentages ........................... 144 4 18 Human spaceflight GAO reports by topic in percentages ................................ 146 4 19 House human spacef light GAO reports by topic in percentages ...................... 147 4 20 Senate human spaceflight GAO reports by topic in percentages ..................... 149 5 1 NASA adm inistrators, 1958 2011 ................................ ................................ ..... 184 5 2 EPA administrators, 1970 2011 ................................ ................................ ........ 184 6 1 Regression results ................................ ................................ ............................ 214
8 LIS T OF FIGURES Figure page 1 1 Principal agent feedback loop ................................ ................................ ............ 40 3 1 Total number of clean air articles by year, 1960 201 0 ................................ ........ 86 3 2 Articles on clean air broken down by bureaucracy, president, and Congress, 1960 2010 ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 86 3 3 Total number of human space flight articles by year, 1958 2010 ........................ 87 3 4 Articles on human spaceflight broken down by president, bureaucracy, and Congress, 1958 2010 ................................ ................................ ......................... 87 4 1 Human spaceflight content analysis by chamber ................................ .............. 121 4 2 Clean air content analysis by chamber ................................ ............................. 122 4 3 Clean air hear ing activity by chamber (annually) ................................ .............. 124 4 4 Clean air hearing activity by chamber (by session) ................................ .......... 125 4 5 Clean air hearings by topi c (annually) ................................ .............................. 126 4 6 Clean air hearings by topic (by session) ................................ ........................... 126 4 7 House clean air hearings by topic (annually) ................................ .................... 127 4 8 House clean air hearings by topic (by session) ................................ ................ 128 4 9 Senate clean air hearings by topic ................................ ................................ .... 129 4 10 Senate clean air hearings by topic (by session) ................................ ............... 129 4 11 Human spaceflight hearing activity by chamber (annually) ............................... 130 4 12 Human spaceflight hearing activity by chamber (per session) .......................... 131 4 13 Human spaceflight hearings by topic (annually) ................................ ............... 132 4 14 Human spaceflight hearings by topic (by session) ................................ ............ 132 4 15 House human spaceflight hearings by topic (annually) ................................ .... 133 4 16 House human spaceflight hearings by topic (by session) ................................ 134 4 17 Senate human spaceflight hearings by topic (annually) ................................ ... 135
9 4 18 Senate human spaceflight hearings by topic (by session) ................................ 135 4 19 Clean air GAO reports, 1970 2010 ................................ ................................ ... 136 4 20 Clean ai r GAO reports by chamber (annually) ................................ .................. 137 4 21 Clean air GAO reports by chamber (by session) ................................ .............. 137 4 22 Clean air GAO reports by top ic (annually) ................................ ........................ 138 4 23 Clean air GAO reports by topic (by session) ................................ .................... 139 4 24 House clean air GAO reports by topic (annually) ................................ .............. 140 4 25 House clean air GAO reports by topic (by session) ................................ .......... 140 4 26 Senate clean air GAO reports by topic (annually) ................................ ............. 141 4 27 Senate clean air GAO reports by topic (by session) ................................ ......... 142 4 28 Human spaceflight GAO reports ................................ ................................ ....... 143 4 29 Human spaceflight GAO reports by chamber (annually) ................................ .. 143 4 30 Human spaceflight GAO reports by chamber (by session) ............................... 144 4 31 Human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (annually) ................................ ......... 145 4 32 Human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (by session) ................................ ..... 145 4 33 House human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (annually) .............................. 146 4 34 House human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (by session) .......................... 147 4 35 Senate human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (annually) ............................. 148 4 36 Senate human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (by session) ......................... 148 5 1 Clean air mentions in presidential statements ................................ .................. 185 5 2 Clean air presidential statements ................................ ................................ ..... 185 5 3 Human spaceflight presidential statements ................................ ...................... 186 6 1 Total words in NASA authorizing legislation, 1961 2010 ................................ .. 213 6 2 Number of words in cl ean air appropriations, 1963 2010 ................................ 213 6 3 Total words in human spaceflight legislation ................................ .................... 214
1 0 LIST OF ABBREVIATION S CAA Clean Air Amendments EPA Environmental Pr otection Agency NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration SEI Space Exploration Initiative VSE Vision for Space Exploration
11 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfi llment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy INSTITUTIONS, POLICY, AND POLITICS IN THE CASES OF SPACE AND THE ENVIRONMENT By Wendy N. Whitman Cobb May 2012 Chair: Larry Dodd Major: Political Science This work aims to answer the qu estion of which institution, executive, legislative, or bureaucracy, affects public policy the most at any given time. I have developed a cyclical theory positing that because of the institutional framework laid out in American government, at the beginnin dominate the direction of a given policy. Once the policy has become normalized in the political process, the House of Representatives and the relevant bureaucracy tend to direct the policy pr ocess. At times of crisis, the cycle can revert to Senate presidential domination, only to return to House bureaucracy tendencies following the crisis. This theory is based on the institutional characteristics of the executive and legislative branches as well as the bureaucracy. These characteristics include electoral constituency, behaviors of the individual chambers of Congress, the nature of the political agenda, and the nature of bureaucratic politics. In order to examine this cycle, I have tested th is theory utilizing the policy areas of human spaceflight and clean air policy. I find from data on congressional hearings, investigations, and legislative activity that congressional behavior does vary between the House and the Senate as predicted in both issue areas. Data on presidential
12 statements and appointments also support the idea that the president reemerges to be influential in a given policy period at particular points in time. This finding is further supported by a set of case studies looking at clean air and human spaceflight policy proposals in the George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush administrations. Finally, I develop a quantitative measure of bureaucratic discretion to test whether bureaucratic influence conforms to the predictions of the theory. Overall, the data and analysis presented here lend support to the institutional of policy lifecycles proposed in this dissertation.
13 CHAPTER 1 INSTITUTIONS AND POL ICY Humankind has always looked to the stars. That we would someday attempt to t ravel there was, perhaps, inevitable. And in the grand tradition of exploration supported through government financing, it is fitting that the first attempts to do so were under the auspices of international competition among states. In the case of the U nited States, manned trips to outer space would not have been possible without an enormous cast of characters: a brand new government bureaucracy made up primarily of twenty somethings, an army of contractors building the impossible, a brash set of eager test pilots, and last but certainly not least, a willing Congress and president. On October 29, 1998, an otherwise unremarkable day, the school I was attending in Central Florida held an unplanned fire drill around noon. This fire drill coincided with the launch of space shuttle Discovery carrying not only the first Spaniard in outer space but also a man who had been the first American to orbit the earth in 1962. That man was then Senator John Glenn. Watching this launch, I was vaguely aware of the histo rical significance of the 77 year old who was on board. Although Alan Shepherd the most. Following that first mission in 1961, which lasted just under five hours, Glenn the perpetual Boy Scout, became an instant hero. Praised from New York to Washington, D.C. to his hometown in Ohio, Glenn quickly became a celebrity, a celebrity too valuable to risk on another spaceflight. He soon left the astronaut corps amongst spec ulation that he wanted to run for president. 1974, he was elected a senator from the state of Ohio and began a 25 year career in
14 that office. Incredibly, Glenn was not the first elected official in outer space but the third. In the mid 1980s, NASA had invited Senator Jake Garn of Utah and then Representative Bill Nelson of Florida, to participate in space shuttle missions. The flying of such officials would cease follow ing the Challenger disaster in 1986 along with also afforded a rare opportunit y to examine the effects of weightless flight on older The flights of Garn, Nelson, and Glenn demonstrate the lengths to which NASA has gone to generate political support for its spaceflight programs. Recognizing the need for congressional support, NASA has courted not only presidents but also named after presidents (Kennedy and Johnson) while two more are named after institutions have held particular sway over the direction the agency has taken. While ample of presidential initiative, presidents George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and now, President Barack Obama, have all proposed significant space policies of their own. In the meantime, Congress to a large extent has driven the direction of NASA in the periods between spikes in presidential attention. While the seesaw between the Congress and the president seems to tip in an unrelated pattern, there is instead a cyclical nature to the way these institutions have treated policy.
15 This research proposes to undertake an examination of such cycles. To do so, I advance a new theory of the policy lifecycle incorporating the beginning of policy consideration and the nature of presidential, congressional, and bureaucratic involvement in them. In short, I hypoth esize that as new policy areas emerge, the president and the Senate take the lead in formulating an initial policy response. As the process, the president and Senate recede in importance giving way to the bureaucracy and the House of Representatives. However, in times of policy crisis, these other actors reemerge in importance helping to set the stage for a new policy regime to take shape. It is easy to recognize the meandering through the space race in the late 1950s, NASA was presented with the jarring presidential goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. oon waned, leading some space policy analysts today to wonder whether the moon landing would have been accomplished on that time frame had Kennedy lived. By the time Apollo 11 landed on the moon, not only had political attention lessened, but so had publi c attention. As NASA shifted from the Apollo program to the Apollo Applications program and eventually to the space shuttle, the agency itself began to assert itself in directing the pace of US space activities. Certainly, presidential and political atte ntion would peak again, but it would come at times of crisis: Challenger in 1986, funding battles over the now International Space Station in the early 1990s, and Columbia in 2003. It is not enough, however, to recognize that this cycle occurs; we must be able to explain why. I believe the key to this puzzle is in the structure of the very institutions
16 that must guide not only space policy but also all of national policy. The ways in which the executive and legislative branches along with the bureaucracy shape the dynamics through which policy has been considered in the US. For example, the president is the only nationally elected figure in the United States and as such must consider a wide range of issues, some of which dominate the agenda more than ot hers. For the average member of the House of Representatives, though, their district presents a much more homogenous slate of issues allowing the member to focus on a smaller number of issues that are important to the constituency. In order to test this theory, I will examine two different policy areas and the institutional patterns surrounding them space and the environment, more specifically e from the moon is often cited as a catalyst for public embrace of environmental programs), these two areas are distinct enough to serve as strong tests of the theory proposed here. Major bursts of new policy activity occurred for both space and environme ntal policy in the same time period, allowing for control of extraneous institutional variables that may affect their policy involvement. However, the nature of each policy is still quite varied, with the nature of bureaucratic and administrative controls available different in each. Utilizing these two policies as cases will test the applicability of the theory to diverse policy areas. While focusing on spaceflight and clean air policy, this dissertation will be able to outline and test for the existenc e of such cyclical patterns of policy consideration. Close examination of just two policy areas allows for a much closer and critical analysis, capitalizing on detailed case studies and narratives. This foundation, built on the backs
17 of two significant y et different policy areas, will then be built upon through generalizing the conclusions derived to similar types of policy areas, the vast majority of which make up the bulk of the domestic policy agenda. To be sure, this choice of policy areas is somewh at conservative in the sense that these tests will isolate two policy areas that are related in the same time period. A more stringent test might randomly choose two policy areas to examine or even take two policies that found their beginnings in differen t time periods as its focus. However, the choice of human spaceflight and clean air means that we can reliably control for changes in the political environment through the latter half of the 20 th century. Further, despite their similarities, their differ ences (which will be laid out in Chapter 3) provide enough variation to put the institutional policy lifecycle through its paces. One may also ask of these policy choices if human spaceflight and clean air policy are truly comparable. Since the vast major ity of policy areas are subject to the same political processes and pressures, there is nothing, aside from subject matter, that would make these areas so dissimilar as to rule out all comparisons. Since the theory under discussion focuses on institutiona l processes and not policy content, both human spaceflight and clean air policy are acceptable choices with which to test the lifecycle. Policy Lifecycles This institutionally based theory of policy cycles is built on earlier work regarding patterns of pol icy change. One of the earliest was the issue attention cycle proposed by Anthony Downs in 1972. His theory revolved around the amount of attention that the public paid to policy problems. In the pre problem stage, few people are aware of a steadily wor sening policy issue but all of a sudden become aware in the second stage
18 begins to dw a twilight realm of lesser attention or spasmodic recurrences of this cyc le, new programs, policies, and agencies may exist in order to address the policy problem and will most likely persist following it. Aside from this consideration of institutional impact, Downs virtually ignores the role that institutions play in forming policy responses either during the cycle or in future episodes of policy change. In a different theory of policy cycles, Carmines and Stimson (1981; 1986) propose a theory of issue evolution wherein changes in policy reflect changes in party positions as f irst signaled by party elites. As party elites demonstrate their new issue positions, this information is filtered down to the general electorate. If the issue is salient enough, the public, theoretically, will pick up on the change and realign their own positions on the given issue. Because the positions of the public and the parties have changed, policy differences will occur. There are a number of problems inherent with issue evolution as presented by Carmines and Stimson. First, there is no guarante e that the signals of party elites will actually be picked up on by the populace. It could be the case that if parties change positions on less salient issues, the issue just may not be important enough to constituents to actually pay attention to and pic k up on. Second, what drives party elites to change their issue positions in the first place? Souva and Rhode (2007) find that elected representatives tend to reflect the foreign policy positions of their primary alysis of constituency positions and
19 responsiveness from elected officials varies based on the saliency of the issue. These that politicians are interested in reelection and thus must pay attention to the positions of their constituencies. This poses two prob lems for issue evolution: one how do politicians react as the party changes position on an issue and that position is contrary to the views of their constituents, and two, why would party elites independently change positions with little regard for the views of the electorate as seems to be the case for Carmines and Stimson? Disregarding the issue positions of the electo rate and individual constituencies seems to be a dangerous thing for politicians interested in successful elections. Similarly left out of the work of Carmines and Stimson is the integration of initial party position taking on new issues. Party positions on civil rights, to use their example, existed long before the 1960s; what motivations caused parties to take a particular position in the first place? A similar theory of policy change in which perspectives on party policy positions can be integrated i According to Baumgartner and Jones, the pattern a policy takes can remain fairly stable over time but undergo periods of rapid change and upheaval. During these as to ability to change before developing a new policy regime and returning to its stable, equilibrium state. Under this theory, a key concept Baumgartner and Jones use is that of the policy image. During periods of extended stability, the policy image r emains the same and is protected by policy subsystems that
20 develop. Over time, however, the policy image may become negative and as this occurs, policy actors gain incentives to engage in a debate over the issue. As they do so, they seek out political ar image of a policy and its venue are closely related. As venues change, images may (Baumgartner and Jones 1991, 104 7). equilibrium in elaborating on the idea of a policy regime and delineating a four stage theory of policy regime change. Wilson argues that policy regimes are comprised of four dimen sions: the power arrangement, the policy paradigm, the organization within government to carry out the paradigm, and the policy itself. For the most part, all four parts of the regime contribute to the overall stability of it, resulting in long periods i n which the policy does not change. When policies do change, Wilson argues, it occurs in four, sometimes overlapping phases. In the first, the regime is subjected to some sort of stressor or trigger occurs. This contributes to the second phase wherein t he dominant paradigm begins to change setting off shifts in the power arrangement (step three) and a legitimacy crisis (step four). Finally, organizations and the policy change in response to the process. The theories discussed above suffer from two key p roblems. First, there has been no systematic consideration of institutional e quite on their own, independent of any guidance or interference from political institutions. Although Baumgartner and Jones provide a role for institutions wherein the
21 policy image can be altered, this institutional impact is never fully explored. More importantly, Baumgartner and Jones do not distingui sh between the types of institutional actors working to change the policy image and therefore cannot explain why particular players act when they do. The second major problem arising from these theories is that these policy lifecycles rarely consider the b lifecycles discussed here pick up in the middle of an actual policy cycle. Downs is the one exception to this problem, as the issue attention cycle seems to explicitly cover newly arising issues. However, Downs never takes his cycle the step further and places it in an actual cyclical context. In sum, then, these policy lifecycles are not as comprehensive as they initially appear. Which Institutions? The Congress, President, and Bureaucracy Beca use the theory presented here explicitly considers the role of institutions in policymaking, we must consider how our major political players go about doing so. The methods of policy intervention offered to each vary greatly and are often used under diffe rent conditions and contexts. For example, the president may have a difficult time trying to change policy through an agency that lacks regulatory powers that can be used unilaterally. Similarly, bureaucracies may be unable to exert an independent measur e of control over a policy area when its saliency rises. As a result, it is necessary to review the methods and motivations of the major actors involved. Congress The Congress retains a number of resources in their fight to make and control national pol icy. First, however, one must ask why members of Congress (MCs) seek to control policy at any given time. To answer this question, we can examine a classic of
22 argues the prima ry motivation of MCs is election and reelection. As such, the activities they undertake are structured around that goal and designed to help reach it. Mayhew proposes that the majority of congressional activities fall into one of three categories: adver tising, credit claiming, and position taking. Additionally, he notes that the structures of Congress are such that they aid MCs in their election activities. Committees, for example, allow members to specialize in policy areas that are critical to their aspire to occupy a part of at least one piece of policy turf small enough so that he can 95). objectives consistent with their electoral goals. It follows, then, that they will want to intervene in policy when it (a) impacts their constituents and more importantly (b ) when the impact of the policy is negative on their constituents. When MCs do decide they want to intervene in policy, the Congress provides a number of tools to allow them to do so. We can view these activities along a continuum ranging from very dire ct and specific influences (for example statutory or authorizing legislation that directs agencies to undertake certain activities in a certain way) to more indirect and signal based activity like changes in committee ideology or make up. Utilizing such a continuum, we can look at the following activities ranging from the most direct to the least direct: lawmaking and statutory control, budgeting, oversight and
23 investigations, deck stacking particularly involving interest groups and other constituent grou ps, and signaling through changes in party and ideology. One of the primary means through which the Congress can affect national policy is through legislating. Although often overlooked by the political science literature examining congressional influence authorizing legislation or even amendments to authorizing legislation can allow Congress to specifically direct agency activities (Dodd and Schott 1979). Although quite powerful, Dodd and Schott acknowledge that the use of such mechanisms is quite depen dent a large number of other factors that can impact the ability of Congress as a whole to pass legislation. As opposed to committee specific activity, authorizing or statutory amendments require legislation to pass both chambers meaning that there often needs to be a general consensus among MCs to change policy directions. Nevertheless, the threat of new statutory language can be a significant signal to agencies to change the direction of their behavior. Because major legislation creating new agencies or reauthorizing them is fairly infrequent, few studies have focused specifically on this type of policy intervention. In a different formulation, we can look at research analyzing the frequency with which s Divided We Govern (1991) or legislation with regards particularly towards divided government, we must also consider what instigates legislation to begin with. For example, i t is doubtful that without the launch of Sputnik in 1957 that legislation creating NASA or the National Defense Education Act. Huber, Shipan, and Pfahler (2001) argue that legislatures attempt to place greater constraints on agencies through statutory lan guage when there is greater
24 conflict between the agency and the legislature. In a test among state legislatures, they find that legislatures tend to write more statutory controls under conditions of a unified legislature thus lowering bargaining costs acr oss a divided legislature. What is missing, then, from the literature is an examination of the conditions under which the Congress tries to enact more or less statutory controls on an agency in order to control agency behavior. Chapter 6 will attempt to address this by analyzing the amount of bureaucratic discretion granted to bureaucracies and the conditions under which it is increased or decreased. Next to actual legislation authorizing programs and agencies, the annual appropriations process can be jus t as direct and have just as big of an impact. As has been observed quite often, agencies can do nothing without the money to act. As such, the budgeting process offers MCs an opportunity to intervene in policy activity. Reviewing appropriations also op ens up oversight of agencies and policies to MCs other than those sitting on authorization committees. In addition to setting funding levels that can make or break a program, Dodd and Schott (1979, 160) argue that statutory appropriations controls also al low MCs to affect the policy process. These constraints usually must be used in a negative manner, with the Congress specifying what agencies cannot do with the funds (ibid). Because the appropriations process is yearly and practically a mandatory activi ty for the Congress to undertake, it offers the most frequent opportunity for MCs to affect policy. The effectiveness of this method of control has been well established (Weingast and Moran 1983; Wood and Waterman 1991). Additionally, Carpenter (1996) fi nds that mere threats of budget cuts are enough to trigger agencies to change their behavior.
25 A third method for MCs to affect policy activity is through oversight activities such as investigations and hearings. Hearings often provide members an opport unity to gather information as well as to publicly claim credit for particular results. They also allow MCs to express their opinion on agency activity often with agency representatives present. Hearings and investigations can thus signal to bureaucracie s how happy (or unhappy) MCs are with agency activities. The literature regarding the effectiveness of oversights and investigations on agency activities has been mixed. While bureaucracies can be informed of congressional opinion during and through these hearings, Weingast and Moran (1983, hearings may be more of a symbolic action rather than substa ntive; MCs could work more comprehensively and effectively behind closed doors or in negotiations regarding the budget or the writing of statutory measures. Indeed, there seems to be an implicit recognition that because committee hearings tend to be a the atre for political credit claiming and advertising that their importance for altering policy behavior may be lessened. A newer method for MCs to use as a way to control policy is through deck stacking 1984) fire alarm metaphor, deck stacking is a means through which MCs bring interest groups and other constituent groups into the policymaking process; as such, these groups are in a position to monitor agency activity and bring attention to activity that original goals. These procedures bring the threat of congressional sanction along with
26 consistent oversight of agency activity with little effort on the part of MCs. Nevertheless, when MCs structure the process in su ch a way as to solicit the participation of particular interest groups, they are attempting to ensure that agency behavior will continue in a way that is consistent with their electoral goals. There have been mixed results on the effectiveness of deck stac king and administrative procedures in the bureaucracy. Balla (1998) finds that procedures designed to allow doctors participating in the Medicare program to comment on proposed changes to the fee schedule did not significantly alter the final regulations. Similarly, Yackee and Yackee (2009) find mixed results when examining the question of whether increased administrative procedures have made the rulemaking process in the bureaucracy more inefficient. Finally, changes in party control of Congress or eve n ideological make up of committees can signal to agencies that their behavior should alter (Weingast and Moran 1983; Moe 1985; Wood and Waterman 1991; Hedge and Johnson 2002). These anticipatory type moves on the part of executive agencies can move behav ior in the direction that they believe will please their congressional masters. Although changes in party or ideology tend to last for at least the next electoral cycle, some research has shown that the changes resulting from these types of congressional signals may be only temporary. For example, Hedge and Johnson find that agencies like EPA did change their policy outputs following the Republican Revolution in Congress in 1994 but the change in activity was not permanent. Despite all of these methods through which the Congress can affect policy outcomes, the overall effectiveness is still in doubt. Dodd and Schott (1979) have
27 argued that the fragmented and decentralized nature of the subcommittee system ention efforts. Echoing the argument of this period, Sundquist (1981) notes that Congress had, for sometime prior to the major congressional reforms of the 1960s and 1970s, had practically given away much of its power to the executive branch. However, gi ven the extent of not only congressional reforms but the resulting strengthening of centralized party control in the Congress, this argument could be in doubt. As the Congress has reclaimed its power in the form of budgeting, subcommittee, and party refor ms, among others, they have certainly placed the institution in a position that can be more powerful and influential with respect to policy. Because of the importance of these reforms, then, it is important to be able to control and account for the change s instituted by them. Both of the policies under consideration share a timeframe for emergence and study therefore I am able to control for the impact of these congressional reforms. The President Along with the increased party strength and subsequent p olarization in Congress has come increased gridlock between the Congress and the president, particularly under conditions of divided government. When these conditions occur, presidents have often found solace in their own independent means of effecting po licy change. As head of the executive in a system of separated institutions sharing power, the president is in a unique position to exert power over the bureaucracy but with tools quite different from the Congress. While the Congress has a particular mot ivation to control policy in the form of reelection, what motivates the president to attempt to control policy through the bureaucracy? While the reelection principle could certainly apply to presidents, because of constitutional limits on the number of t erms they can serve, reelection is an
28 insufficient explanatory motivator for presidents in their second term. Lewis (2003), on the other hand, argues that presidents attempt to control the bureaucracy for the primary reason that they are held accountable for it. As the head of the executive branch, Lewis contends that the American electorate views the president as in charge and therefore culpable for bureaucratic behavior. If this is the case, then it is only natural for presidents to attempt to control it, especially if they will be held responsible for it. In addition to controlling policy because of the responsibility attached to the presidency, presidents also want to place their own stamp on American policy (Eshbaugh Soha 2005). Particularly for pre sidents in their second terms, a concern with their individual legacy is often important for presidents. Regardless of which motivation is primary with individual presidents, it is clear that modern presidents do want to control the bureaucracy and are fa irly capable of doing so. The primary strategy for presidents wanting to affect bureaucratic and/or policy change is the administrative presidency. Nathan (1983, 7) defines the administrative implementation of existing laws rather than advancing these policy aims through the enactment of new bureaucracy through tactics that can be used unilaterally, that is with little to no input or control from the Congress or the judiciary. This strategy lends itself to a number of administrative tactics: the use of appointments, utilization of budgets and budget review through the OMB, the use of civil service reorga nizations, and control through rulemaking.
29 As noted above, executive appointments are not only a primary means through which control over the bureaucracy can be established, but also one of the most effective means. While this power is one that must be used with senatorial approval, the vast majority of bureaucratic nominees are eventually approved. 1 This allows the president a great amount of leeway in establishing leadership in the federal bureaucracy, the effect of which can be detailed in any number of studies (Wood and Waterman 1991; Moe 1985; Golden 2000). Appointments for top leadership positions are not the only ones that are important to a president. Since the Reagan administration, a growing importance has been placed on lower administrative appointments that give the president a greater depth of control over bureaucratic actions (Nathan 1983). Indeed, Reagan pioneered the method of placing ideologically loyal Reaganites in a variety of bureaucratic positions. This helped to ensure that Rea also from lower down in the bureaucracy. Just as Congress has effectively used the budget process to control the activities of the bureaucracy, before the budget process even gets to the Congress, it must go through the White House. The White House, through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) can help to define the level of operations proposed for agency budgets. The process of budget review also allows the White House a certain level of oversi ght over policy proposals stemming from the bureaucracy. For those bureaucracies that may wish to exert a certain amount of policy discretion, that the OMB must review 1 I make the careful distinction here between burea ucratic and judicial nominees. Particularly under the past few presidents, there has been a growing disjuncture between presidential nominees for the federal bench and the Senate. The same cannot be said for presidential nominees to the federal bureaucra cy.
30 proposed budgets curtails some of their independence. For example, the Environmental P demonstrates the extent to which this budget review process can serve to affect agency executive office. Alt hough the civil service system provides a measure of protection to civil servants, presidents have still been able to affect personnel changes through bureaucratic reorganizations and reductions in force (RIF). Nathan (1983) identifies a number of RIFs un dertaken by Reagan that essentially served to eliminate particular agencies, for example the Employment and Training Administration in the Department of Labor. Golden (2000) notes that forced transfers under Reagan also assisted in thinning out the civil service at the EPA. Obviously, using these types of administrative tactics to reduce or eliminate bureaucracy has the capability to affect policy in particular ways. The fact that these actions can be taken unilaterally only enhances the ability of the p resident to change policy direction. Finally, presidents have utilized the rulemaking process, particularly under regulatory agencies, as a way to change policy. Almost every modern president has attempted policy change through changes in rules. Even Pre sident Barack Obama has issued an executive order initiating a review of the regulatory process. Klyza and Sousa (2008) detail one example of regulatory rulemaking through the Clinton and Bush administrations focusing on roadless areas in public wildernes s areas, thus preventing timber harvesting. Utilizing rulemaking procedures, President Clinton moved towards establishing a comprehensive roadless rule. By the time a final rule was issued,
31 President Bush was coming into office and in turn suspended the implementation of pending regulation, all but stopping the roadless rule. Following court challenges and a rule allowing the Forest Service to make decision on roadless ar eas on a state by state ending a nearly decade long process. While individual cases demonstrate the ability of presidents to utilize this method unilaterally, as the case outlined above demonstrates, the process is fraught with difficulty and requires a significant investment of time. Additionally, rulemaking is an extremely fragile metho d of policymaking (Klyza and Sousa 2008). Just as quickly as presidents can move in and out of office, the rules can be reversed, ended, changed, or instituted. While rules might be one of the easiest ways presidents can affect policy change, they are al so just as fragile. Similarly, Eisner and Meier (1990) argue that changes in policy resulting from what seem like presidential initiatives might simply be the continuation of policy started previously directing our attention to the role that bureaucratic discretion can play in proposing, if not instigating, particular rules. The tools a president has to affect policy change unilaterally pale with the extent of policy areas he or she may choose to deal with. While being a single actor gives the president some leeway in acting unilaterally compared to a rather decentralized Congress, the fact that the presidency is held by a solitary person necessarily limits the amount of attention that can be paid to any area at any particular time. Given that the scope of government operations is as extensive and varied as it is, presidents often
32 choose to limit their attention to agenda items that are most important to them. Presidential agenda setting is important in two ways: one, because of the huge variety of pol icy areas, presidents must necessarily limit their attention during their administrations, and two, the agendas of president help to set the stage for what types of policies are considered. Thus, we are lef t with a president who must limit the scope of th eir agenda, a scope that can have immense consequences for policymaking in government as a whole. The nature of the political environment the US faces means that there are some policy areas which are bound to remain important to a president such as the e conomy and international relations (Handberg 1998). Other, less important, policies tend to fall farther down the scale of issues worthy of presidential attention. Additionally, based on the ideological or political stance of the president, he or she may choose to elevate particular policy areas in order to fulfill their own goals. In addition to those issues which tend to remain important all the time, other policies can rise to the presidential agenda at different times. In order to illustrate this co ncept, we can consider what might have happened policy wise if John McCain had won the 2008 presidential election instead of Barack Obama. Either one of the candidates would have had to deal with problems regarding the economic recession and Iraq and Afgh anistan. While President Obama has chosen to elevate health care to the top of his agenda, it is likely that McCain would have gone a completely different direction, perhaps focusing attention on an issue like budget deficits. It is apparent, then, that presidents have some choice in their agenda but also have certain agenda staples that will remain no matter what.
33 In addition to the role presidential choice plays in determining the policy agenda, issue salience can also contribute. Issues assuming a gre ater importance whether due to a certain event or growing crisis can also make their way onto the agenda. It is often these types of issues that demand a policy response from the president and the Congress. Growing public unease over the state of the env ironment in the 1960s and 1970s helped to push President Richard Nixon and the Congress to pass a number of monumental environmental laws and establish the EPA. The launch of Sputnik in 1957 stimulated the establishment of NASA. More recently, the econom ic recession has demanded a number of policy responses from TARP and other stimulus bills to a reexamination of banking regulation. In sum, the pre sidential agenda is limited; the president can only attempt to leverage his or her political capital on so many areas at a given time. In some ways, the presidential attention and the salience of particular issues will also push particular policies on presidents. On the othe r hand, presidents do have some amount of choice over the policy areas they choose to pursue. What is important for the research being conducted here is that presidential attention and political capital is limited; as such, the door opens for other actors to come into the policy process. Bureaucracy Where the president and, to a lesser extent, the Congress must focus on a wide and varied agenda, the job of government bureaucracies is such that they focus on one topical area at all times. Although perceive d to be institutions through which policy is enacted rather than policy made, it is undeniable that the bureaucracy has a certain amount of policy discretion that it has used quite often. Bureaucratic discretion can be
34 defined as the extent to which polit ical actors have delegated significant authority to bureaucracies to make determinations about policy or policy implementation. This discretion can be viewed as something that has either been given to an agency through the actions of their principals (the Congress and the president) or has been attained through the actions of the agency. In reality, however, the amount of discretion a bureau has at any given time is a combination of both sets of actions, with both the agency and the principals reacting to the actions of the other. Figure 1 1 displays a feedback loop of agency and principal actions. This loop describes a feedback cycle in which the actions of the Congress and the president inform the actions of the bureaucracy which then cycle through. As crucial decisions pertaining to the structure of the bureaucracy, its budget, who heads it, and how much oversight it is given. Based on these factors, bureaucracies may attempt to develop their own bases of power in interest groups, other departments and agencies, and even with political principals, change their activities and outputs, develop and utilize an information asymmetry, and develop a particular organizational culture and /or mission. These actions can then cause the Congress or the president to change their actions with respect to the bureaucracy. Because the ways in which Congress and the president seek to control bureaucracy have already been explored above, this sectio n will focus on the actions that the bureaucracy can undertake. Before examining these in more detail, we must address the motivations a bureaucracy would have for first, responding to their principals, and second, attempting to respond in such a way that might serve their own
35 interests. If we treat the relationship between the president and the Congress and the bureaucracy as a principal agent relationship, then the agent, the bureaucracy, has a certain motivation to respond to the desires of the princip al. There are cases, however, where the bureaucracy may respond in a way that is not desirable to the principals; instead, the bureaucracy may be responding in such a way as to enhance their own political position or power. This is in accordance with res earch that views the main desires of the bureaucracy, the main motivation, to be achieving more policy discretion and control over their own realm as well as increasing their own resources. In other words, bureaucracies respond to principals not only becau se of the intrinsic relationship present between them, but because they want to increase their own power. In order to do so, they must appease their political masters and muster their own political power. Bureaucracies can respond to their principals in a number of ways. First and foremost is through changes in their activities and outputs. Hedge and Johnson (2002) have shown that agencies responded to changes in leadership in 1994 1995 through changes in their monitoring outputs. In her study of the EP A, Golden demonstrated that, among others, the EPA and the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration changed their activities during the Reagan years. While these actions might not show much bureaucratic independence, they do show two thin gs. First, bureaucracies respond to their principals. Second, in responding to their principals and appeasing them, the principals may find that they can trust the bureaucracies to pursue policy objectives and in turn delegate more power and resources to them. Bureaucracies, then, have a motivation to respond to their principals, even if the actual action of responding is not necessarily in their interest to begin with.
36 The Congress and the president are not the only people to whom the bureaucracy can tu rn to in the search for greater discretion. Bureaucracies often attempt to move outside of the realm of their principals to find political allies with which to shore up their own political power base. For many agencies, the support of interest groups can help to insulate their activities from the Congress and the president, as can alliances with other bureaucracies. For example, NASA has historically gone outside of the Congress to find support for major programs like the space shuttle and International Space Station; they have sought support from the Department of Defense and the National Institutes of Health. The Department of Agriculture has also been able to levy the support it has from agriculture based interest groups to protect its own purview. In addition to cultivating outside support, bureaucracies can also accumulate a certain amount of information asymmetry that can be utilized to empower it. Because they are directly involved in instituting policy, bureaucrats often accumulate policy specifi c knowledge and expertise which political principals lack and find costly to acquire. Agencies can use this information asymmetry to increase the amount of acquire the agency specific knowledge, the more the agency can extract from the Congress. In other words, information asymmetries can work to benefit bureaucracies polic y in operation and therefore must trust the bureaucracy to do the best or right thing. Although Congress and even the president can find ways around this asymmetry through the use of monitoring by interest groups and other organized constituent
37 groups, in formation asymmetries are significant in that they can increase the amount of discretion bureaucracies can have or seek to gain. A final way through which agencies can act to derive their own independent power is through the development of an organizationa l culture. Although this particular action does not necessarily result in any specific behavior, the development of a widely accepted agency mission can help direct agency motivations in particular directions or focus the agency on policy areas that are m ore or less important to the agency as a whole. Often, these organizational missions develop at the beginning of a out of older ones; the mission of those older bureaucra cies may influence the mission of the new bureaucracy. Additionally, new bureaucracies endowed with a particular policy or direction of policy may come to identify themselves with that policy, advocating it above all others. Looking at the principal age nt feedback loop as a whole, we might surmise that agencies develop more discretion over time. New bureaucracies have little in the way of an independent power base or information asymmetry; it takes time to develop an organizational culture and assess ho w changes in output may influence political principals. This perspective is in opposition to the bureaucratic lifecycle theories advocated by Downs (1967) and Wilson (1989). While each of these scholars proposes a different theory of bureaucratic lifecyc le, the bottom line of each is that bureaucracies have more power and flexibility at the beginning of their lifetimes. Both propose that as agencies age, they become more conservative and less flexible. It is in the beginning, particularly for Downs, tha
38 pursuing policy options (Downs 1967, 5). As the policy area grows, another type of pursue policy innovation. As the social function of the agency decreases in relative importance compared to the importance it engendered at its creation, other bureaus become increasingly competitive, the agency finds difficulty in conti nuing to produce good results, and conflicts among the climbers who increasingly populate the agency over internal politics redirects their attention from the activities of the agency (ibid, 12 13). In his theory, Downs neglects the types of behaviors that can serve to increase bureaucratic power later on. For instance, an information asymmetry is less likely to be get to the moon in 1961 as NASA did at the time. It is on develop their expertise and knowledge that can then be exploited. Additionally, newer bureaucracies have had less time to cultivate independent power bases or court important political actors. The Congress and the president ha ve a number of powers at their disposal that research has shown that bureaucracies do indeed respond to. In turn, however, bureaucracies also have methods through which they respond to their principals but also seek to empower themselves. Plan of the Di ssertation Institutions have a wide variety of means and motivations to influence policy in their favored direction. It is only natural to ask, given this, when are institutions more adept at it? In other words, when are these individuals in the best pos ition to affect policy? The Congress has a number of tools including legislation, budgeting, and
39 hearings and oversight as well as many people who can use these tools. This allows the Congress to have a larger agenda than other political actors. The pre sident has some very direct tools and influences including appointments and regulatory enforcement but the president can be limited in using them by time and context. Finally, bureaucracies have the most amounts of direct knowledge, expertise, and special ization but they must respond to their political masters in order to retain influence and gain more. Because of these institutional contexts, we should expect policies to emerge in a particular, patterned way. It is this pattern w e will now turn to. Ch apter 2 will lay out the institutional lifecycle theory to be examined. It will outline the basic behavioral assumptions inherent in it, the three phases of the theory, and the major hypotheses to be tested in the remainder of the dissertation. Chapter 3 will examine the two policy areas in brief, human spaceflight and clean air. I will also present data stemming from a content analysis of New York Times articles regarding these two policy areas. The data track the relevance of each policy area to the m ajor institutions in question giving a broad overview of the cyclic patterns of the lifecycle. Chapters 4 through 6 will treat each institution separately beginning with the Congress, the president in Chapter 5 and finally the bureaucracy. Each chapter w ill examine institution specific data related to consideration of each policy area. These data will demonstrate how patterns of policy direction change with regards to each institution over time. These chapters will also allow me to present case studies in each chapter of relevant events.
40 Cha pter 7 will summarize the findings of this dissertation. It will also consider what this lifecycle theory can tell us about the history of each policy to be considered. Both human spaceflight and clean air are at a crossroads in American politics. As NASA struggles to move from a government sponsored spaceflight paradigm to privately run policy change to occur. Clean air poli cy has also become intrinsic in the debate over global warming and climate change. With calls for carbon emissions to be tracked and traded and the economic impact of such a policy called into question, clean air policy has taken on an entirely different character as environmental questions become tied in with economic ones. In any case, the institutional lifecycle theory will be able to shed light on the policy difficulties both will encounter in the near future. Figure 1 1. Principal agent feedb ack loop
41 CHAPTER 2 A THEORY OF INSTITUT IONAL POLICY LIFECYC LES On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first barrage in the Space Race: Sputnik. The first man made satellite shocked the United States and its citizens and brought the realization that the Soviet Union possessed the capability to launch nuclear weapons from practically any distance. Prior to this, the Uni ted States had only an infantile space program; its research was mostly focused on designing rudimentary scientific satellites t hat could be launched under the guise of the International Geophysical Year. Sputnik also launched a policy crisis as the United States and its citizenry grappled with how to respond to such Soviet actions. While headlines of a Space Race became commonpla ce and a large portion of people demanded a larger US response, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, fearing that an overwhelming response would cost an extraordinary amount, responded to the initial launching with a cautious approach that focused on strengthen ing American air defenses against possible Soviet attack (Burrows 1998). This would not be enough for many in the United States, however. As Soviet achievements mounted, so did the pressure for an increased American response. By the beginning of 1958, E isenhower agreed in principle to the creation of a civilian bureaucracy to oversee the American space effort. On October 1, 1958, via legislative action, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was brought into being. In 1962, barely a y ear after NASA was first successful at launching a human into outer space, the book Silent Spring was published. Written by Rachael Carson, the book detailed the perilous effect that pesticides, most prominently DDT, had on the environment. Much like Spu tnik, Silent Spring brought to life a new problem for the
42 American people: environmental degradation. Although presidents and politicians prior to the 1960s had previously considered environmental issues, the awakening of the public to the growing import ance of such issues gave new and sustained life to the environment as a public policy problem. Evidence of the growing political concern over the environment also comes from the Senate, where Senator Edmund Muskie brought the attention of the public to th e associated environmental issue of water pollution. Efforts were made to curb environmental excess: the Water Quality Act was passed in 1965 and the Air Quality Act in 1967. However, the public outcry over environmental issues would not recede. This ultimately led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1970 by President Richard Nixon. The new independent agency would consolidate all regulatory control over environmental laws in one agency where none had existed before. While these two cases demonstrate the creation of new federal bureaucracies, they also illustrate presidential initiative in response to policy crisis. Although NASA and EPA were created through different mechanisms (one legislatively and one executively), they were both brought on through the recognition of policy problems that needed to be rectified. Often the first step of many in initiating a policy response, the creation of responsible bureaucracies represents a major step in the policy process, one that b rings about its own ramifications. New and pressing policy problems and presidential initiatives are where my story begins. Common in both of these instances were presidential interest, and incidentally in the case of the environment, senatorial interest. This chapter will explore and lay out a theory of institutionally based policy lifecycles. In brief, I propose that when a new
43 policy area first enters the political landscape, the president and the Congress, specifically the Senate for reasons that will be outlined below, dominate the initial policy response. Over time, as the patterns of policy consideration are normalized for this policy area, the issue falls off the presidential and Senate agendas and is instead dominated by the bureaucracy tasked wi th dealing with the issue and the House of Representatives. This policy stasis can be upset during periods of crisis or uncertainty surrounding the policy during which the president and the Senate reenter into the issue area prior to another stable policy period. This institutional theory of the policy lifecycle, then, is continuous in that a policy can cycle through periods of crisis and stability. Assumptions This theory is based on four main assumptions. First, the president, as a rational actor, see ks to control national policy. By including the term rational, I assume that presidents have a structured hierarchy of preferences and that they will, in most cases, act with regards to those preferences. 1 Plausibly, we can argue that one of the first pr eferences a president has is to control national policy. The president may wish to do so for reasons related to reelection such as making a mark on public policy and seeking approval from the public for their control of policy. In order for a president t o most directly claim credit for policy directives, he (or she) must be able to act independently. As previous research has shown, the president does act independently and is relatively successful at it. Presidents can propose policy changes, changes tha t would eventually need to be ratified by the Congress or they can try to institute them unilaterally through 1 This assumption does not rule out the possibility that presidents will behave irrationally, or in other words, act in a manner that is not consistent with their preferences. This assumption merely lays out that presidents, seeking to influence and c ontrol policy, will act in most instances, to try to achieve such goals.
44 the tools of the administrative presidency. Regulatory rule changes, budgetary control, executive orders, and presidential appointments, among ot hers are all ways in which presidents can unilaterally affect policy. While most major changes will eventually need to be ratified by the Congress whether in the form of statutory authorization, approval of appointees, or through the budgetary process, th e president can make significant changes in policy on their own. It is through these means that presidents can make the most of the claim that they have change policy, hopefully for the better. Further, the condition of having a national constituency rath er than a more localized one, will affect the types of policy activities the president undertakes; the policies the president seeks to change, then, will tend to be national in nature. This will provide the president with the opportunity to claim the wide st benefits to the largest groups of people possible. While presidents can and do focus on smaller constituencies at some point, from the standpoint of efficiency, if the president can change a policy that affects a large number of people, it would be bet ter to change that one rather than a handful of policies each relating to different, smaller constituencies. Chapter 1 also laid out the restrained nature of the presidential agenda. Once is quite crowded. Between the issues that occur because of circumstance and the issues that are placed the president is faced with an agenda that must be pared down and focused on the major questions of the day. In sum, then, assumption one sees the presidents as an actor who wishes to change national policy and take credit for it, but as an actor who is constrained by their own agenda.
45 The second assumption is that members of Congress behave in a manner structure the activities they undertake around it. Here, however, is where differences between the two chambers come most into focus. While most theories examining the policy cycle and bureaucracies tend to consider the Congress as one monolithic institution, this neglects the fact that the Congress is a bicameral institution with chambers that are quite dissimilar. A number of congres sional scholars have noted just how unique and distinct the Senate as a legislative institution (Dodd 2002; Sinclair 2002; Lee and Oppenheimer 1999; Shepsle, Van Houweling, Abrams, and Hanson 2009). The differences arise from a number of characteristics t hat the founders endowed the Senate with. Primary among those differences is that of size; the Senate is a considerably smaller institution with 100 can have enormous cons equences, primary among them being that the Senate tends to a more individualistic chamber compared to the majoritarian House (Sinclair 2002). As such, individual senators are endowed with a greater amount of power in the legislative process, something th at is reflected in rules requiring supermajorities for particular votes. Additionally, with fewer members, senators are less able to specialize in any one issue area because of the need for them to serve on multiple committees. Dodd (2002) has also argue d that the smaller size of the Senate and their unique processes allows them to respond to newer policy areas quicker than their counterparts in the House. ate is more nationally oriented, more issue conscious, more tolerant
46 and freewheeling, more publicity prone, probably more liberal, and more conducive to Another key difference between the House and the Senate are th e electoral timeframes that members must deal with. Members of the House work within two year spans; as a result, the policies that they focus on tend to have a shorter time frame in which to come to fruition. After all, if they wish to claim credit for an initiative, constituents must be able to see the result before the next election. Senators on the other hand, have a longer amount of time to consider six years. Their focus on policy can be longer term in nature compared to the House. These long te rm policies also tend to be more national in nature which can bring about a greater amount of media coverage, something incumbent senators need for their own reelection purposes (Lee and Oppenheimer 1999). Further, Shepsle, Van Houweling, Abrams, and Hans on (2009) have shown that this varied electoral timetable indeed influences the actions of senators in their seeking of pork barrel projects; as the time approaches for reelection, senators redouble their efforts in seeking funds for their home states help ing to demonstrate further the behavioral effects of institutional characteristics. Related to both size and elections is the nature of their constituencies. Senators, being representatives of their state, naturally have a larger constituency to please compared to representatives. Where representatives can focus their attention on smaller issues related directly to their constituencies, states are conglomerations of these smaller interests and thus must be considered with a broader eye. The Constitution also endows each chamber with different tasks. Privileged with the ability consider appropriations bills first, the House naturally concentrates its energy
47 each year on construction of a budget. The Senate, however, has to consider not only regular legi slation but also treaties and appointments, tasks that take considerable time. With fewer members, the Senate obviously has mo re to do with fewer people, in turn limiting the types and the nature of policies they routinely consider (Dodd 2002). These dif ferences play a role in the cyclical pattern of issue consideration between the chambers, as will be outlined below. A final difference between the chambers relates directly to the policy process itself the Senate is a supermajoritarian institution that e mpowers minorities whereas the House works on a majoritarian basis. The results stemming from this are quite clear; while a majority in the House may be able to pass legislation, it will often be holed up in the Senate where small minorities can prevent i ts passage. This essentially means that be passed at all. From this point alone, it should be clear that the differences between the House and Senate lead to di fferences in consideration of policy but when taken with the rest of the differences, it is more than apparent that the two chambers should be considered separately when examining their impact on national policy. In sum, this theory assumes that although a ll MCs will act in accordance with the principle of reelection, they do so in a different manner. The Senate, being smaller, more individualistic, with larger constituencies and longer electoral time frames, will be able to respond to new policy areas qui cker and with a more national focus. The House, on the other hand, will be slower to adapt and consider new policy areas. Once they do, however, the ability of members to specialize in specific issue areas and the
48 privileged status the House has with mon ey bills brings the consideration of policy more firmly within the realm of the House. A third assumption relates to the motivations of the bureaucracy. I assume the bureaucracy to be an organization that seeks independent control over policy. While not being specific in how they do this, this assumption is widely accepted by scholars who contend that bureaucracies are self seeking organizations looking to pad their budgets with slack and other resources (Bendor and Moe 1985; Bendor, Taylor, and Van Gaale n 1987; Niskanen 1975). These scholars work primarily under the assumption that bureaucrats seek to maximize their budget thereby increasing their own resources and power. Niskanen in particular has made the argument that a government bureaucracy serves essentially as a monopoly as it is the only organization that provides a particular service to the government. For example, the Department of Defense is the only purveyor of military services; since there is no competition that would serve to drive down c osts, the DOD can act in their own interest by arguing to political principals that their services can be had only at or above a particular price point. Bureaucracies, recognizing this monopolist ic principle can act in their own interest by padding their budgets and asking for more resources than they know is necessary to quite important. Because the major political actors may find it difficult to gauge the actual cost of a activities will require a larger amount of resources than may absolutely be necessary. Since the bureau has the information advantage and the Congress and/or president do
49 not have the ti me, resources, or expertise to argue otherwise, bureaucracies can be placed at a particularly strong advantage. Finally, I assume that policies are path dependent. Paul Pierson (2000) has described path dependence as a phenomenon of increasing return s: In an increasing returns process, the probability of further steps along the same path increases with each move down that path. This is because the relative benefits of the current activity compared with other possible options increase over time. To p ut it a different way, the costs of exit of switching to some previously plausible alternative rise (Pierson 2000, 252). In other words, as policy responses first emerge and are formed, they tend to cut off other policy options and sink resources and c osts into the chosen policy. The result can be to foreclose other options and set the direction of policy for quite sometime after. This does not mean, however, that policy will never make a major course change. This view of path dependence simply recog nizes that as time goes on, opportunities for change become more expensive with respect to opportunity costs. As path dependence scholars have pointed out, windows of opportunity for change do open and at those moments it is possible to change the directi on of policy. These windows usually open at periods of crisis where the policy comes into question. As a result, policy may change drastically during these windows of opportunity leading to a significantly different policy than what existed prior to the moment of crisis. Phases of the Lifecycle There are three basic phases of the lifecycle proposed here: issue uptake, issue assimilation and routinization, and crisis. In each of these three phases, each institution behaves in a particular manner with re spect to the policy under consideration.
50 Issue Uptake The first phase a policy goes through happens when it is first introduced as a policy problem. This can happen through a precipitating crisis or through a gradual build up over time. Examples of crise s can be seen not only in the case of space policy and the creation of NASA but more recently in 9/11 and the creation of first, the White House Office of Homeland Security and later the Department of Homeland Security. Although global terrorism in its ma ny forms had been an issue for quite sometime previous to 2001, it was only with the overwhelming shock of the events of September 11th that the issue of terrorism was brought home. Along with this realization came the shaping of issues regarding terroris m and an American policy response to it. Issue uptake as a phase of the institutional policy lifecycle, restricts itself to the emergence of a policy problem in a political sense on the national scene. The examples above illustrate this: terrorism has be en an issue of concern far before the events of 9/11 and the US was building rockets far before October of 1957. Further, environmental concerns have bubbled up in the American public long before the 1960s. Issues may come to our attention in any number of ways whether through direct experience, grassroots efforts, or through some important event. Because of this wide variance, the institutional policy lifecycle does not focus on the ways in which issues tical recognition that a policy problem exists. When issues first arise, by whatever means, issues take on a national bent. It becomes a national imperative to respond and the public demands a response. Even for issues such as the environment or clean ai r policy, where the problem may be more or less severe based on where in the United States one is, the demand is at the federal
51 level for some sort of response to be levied. The question that must be asked, then, is what institutions are best poised at th is point to respond to the national crisis? Through the lens of this institutional analysis, the answer is first, the president, and second, the Senate. The president, as the only nationally elected public official, most directly bears the burden of respo nding to a national crisis. Not only does he (or she) have a national electorate, but the pressure of an increasingly salient issue making its way onto the presidential agenda individual (altho ugh they are an important source) but by the circumstances that occur while the individual is in office. As public demand increases for a policy response, a president will be inclined to act to shape a policy response. The Senate, on the other hand, has a different set of motives for moving quickly on new agenda items. These motives stem from some of the characteristics of the Congress noted above. First, the Senate, being smaller in number than the House, tends to be more individualistic with more pol icy entrepreneurs in its ranks. These individuals are well placed to move quickly to capitalize on an issue of growing national importance. Second, the constituencies of each member of the Senate are much larger than a single congressional district, and as such comprise far more interests. Because of this, senators tend to focus on more broad and encompassing issues, allowing them to bring to light some of the emerging policy areas to begin with. Finally, because senators operate on a longer electoral t imeframe, their actions do not have to show immediate results as House members are forced to do. Senators therefore have the luxury of attending to more long term, national, and emerging policy problems.
52 These actors may consider a range of policy solutio ns. A new bureaucracy may be created, either through legislative or executive action. This bureaucracy could be in the form of a White House office (as was the case for Homeland Security), the formation the creation of a new regulatory body (the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), an independent agency created through a statutory act (NASA), an independent agency created through executive order ( the EPA), or even through the reorganization of an existing bureaucracy. Any one of these new actors will be in a place to implement and carry out whatever policy response is envisaged by the political actors but being a new player will lack the poise, expertise, resources, and political power to independ ently act on the policy direction. In this context, more policy related action will be seen to come from the White House and the Senate as policies begin to emerge. If we consider the assumption that policies tend to be path dependent, the early policy ac tions by these politicians bring with them important precedents. In initially dealing with a policy in a particular way, the president and the Senate can either include or preclude possible future responses. These early policy paradigms may prove difficu lt to move away from in the future when other elected officials may wish to change them. The sunk costs of approaching a policy in a particular way may not allow for change later therefore the actions that the president and the Senate take in this early phase are quite significant for future policy paths. What results from this phase is a policy response to a new issue shaped by the president and the Senate. This response will often be carried out through a new bureaucratic agency which is put in place t o implement and direct policy. As such, the
53 their new area of operation. Hypotheses 1 A The first phase leads to three hypotheses to be considered in this work. T he first hypothesis has to do with presidential reaction. When a policy problem first emerges and thus lacks an institutionalized response, the president will move to take advantage of this opportunity to set the agenda for a new policy. Because the pres ident must attend to a national agenda, the policy problem will recede in importance for the president over time. What we should expect to see, then, is presidential statements on policy or actions regarding the policy to rise at the beginning of a policy Hypothesis 1B The second hypothesis considers the role of the Senate. As the president endeavors to institutionalize the response, the Congress must become involved. Because of the differing institutional characteristics including size, difference in electorate, and difference in electoral timetable, between the House and Senate, the Senate will take precedence in the early setting of policy. Much like the president, we will see th While the Senate is still acting with regards to the electoral imperative, they are doing so in a qualitatively different way by capitalizing on new policy areas and focusing on more national areas of concern. Hypothesis 1C The third hypothesis of the issue uptake phase concerns the bureaucracy. As a new bureaucracy is established, its ability to independently advocate for their policy area will be lessened. In other words, newly formed agencies will lack
54 the ability to guide policy as they focus on building their own capabilities, implementing early stages of the policy response, and consolidating their own bases of power. While this hypothesis contradicts other arguments r egarding bureaucratic lifecycles, mainly that they are more politically powerful at the beginning of their lifetime, we should see that newly established bureaucracies will tend to advocate less for their policy and concentrate more on implementing the pol icy the relevant political actors have decided upon. Issue Assimilation and Routinization In the second phase, issues have moved on from their initial appearance on the agenda, have had a policy response institutionalized, and are now moved into the normal political process. This will include finding a place in the normal budgetary process begun annually in the House, the responsible bureaucracy consolidating their policy area and building their own political base, and the issue falling off the political a genda. As it falls off the agenda, the Senate and the president are less apt to take notice of it leaving the arena open for involvement by the House of Representatives and the responsible bureaucracy. Three major elements occur during this phase. First, the issue falls off the agenda. As noted before, the number of issues that confront policymakers is far too onerous for all areas to be considered simultaneously. This is particularly difficult for the president, but also difficult for the Senate. Here against them. Most senators must serve on multiple committees and even more its size limitation simply cannot sustain a large amount o f attention on one issue area
55 over an extended amount of time, particularly when the issue area is not in the first tier of policy necessities. Where size works against the Senate in this instance, size works to the advantage of the House. Because it is o ver four times the size of the Senate, its many members serve on fewer committees allowing individual members of Congress to devote more time to more issue areas. Additionally, House members will tend to have a small number of major interests in their dis trict; because their constituency is smaller, they must focus on the issues important to their voters which will tend to be less in number consequences of new policies may not be re adily apparent when the policy first emerges, as the policy is implemented and becomes routine, the impact on congressional districts will become more apparent. As such, more House members will desire to be involved in the policy issue that may be affecti ng their community. What we are left with is a House well poised to allow its members to largely concentrate on the issue areas they would like to, allowing more issues to be covered more comprehensively. wn as the budget give its committees first pass at delineating the federal budget for the next fiscal year. As no bureaucracy, program, or policy can long exist without funding, this House function takes on increased importance with respect to many, if no t most, policy areas. Previous research has argued that in this function, the House acts in the main to set the parameters of the budget while the Senate acts in an ancillary role as an appeals court for those agencies seeking to alter the House written b udget (Davis, Dempster,
56 Wildavsky 1966; Fenno 1966). 2 The House, then, seems to take the largest interest in the budget and therefore is well placed to focus on policy areas not only intensely, but also regularly. In sum, due to its institutional characte ristics including size, electoral time span and constituency, and constitutional obligations, members of the House of Representatives are capable of pursuing a larger agenda than either the president or the Senate. Through this larger agenda, the House is able to consider more policy areas with members who want to specialize in particular areas because of the nature of their home district. They are able to do this on a regular basis and most importantly, through the budgetary process. Another institution that is even more able to intensely focus on any given policy area is the responsible bureaucracy. As the agency or office given direct responsibility for implementing and specializing in the particular policy, the bureaucrats inhabiting the agency spend their days doing nothing but. This expertise is not something that usually While the agency might initially be staffed with experts in the given field, expertise in po licy does not necessarily translate into expertise with the politics of policy. For a bureaucracy to strengthen itself politically they must become sufficiently schooled in the ins and outs of Washington; they must become familiar with the political backw aters, the congressional power sources, and the outside interest groups that could support their cause, among others. This is not something that tends to show up overnight. 2 Admittedly, this research has existed for sometime. However, I believe its use to still be justified for two primary reasons. First, simply because something is old does not mean the findings are dated or do not work cited previously is another example). Second, no major research has been presented, to my knowledge, that c ontradicts this argument or supposition.
57 Given this, when agencies are first created, they are not in a place to independen tly alter the course of policy. While their expertise and advice may be appreciated, developing in house policy and pursuing it to the highest levels of government will tend to be difficult. Instead, they must consolidate their resources and become famil iar with their political allies in addition to building their own capabilities to implement the initial policy decided upon. Overtime, as the bureaucracy becomes more developed and more adept at what it takes to implement policy and determine it, an infor mation asymmetry will begin to grow. This information asymmetry, where the bureaucracy knows more about the costs of policy than the political principles and can then use it to their advantage, is often used to the advantage of the agency itself. Compound ed with the fact that bureaucracies have a certain amount of special policy power can grow. As it does, it can begin to direct the course of policy being taken. Another concept also comes into play here, th at of the policy network. Policy networks have been defined as groups of relevant political actors who engage in shaping public policy, to include the congressional committees with jurisdiction in the given policy area, the relevant bureaucracy, interest groups, business interests, and even the general public. Because the bureaucracy begins to develop lines of communication with the committee members of the House who take a deeper interest in the agency than their compatriots in the Senate, a policy netwo rk will begin to grow. While the network often includes members from outside of government it is the dynamics of the House and the relevant agency that form the heart of the network itself.
58 During this second phase, then, the House and the agency become t he dominant players in the policy outcome. Although policy changes at the margins might occur, the larger direction of the policy will be fairly settled as the original decisions made by the president and the Senate have set a particular course for the po licy. As we will see with the discussion of space policy, early on in its lifetime, the dominant policy paradigm settled upon was that of the necessity and importance of human spaceflight funded and directed by government itself. Over time, the methods o f human spaceflight have changed (for example, from expendable rockets such as the Saturn V that went to the moon to the partially reusable space shuttle), the agreed upon direction, that of government run spaceflight, has not. Therefore, the House and th e agency may be able to change the tools of policy but not the overall goals during this phase of the theory. This argument does not preclude the president or the Senate from being involved at all in the policy area. Certainly, both institutions will cont about the policy and able to alter it. The theory put forth here simply argues that the House and the bureaucracy become the dominant policy players. Hypothesis 2A Phase two, issue assimilation and routinization, leads to an other set of hypotheses. The first one considers the role of the House. As the policy under consideration becomes assimilated into the normal political process, the House of Representativ es will increase their influence with regards to the policy. In ex amining this influence, we would expect to see changes in the behavior of the House through hearings, investigations, or even a greater activity regarding the policy during budget
59 actions. In any case, as policies move into this second phase, while the Se actions are decreasing, we will see the House become more active. Hypothesis 2B The second hypothesis of this phase serves as a companion to hypothesis 1C outlined above. It states: As newer bureaucracies age, they will become more competent in their policy area and thus better positioned to exert an independent influence whether through discretion or other advisory means on the given policy. While activity on a policy is more readily apparent in the House, Senate, and even the executive branch this type of activity may be more difficult to detect. In regulatory type agencies such as the EPA, we may expect to see a greater incidence of new rules or inspections of facilities that emit pollution. However, in agencies like NASA that have no regu latory power, evidence for hypothesis 2B will come from detailed policy histories that demonstrate NASA working actively to support a specific policy. Issues in Crisis As is readily apparent, presidents and the Senate do not stay out of the determination of policy forever ; they can reemerge to guide policy and play an equally important role later on. The third phase of the institutional policy lifecycle is that of a policy in crisis. Much like the origins of new policy problems discussed above, an issue crisis can erupt in any number of ways. There may be a single event that jolts policymakers into reconsidering the issue like the Challenger and Columbia disasters in 1986 and 2003, respectively. These events brought space back onto the issue agenda and left policymakers questioning the reigning policy paradigm. Alternatively, the policy might once again experience a building of public recognition to the point where public opinion demands the issue be dealt with once again. Finally, policy entrepreneur s may
60 act to bring more attention to the issue and/or the failings of current policy such that the public once again demands attention to it and policy change is generated. In any case, the issue in crisis rises once again to the top of the political agend a, demanding attention from the Senate and the president. There are additional reasons during the crisis phase regarding why the president and the Senate may reemerge. Because during the second phase, the dominant players were the House and the bureaucra cy, one or both of these institutions may be blamed for the policy failure to begin with. Usually, it is the bureaucracy that is taken to task for failing to prevent an incident or by playing a role in the precipitating crisis. Therefore, the president a nd the Senate will step in to try to rectify the policy problem. With the issue reemerging onto the presidential agenda, the president may take the opportunity to introduce new policy proposals. These proposals may result from internal White House deliber ations or even from White House commissions put together to consider the issue. Presidents may reiterate their support for the given policy but instead support reforms in how it is carried out or even in the bureaucracy itself. In any case, the president cannot afford to be seen to do nothing during a policy crisis. Even for those president s serving a second term and not facing a reelection imperative, being seen to be ineffective can be just as dangerous to post administration appraisals. One need only to see that presidential inaction, even in a second term, can lead to consequences for the administration. The crisis stage will be the easiest place for the dominant policy paradig m to be changed. With the status quo policy in question, the Senate and the president are once
61 again in a prime position to change the direction of policy and alter the policy paradigm. Once again, this does not mean the bureaucracy or the House will not play some role in considering these policy options; during this stage, the Senate and the president become dominant in setting policy again. This does not mean, either, that a change in the paradigm has to occur. It could be that the relevant political actors find it easier to alter the policy in place through a series of reforms or changes rather than completing rewriting the relevant policy. This occurred following the Challenger accident in 1986; while NASA was severely reprimanded and forced to inst itute a number of additional safety measures, the space shuttle program (or even the burgeoning space station which would depend on the shuttle) was not ended and the government sponsored human spaceflight paradigm was left intact. Depending on the extent of the crisis and the nature of the policy area, the time a policy spends in the crisis phase may vary. In most instances, it will last at least through the next budget cycle as the changes in policy are first put forward for the next budget process provides the theatre in which changes in policy take place. In this instance, the Senate may take a more active role in laying out the changes to policy that will be taken. They may do this by calling more hearings, proposing changes to st atutory authorizations, altering the budget more so than they normally would, or even holding more investigations into the cause of the current crisis. The crisis state will eventually abate. Regardless of whether the policy response is something akin t o the status quo or a complete upending of the policy paradigm, much like the transition from the first into the second phase, eventually the problem will fade from public purview and the agenda once again. The policy will revert back to the
62 second phase with the House and bureaucracy reemerging to policy dominance once again. At this point, however, the policy they may be administering could be quite different from the previous policy or could be an alteration of the status quo. The crisis stage is such that the policy lifecycle can return to it; for the lifetime of the policy in question, it will generally cycle through phase two, the routine phase, and phase three, the crisis phase. Hypothesis 3A The crisis phase provides yet another set of hypothesis for consideration. With regards to the president and the Senate, hypothesis 3A states: During times of policy crisis, the influence, and in turn the activity levels, of the Senate and the president with respect to the policy under study will increase. This hypothesis is essentially the converse of hypotheses 1A and 1B. We would expect to see the president and the Senate to once again increase their policy actions, whether it is policy pronouncements, proposals, hearings, investigations, increased legis lative activity, appointments, etc. Hypothesis 3B The final hypothesis considers the roles of the House and the bureaucracy under periods of crisis. During times of policy crisis, the influence of the House of Representatives and the relevant bureaucracy will decrease. Similarly, we can use the same methods of measuring policy activity as we would see during the second phase, to fall during the crisis phase. Conclusion This chapter has laid out a theory of institutional policy lifecycles. Based upon the basic characteristics of the major American political institutions, I have hypothesized that policy will evolve around dominant actors that emerge at different times. In phase one, as policy problems initially emerge, the president and the Senate tend to dominate
63 the policy discussion. The decisions and policy that emerge in this phase help to set the course for policy over the following phases. In phase two, the routine phase, the interest in policy from the president and Senate fall as the activity le vel of the House and the relevant bureaucracy begin to increase with respect to the given policy. Newer bureaucracies have had time to consolidate their own institution and capabilities and become experienced in the political process. House members, beca use of their electoral imperatives and larger number, are better placed to take greater control over policy. Given the path dependent nature, however, the policy paradigm is unlikely to change at this point with policy changes coming at the margins of the policy itself. In phase three, the crisis stage, a policy crisis upends this relationship and brings the Senate and the president back to the table. As these institutions respond to the crisis, the response can range anywhere from a major revision of the policy paradigm to smaller policy/bureaucratic reforms. As the crisis begins to fade from public recognition, the policy falls back into the second stage where the agency and House can dominate the policy discussion. The coming chapters will test the hyp otheses laid out in this chapter but before moving into that, we must become somewhat familiar with the two policy areas under study: human spaceflight and clean air.
64 CHAPTER 3 HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT AN D CLEAN AIR On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8, only the seco nd manned Apollo mission, launched from Cape Canaveral on a trip to the moon. There would be no actual landing on the moon during this mission, but a basic orbiting of the moon; it would be the first time in history that human beings left the orbit of the ir home planet to encounter the gravitational pull of another. Apollo 8, aside from the historical significance of the mission, would also allow the United States to claim some achievement of the moon goal laid out by John F. Kennedy some seven years prio r. On Christmas Eve, three astronauts, Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders made a historic broadcast from their command module in orbit around the moon back to the earth. It was the first time i n history that human beings were able to see their planet hanging in the vastness of space. Indeed, on the first orbit of the moon, Lovell snapped the This flight and the pic tures emanating from it would have a significant impact not just on the space program but also on the environmental mo vement. Pictures of a fragile E arth in the blackness and harshness of space have been credited with helping to fuel the environmental mov em ent. The realization that E arth was not just some planet to be used with impunity but a relatively small speck on the cosmic scale brought many to believe that more had to be done to p rotect the environment back on E arth. The connections between these two policy areas would not begin and end with Apollo 8. In the 1980s and 1990s, proposals were made for a Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) to be undertaken by NASA with the goal of deploying a fleet of satellites around the E arth
65 to more thoroughly study th e environment. Then Vice President Al Gore even called for a 24 hour television channel devo ted to showing pictures of the E arth from one of the planned satellites. Although most of MTPE would never come to fruition, space policy and environmental politi cs have been quite linked from the beginning. At outward appearance, human spaceflight and clean air have little in common. Despite their disparate appearances and interesting connections noted above, both broad policy areas share a period of new and grea t policy consideration, the 1960s and 1970s. While significant policies, they do not tend to make an appearance on major political agendas except in periods of crisis. They also share a basis in science rather than just politics lending them a different angle through which they are considered by politicians. And yet space policy and environmental policy are quite different in their own right making the application of the theory of institutional policy lifecycles a greater test of the theory. Where spac e has been perceived as a more narrow issue affecting only those populations that have a direct connection to the space program, the environment is an issue that directly touches upon all of us. While different regions and states have had a more or less s tronger reaction to environmental issues, the wide applicability of it cannot be denied (Hays 2000; Sussman, Daynes, and West 2002; Klyza and Sousa 2008). Environmental policy also by nature involves a wider set of institutions in the form of state governm ents; federalism is rarely invoked with space. Finally, the nature of environmental policy is also quite different from that of space in that it is more regulatory in nature, with various agencies directly involved in setting rules through which the envir onment is protected. Space policy has little to do with regulatory authority, instead
66 focusing on major government funded projects. That environmental policy has a role for rulemaking and regulations naturally opens it up to greater susceptibility to admi nistrative tactics from the presidency and the involvement of major interest groups and the courts. Because both policy areas tend to be broad in nature, it is necessary to more narrowly focus my research. For space, by far the most significant aspect f or policy in the US, both politically and budget wise, is the human spaceflight program. This involves questions of whether the US government itself should be sending humans into outer space, how to do it, and for what purposes, among others. Environment al policy tends to be more broad encompassing areas as diverse as resource and wildlife conservation to pollution and clean air and water. For the purposes of this research, I will focus on clean air policy as it has been a major environmental issue from the beginning of the boon in environmental policy in the 1960s and continues to be a major political issue with the growth of greenhouse gases. This chapter will examine the broad outlines of the history of human spaceflight policy and clean air policy. O nce these histories have been laid out, I will examine this history from a different vantage point: a content analysis of New York Times articles that allows us to track the influence of the bureaucracy, the executive, and legislative branches over time. This chapter, then, lays out a foundation for f urther in depth examination in Chapters 4 through 6 of the involvement of each of these institutions in the making of these policy areas. Human Spaceflight ing the Soviet launch of Sputnik in 1957. While the US had been attempting to build rockets since the end of
67 World War II competing programs offered by the Army and the Air Force undermined the seriousness of the effort. Following Sputnik and the ensuin g outcry from the public and Congress, however, President Dwight Eisenhower had little choice but to propose a response to the Soviet achievement. The following year, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would be created to run the spacefligh t program under civilian auspices, away from either branch of the military. With the creation of NASA, a program of human spaceflight was engineered beginning with the relatively simple proposal to place a man in space. With Soviet scientists attempting t o make the same trip, activities in space became a key battleground for the Cold War. Indeed, this Cold War mentality played a role in the Kennedy presidential campaign of 1960 as then candidate Kennedy proclaimed a missile gap between the US and the Sovi et Union. Implicit in this accusation was a campaign promise to expand the US human spaceflight program. Early in the Kennedy administration, two events would occur that would bring space to the foreground for JFK. In April of 1961, the failed Bay of Pig s mission and the successful Soviet launch of Yuri Gagarin into outer space sent the administration searching for some sort of Cold War response. That answer came to light as President Kennedy stepped in front of the Congress the next month proposing that the US be the first to send a man to the moon and would do so before the end of the decade. With that single speech, Kennedy set the path that NASA would take for over half a century. F ollowing the Kennedy speech, Congress quickly approved new funds for the burgeoning space program and began to accelerate through Projects Mercury and Gemini. The budget for NASA quickly rose in the early 1960s only to face road bumps
68 beginning in 1964. Critical of the enormous spending and the eventual goal, Republicans programs remain Landing a man on the moon, however, did not come without tragedy. On January 27, 1967, a full test of the Apollo 1 capsule on the launch pad ended with the three astronauts inside the capsule, V dead from a fire that had sparked inside the pressurized module. Following a critical review by both NASA and the Congress and a year and a half hiatus between manned flights, the Apollo program would rest art in 1968 and lead to the landing of Apollo 11 in the Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969. Although the successful moon landing attracted attention from around the world, public i nterest in the program began to fall in the mid 1960s. With much of the pu blic losing even more interest following the initial landings, NASA was put in a precarious position. In 1969, Vice President Spiro Agnew led a review committee tasked with examining future programs for NASA. The conclusion of the review was that rather than expanding human spaceflight beyond the moon, a more efficient and cheaper program a reusable vehicle that could transport astronauts and material to and from low earth orbit. Richard Nixon, facing other major a genda items, offered his support for what would become the space shuttle program. As NASA battled continuing budget cuts as the space shuttle was developed, its fully reusab le characteristics slowly became only partially reusable. NASA, seeking support
69 f rom other agencies, including the Department of Defense, began to change the capabilities of the shuttle, further compromising the original design. The space shuttle as originally envisioned was designed to be a cost efficient, if not profit producing, p rogram. It was pro jected to launch upwards of 500 times by 1990 at a projected development cost of $5.15 billion. By the time of its inaugural flight in 1981, the development cost had risen to $5.67 billion and with only 43 actual flights (including five test flights), the space shuttle was not proving to be the efficient space truck that NASA had promised. Indeed, pressure on the agency to increase the number of flights for the space shuttle contributed to the immense internal pressures to launch the sp cold temperatures just prior to the launch had affected the integrity of a key part of the solid rocket boosters the o rings. As NASA recovered from the Challenger disaster, it became clear that the space shuttle would not live up to the promises NASA had made on its behalf. Despite this, NASA needed to continue to show that it had something to do for the shuttle besides ferrying satellites and scientific instruments to and f rom orbit. Thus, as Reagan entered office, NASA began to lobby for a permanent US space station. Although the Skylab program of the 1970s had been the first US space station, it was host to only three crews of astronauts. Additionally, the Soviet Union was preparing to launch their own permanent space station, Mir. As a result, NASA was able to use Cold War pressures and support from other agencies to convince President Reagan to support a space station project. Like the space shuttle, the space statio n suffered its own severe setbacks. Originally projected to begin construction in 1990, the first pieces of the
70 station did not arrive in orbit until 1998. Consistent budget cuts and compromises with supporting agencies led to multiple redesigns of the s pace station throughout the 1980s. By the time Bill Clinton came into office, the program just barely survived votes ending the program in the House of Representatives and was badly over budget. With the end of the Cold War, President Clinton used the sp ace station as a bargaining chip with the newly democratic Russia. In return for funds from the US, the Russians would participate in the International Space Station by providing expertise and contributing modules to the station. The 1990s proved to be a relatively stable decade for NASA as the space shuttle continued to launch regularly and the spac e station seemed to be on solid footing. Successes from the Mars rover programs helped to draw attention to NASA as did Hollywood interpretations of the moon program in the form of the HBO miniseries From the Earth to the Moon and the motion picture Apollo 13. Just as construction of the space station was really getting under way, however, NASA would face a serious challenge to both the space station and space shuttle when the shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentry in 2003 Not only did Columbia bring up old questions of the pressures on the shuttle, but it also forced the political system to reexamine the then, 23 year old program. As a result, Presiden t George W. Bush in 2004, proposed his Vision for Space Exploration. The plan called for the retirement of the shuttle by 2010, once construction of the ISS had been completed, and the development of a new space vehicle and rocket that would take humans b ack to the moon by 2020 and to Mars by 2030.
71 Congress expressed its support for the VSE in authorizing legislation for NASA. However, it quickly became apparent that congres sional funding for Program Constellation, as it was being called, was insufficient. By the time Barack Obama took office, the program was behind schedule. As a result, President Obama called for a presidential commission reviewing human spaceflight progr ams in 2010 Following the review, Obama called for the scrapping of Constellation and a redirection of NASA efforts into a new heavy lift rocket and support for private space vehicle development. Although response from the Congress, particularly the Hou se of Representatives, was quite vocal, a compromise plan was enshrined in authorizing legislation requiring that NASA build a new heavy lift rocket by 2016, continue developing the crew exploration vehicle as a back up, and fund some private space develop ment projects but not at the level Obama had originally envisioned. As of this writing, funding for the now defunct Constellation program continues. Because the Congress did not pass a new budget for fiscal year 2010, continuing resolutions have kept mone y flowing for Constellation despite congressional desires to see much of it discontinued. With the new Republican leadership in the House calling for deep spending cuts in the federal government, money for NASA programs c ontinues to be in question. Theref ore, it would seem that as of 2011, NASA finds itself in a crossroads, caught between programs and with little money to continue with large projects as they had before. Clean Air Although it would seem as if the environment emerged onto the political agend a
72 Spring as the entry point (Kraft 2000), the environment has been a policy area considered by politicians going back to Theodore Roosevelt. However, the real boom in environmental policymaking has been dated to the post World War II time period, and in particular the 1960s and 1970s (Kraft 2000; Hays 2000; Klyza and Sousa 2008). It was at this time when the public started to become more aware of environmental issues a nd public pressures forced politicians to act. Prior to the 1960s, the task of dealing with environmental issues had been mostly left to the purview of state and local governments However, with growing awareness as to the extent of environmental issues s uch as pollution in the air and water, widespread demands for federal involvement began to appear (Hays 2000). One of the earliest issues to receive this attention was air and water pollution. Spearheaded in Congress by Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, ai r and water pollution issues rose on the congressional agenda throughout the 1960s. Beginning with the 1965 Water Quality Act and the 1967 Air Quality Act, the federal government began to tackle these specific ambient air or stream standards, while the federal government would provide technical assistance and the threat of intervention if loose deadlines and expectations Public attention only grew through the end of the 1960s, as did the realization that federalism was not a sufficient solution to pollution problems (Kraft 2000; Sussman, Daynes, and West 2002 ; Milazzo 2004). This eventually led not only to the incredible number of legislative acts dealing with environmental concerns including the Clean Air
73 Act and its subsequent amendments and the Clean Water Act but also to the establishment of the Environme ntal Protection Agency (EPA) and the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act. Although Democrats are largely considered to be the part y most supportive of environmental concerns today (Shipan and Lowry 2001; Sussman, Daynes, and West 2002; Hussai n and Laband 2005), it was by President implementation of environmental policy. The 1970 Clean Air Act in particular set the stage for decade s of US clean air policy. The a ct requi red the EPA to set National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQs) for major air pollutants. States would then be required to submit implementation plans outlining how the state planned to meet the standards. Additionally, the EPA was required to set tech nology standards for mobile sources like cars and New Source Performance Standards for new stationary sources of emissions (Klyza and Sousa 2008). Shortly after the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Sierra Club sued the EPA in 1972 not over the standards that were to be set but over protection of air quality that was already higher than the federal standard. The judicial ruling held that state implementation plans should not be approved if they allow their air quality to degrade significantly thus enlargi ng the scope of policy under the Clean Air Act. As the immediate concern over the environment began to recede during the 1970s, environmental policy faced a consolidation period, with the EPA beginning to establish mandated standards for air and water and controls over pollution sources. However, it soon became apparent that controlling pollution was not going to be as easy as the public, or even the politicians thought it would be. As attention passed from the
74 extent of the pollution present at the time to the actual sources of it, the issue of environmental policy began to be seen as more difficult (Hays 2000). The knowledge gains of the 1960s and 1970s began to make people more aware that cleaning up the environment was going to be a difficult, and exp ensive, technical and scientific task. As a result, two events occurred: amendments to the Clean Air Act were passed and an anti environmental movement began to appear. The Clean Air Act was amended five times over the course of the 1970s mostly to deal with vehicle emissions (Bryner 1993). With stringent tailpipe emissions standards set by the 1970 act, auto manufacturers foun d they were having a difficulty meeting the standards in the period of time given. With manufacturers threatening to shut down p roduction lines instead of be ing subjected to fines, President Jimmy Carter in 1977 proposed the final Clean Air Act Amendments of the decade (ibid). The deadline to meet the emissions standards was continually pushed back during this period to 1980 with the possibility of further extensions depending on the availability of new emissions reduction technology. The 1980s were a period of retrenchment for environmental and clean air policy. Not only did concerns over the economic impact of anti pollution reg ulations begin to raise the ire of businesses and their lobbyists, but also a decidedly environmentally unfriendly Reagan administration came to office (Sussman, Daynes, and West 2002). economic development and anti government agenda came to bear on the EPA. The budget of the EPA went from $5.4 billion in fiscal year 1979 to just $3 billion for fiscal year 1981. In addition to major budget cuts, Reagan halted work on new regulations and installed loyal appointees in administration leadership including Anne
75 Gorusch as administrator. Congress would later find Gorusch in contempt for failing to ignation from the EPA, budgets and support for the EPA began to rebound as the agency slowly ok over tenure in office would mark the passage of much delayed amendments to the Clean Air Act. Because the anti environmental movement had been gaining momentum throug hout the 1980s, by the time Bush took office in 1989, strong political forces had mobilized on both sides of the Clean Air amendments and the economic stakes were high (Klyza and Sousa 2008). President Bush would find much needed congressional support in the form of Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, whose home state of Maine had been subjected to a disturbingly high amount of acid rain. Indeed, the amendments were strongly supported by many congressmen from the New England area whose states had been affected. president in 1990 (Klyza and Sousa 2008). Despite this seeming success, the bill had be en watered down in a number of ways designed to appease presidential and Republican supporters (Daynes, Sussman, and West 2002). Significantly, the Congress has passed no further major clean air legislative initiatives since the 1990 bill. Although the new Republican majority attempted to make
76 drastic changes to environmental policy following the 1994 election, increasingly negative attention to those aspects served to warn leading Republicans of the danger of such tact ics Klyza and Sousa (2008, 19) ar gue that the lack of legislation on any environmental issue has been partially due to the changing conditions of Congress: of environmental problems, and several contrad ictory characteristics of public opinion that environmental policymaking has been accomplished in different ways such as regulatory rulemaking tools of the administrativ e presidency and legislative riders added to budget bills. By the 2000 election, the environment played a relatively small role given that then Vice President Al Gore was the Democratic candidate and became at best, a second tier concern for President Ge orge W. Bush (Klyza and Sousa 2008). Throughout the first decade of the 2000s, the issue of clean air has repeatedly become a concern. This phenomenon has been partially due to growing concern over the presence of greenhouse gases and their affect on glob al climate change. Without delving into the debate over climate change and global warming, newer circumstances have forced both George W. Bush and Barack Obama to wrestle with regulations over air quality standards. In 2003, the EPA decided that they had no authority to regulate greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide. Disagreeing with that conclusion, a number of states and local governments set out to sue the EPA over a provision in the Clean Air that might be expected to endanger public health and welfare. The case found its way to the Supreme Court in 2007 who ruled, 5 4 that the EPA did indeed have a
77 responsibility to regulate such emissions. Under the Bush admi nistration, little headway was made towards setting out such rules leaving the Obama administration to begin the process. Although few changes have been made in clean air legislation since 1990, that does not mean the extent of the problem has subsided. I n the latest report on the lived in counties that do not meet air quality standards (EPA 2010). Despite a drop in the emissions of the six main pollutants that EPA trac ks under the Clean Air Act, a remarkable 41% of the US population still experiences poor air quality with possibly disastrous consequences for their long term health. Institutional Interaction: An Overview Before examining each institution for their own a ctions towards the making of policy, it is possible to give a broad overview of the patterns inherent with the institutional policy lifecycle. To do so, I performed a comprehensive content analysis of all New York Times articles relating to clean air poli cy and human spaceflight policy. members of Congress based on their appearance in works of history, I utilize the Times as a public record of the most salient issues of t he day. If an issue related to the policies in question here is salient or important enough to be mentioned in the NYT with or in lieu of all of the other important news of the day, we may then be able to say that it indeed important enough to take notice of. While this method and the data generated from it are not enough to give full support to the proposed theory, it is a method that allows us to track the rough patterns of policy intervention over time.
78 There are, of course, serious limitations to this type of content analysis, particularly when utilizing it to test the institutional policy lifecycle. The theory presented in this work is concerned about the influence of particular institutions on policy over time. A content analysis of NYT articles i s not necessarily the best way to capture these patterns of influence. It is entirely plausible that the Congress or the president are actively working to influence policy in such a way that is either behind closed doors or is done in such a way that the media does not care to cover it. Because of the dynamics involved with the media and their coverage of politics, the more exciting, juicer stories tend to win out over basic stories detailing a relatively minor policy action. Further, during periods of c ongressional, presidential, or bureaucratic upheaval, the attention of the media, let alone the public, may be drawn more to the particular institution making it difficult to gleam any actions of the remaining institutions. Finally, the biases of individu al reporters may draw them to particular areas of policy or actions that lead them to ignore the types of actions I am interested in here. The content analysis, then, is not the perfect means of capturing the extent to which each institution is influencing policy. However, I believe there are two factors at work that can lend strength to this type of analysis. Given the incredible number of biases and roadblocks to covering all relevant policy action and news items in a given day, the fact that any action is covered in the NYT is indicative of the importance the action has. In other words, an article relating a congressional hearing or investigation into clean air policy must compete with all of the other relevant news of the day. If that article makes i t into the final edition in the end, after this news competition, we may be able to say that the action is important enough to note. Second, the content analysis to
79 be presented is not intended to be the only test of the institutional policy lifecycle. W hile it is one method through which I can measure actions of all of the relevant institutions and place them on equal footing, the data presented in later chapters provide stronger support for the theory. In other words, rather than placing all the eggs i n one content analysis basket, this work relies on numerous tests and sets of data. In order to carry out this analysis, I searched the archives of the New York Times for specific keywords for each policy area. For clean air policy, I used the keywords d to a resulting number of articles larger than what would be relevant. However, I found it necessary to cast a wide net to catch all possible articles that could be termed relevant. For each article, I reviewed each first for its relevancy to the policy under consideration. Once it was apparent that it was about the specific policy area, I examined the relevant articles for classification into one of multiple categories. The major categories included 1) pure news on the policy area; 2) an action of policy committed by the bureaucracy (EPA in the case of clean air and NASA in the case of human spaceflight); 3) an action committed by the president or other members of the executive branch such as the vice president with respect to the policy; and 4) an action comm itted by the Congress with respect to the policy. Further, the Congress category allows one to subdivide further. While the results of this portion of the content analysis will appear in the Chapter 4, the Congress category has been broken down as follows for both chambers:
80 1) an action of policy committed by the House of Representatives or Senate as a whole; 2) an action of policy committed by a committee in the House of Representatives or Senate; 3) an action of policy committed by a subcommittee in the House of Representatives or Senate; 4) an action of policy committed by someone in the leadership structure of either the House or Senate; and 5) an action of policy committed by both chambers. This content analysis, was performed for human spaceflight for the years 195 8 2010 for human spaceflight and 1960 2010 for clean air. These years cover the beginnings of each policy area and go for at least 50 years allowing for a significant time period through which to view the patterns of institutional involvement in policy. As demonstrated by the results reviewed below, this analysis does help to support the major contentions of the institutional perspective. Results: Clean Air Figure 3 1 displays the number of total articles regarding clean air policy between 1960 and 2010, encompassing all categories of classification. The average number of articles per year was approximately 30, with the maximum, 110 articles, coming in 1973 and the minimum, 5 articles, in 2006. The time series demonstrates that clean air politics as an issue peaked during the 1970s, shortly after it was introduced into the political system. From 1973 on, the frequency of articles falls for approximately ten years until the trend evens out for the remaining period. Figure 3 2 shows the results of the a nalysis divided by category: actions taken by the EPA, actions taken by the Congress, and actions taken by the president. There are four significant items to take note of in this figure. First, in the beginning period,
81 Congress takes the lead until 1965 when the president, then Lyndon B. Johnson, begins to stake out policy positions. Because the EPA was not established until 1970, a division of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare had responsibility over policy implementation; in the opening decade of the times series, the bureaucracy acts more in only one year, 1961. For the most part, then, this data tends to support the opening phase of the institutional policy lifecycle. Second, isolating just the pattern of the presidency, the executive clean air politics, while fluctuating through the 1970s, remains rather high until 1977 President George H.W. Bush attempted to pass a reauthorizat ion of the Clean Air Act. 2001. When we view this pattern with respect to the theory under consideration, it is clear that s agenda permanently; there are periods, coinciding with major policy actions, where the president does once again become involved, but it is not at all constant. Third, the incidence of articles relating to the bureaucracy takes off in 1973, just three ye ars after EPA was established. While this case is somewhat anomalous as responsibility for the policy area was transferred after the policy entered the beginning stage, it still took three years for the EPA to take major numerous actions with respect to c lean air. Following this initial spike, the frequency of EPA clean air articles falls, much in line with the pattern of total number of articles. What is also interesting about this time series is that the number of EPA clean air articles falls when the incidence of president clear air articles rises. It seems, then, that during these periods of policy
82 change where the president reemerges, the bureaucracy takes the back seat in the process. Finally, the Congress as a single institution presents an intere sting time series. sometimes quite drastically, but remains consistently involved. For most of the 1980s, the number of Congress clean air articles does fall in a patter n similar to what is seen with the president, but the Congress articles still tend to outnumber the president articles in this period. The Congress peaks in 1990 and again in the early 2000s as the Clean Air Act is reauthorized. In total, the clean air series is somewhat consistent with the institutional policy fluctuate with major policy change. What is interesting and must be considered in future chapters is that the number of bureaucratic articles tends to outnumber the other institutions in a fair number of years. Does this mean that the bureaucracy is more intimately involved in driving poli cy then either the Congress or the president? Or could it be a sign of the Congress directing the bureaucracy to implement certain policies that are more often taken note of? And further, seeing as how this data shows just the Congress as a whole, is the re a difference between the two chambers? The first two q uestions will be considered in C hapter 6 wherein I undertake a quantitative examination of bureaucratic discretion. The final one will be taken up in Chapter 4 Results: Human Spaceflight The patt erns evident in the results for human spaceflight, while exhibiting some differences, do share similarities with the clean air data. Figure 3 3 shows the total
83 number of articles about human spaceflight between 1958 and 2010. The average number of articl es per year was 86, with the maximum (313 articles) in 1986 and the minimum (1 article) in 1958. The overall pattern in this time series coincides with major events in human spaceflight: the first moon landing in 1969, Challenger in 1986, and Columbia i n 2003. Aside from those peaks, the number of articles does rise during the first decade of the policy and remains comparatively so. Following the moon landings, and even between the two shuttle accidents, the annual number of articles does not approach what was experienced during the 1960s. The lowest number of articles (aside from the very beginning of the data) comes during the 1970s. During this decade, human spaceflight was reduced to a small number of moon missions, the Apollo Soyuz Test Project w herein the Soviet Soyuz module was docked with an American Apollo module in 1975, and the development of the space shuttle. In other words, the 1970s experienced the lowest number of actual human spaceflights compared to the other decades presented here. Figure 3 4 displays the time series with the articles broken down into the three major categories. The largest peaks in this break down once again coincide with the three biggest news items in human spaceflight. What stands out the most with respect to the institutional policy lifecycle is that in times of crisis, in 1986 with Challenger and again in 2003 with Columbia, the bureaucracy remains the institution most associated with human spaceflight. The theory would predict otherwise. The question that mus t be grappled with in later chapters, then, is why the bureaucracy remains influential even in times of crisis.
84 Aside from this, there are other significant items to point out. With respect to the relevance of the bureaucracy in the initial phase, it does take some years following the establishment of NASA in 1958 for NASA to become particularly important with respect to this data. Also during these early years, both the president and the Congress share the same number of articles during 1961, the year Ke nnedy announced the moon as stated US policy. Following that presidential intervention, the Congress takes over with respect to the president until 1969. Disregarding for a moment the NASA human spaceflight pa ttern evident in Figure 3 4, we can look at the president and Congress data to determine the pattern present. For most years, the frequency of Congress human spaceflight outnumbers the frequency of president human spaceflight articles. The exceptions take place in 1969, 1981, 1982, 1989, 1993, and 2004. Each of these years represents periods of policy and second landings on the moon but it was also the year that Richard Nixon approved the space shuttle program. Ronald Reagan approved the program that would become the International Space Station in 1981 and 1982 while George H.W. Bush attempted to push his Space Exploration Initiative in 1989. While 1993 is not usually associated with major policy change in human spaceflight, under Bill Clinton, the former Soviet Union was brought into a revamped space station program. Finally, like his father, George W. Bush proposed his Vision for Space Exploration in 2004. Aside from the prevalence of NASA human spaceflight ar ticles during times of crisis, the patterns of the president and the Congress are consistent with the proposed institutional policy lifecycle laid out previously. What is left to consider, once again, is
85 the breakdown of the House of Representatives and t he Senate in each time series as well as the involvement of the bureaucracy over the other two institutions over time. Conclusion Human spaceflight and clean air politics share many characteristics in terms of when they first emerged onto the scene, the scientific background inherent in both of them, and the way in which they are not permanent fixtures on the political agenda. However, the way in which both are carried out diverge sufficiently do allow the two policy areas to serve as strong tests of the institutional policy lifecycle. While this chapter has laid out the groundwork for the remaining analysis of both policy areas, it has also presented initial evidence in the way of testing the policy lifecycle. The two content analyses show similar patt erns in how both human spaceflight and clean air emerged during the 1960s. The president and the Congress do seem to see saw back and forth as the lifecycle predicts, however, the bureaucracy involved with each area demonstrate a pattern not previously an ticipated. The content analysis is only the first step in the analysis, but an important one, in laying out the context and history of both policy areas. The next three chapters will explore each institution in turn.
86 Figure 3 1. Total number of c lean air articles by year, 1960 2010 Figure 3 2. Articles on clean air broken down by bureaucracy, president, and Congress, 1960 2010
87 Figure 3 3. Total number of human spaceflight articles by year, 1958 2010 Figure 3 4. Articles on human spa ceflight broken down by president, bureaucracy, and Congress, 1958 2010
88 CHAPTER 4 A TALE OF TWO CHAMBE RS As the dust from the battle over health care reform settled in the spring of 2010, a new, albeit much smaller, debate arose over the future of the Am erican space program. Following the findings of a presidential blue ribbon panel in 2009, President Barack Obama proposed radical changes to the policy paradigm inherent with human spaceflight. The proposal centered around abolishing the then burgeoning Project Constellation which aimed to build a new family of rockets and space vehicles that would return humans to the moon by 2020 and invest instead in privatized development of spacecraft which the US, through NASA, would purchase. The shift in governme nt run and built spaceflight to the utilization of privately built hardware was so fundamental that much criticism was leveled at it. Beyond the initial reactions came a difference in opinion between the House and Senate regarding the proposal. House memb ers who represented districts with major NASA installations immediately objected to the proposal as it would shift employment and funding from NASA centers to private industry. Representative Suzanne Kosmas (D (Block 2010). Representative Michael McCaul (R by 50 years of NASA experience and institutional knowledge in favor of start up operations, which may encounter delays and unknown obs Senators were equally incensed initially with Senator Richard Shelby (R Alabama) This harsh Senate reaction, however, would be tempered as Obama a greed to revive some portions of the Constellation project. By the fall as it came time to pass a new
89 NASA keep some Constellation elements but shift significant funding to priva te ventures. In the meantime, NASA would focus its efforts on developing a new heavy lift rocket. the lesser of two evils, the House was still highly critical. The concerns of these representatives still centered on the effects that changes in the human spaceflight program would have on their local communities and economies and the amount of funds that would be directed towards commercial spaceflight development. Representativ e Gabrielle Giffords (D Arizona) was particularly critical stating that the building spacecraft capable of being reliable enough to carry humans into outer space (Kim 2010). Eventually, under pressure to pass a bill prior to a congressional recess, the Senate version of the NASA authorization was approved in the House. The debate, however, is sig nificant in the types of concerns voiced by members of the House and members of the Senate. After initial misgivings and following some policy changes, most senators came around to support the Obama proposal even though it would significantly affect some of the localities in their states. Members of the House, on the other hand, were still skeptical of the Obama plan because they feared the changes it would bring to their districts. This episode demonstrates the need for us to consider the Congress not a s one institution, but two. This chapter will do just that in examining the patterns of activity the House and the Senate undertake with respect to clean air and
90 human spaceflight. Following a review of the hypotheses that Chapter 2 posed, this chapter w ill examine legislation, hearings, and investigations and how the Senate and the House differs in their actions. A Difference in Chambers Congress is not a singula r institution. As laid out in Chapter 2 the different characteristics of the House of Rep resentatives and the Senate have led to two distinct institutions that must be treated as such. Table 4 1 summarizes these previously highlighted characteristics and differences that have emerged. These institutional characteristics have caused members of the House and Senate to act in different ways. For example, because the Senate is a smaller body, it tends to be more individualistic, allowing members to act as policy entrepreneurs. However, this size difference works against the Senate in the sense t hat its fewer members must focus on the same amount of issues as the House, leaving less time for each individual issue. On the other hand, the size difference forces the House to act as a majoritarian institution, allowing the majority party to control t he procedures and occurrences in that chamber. The different electoral timetables also force members in each chamber to seek political achievements on different scales; House members desire short term gains whereas senators may look to the long term issue s. The smaller constituency of representatives allows these individuals to be more selective of the types of issues they pursue; a larger electorate such as that encountered by senators means they must engage in a broader set of issues. Finally, because of the duties prescribed to each in the Constitution, the House and Senate must focus on different ways to affect policy. While the Senate must approve presidential nominees for leadership in the executive branch, the House is able to focus more thoroughl y on the budget process.
91 Out of these differences and as a result of the institutional policy lifecycle theory, Chapter 2 also generated four hypotheses regarding the Congress: Hypothesis 1B As the president endeavors to institutionalize the response, t he Congress must become involved. Because of the differing institutional characteristics including size, difference in electorate, and difference in electoral timetable, between the House and Senate, the Senate will take precedence in the early setting of policy. Hypothesis 2A As the policy under consideration becomes assimilated into the normal political process, the House of Representatives will increase their influence with regards to the policy. Hypothesis 3A During times of policy crisis, the in fluence of the Senate and the president with respect to the policy under study will increase. Hypothesis 3B During times of policy crisis, the influence of the House of Representatives and the relevant bureaucracy will decrease. In order to test these hy potheses, we must establish that there are actual differences between the activity levels of the House and the Senate during the respective periods of time where we would expect them. Further, the activity levels we choose to examine must be reliable indi cators of congressional influence. What sorts of activities does each chamber conduct where we would expect to find evidence of differences between them? In order to test the above hypotheses, we must identify the areas in which to look. Chapter 1 he lpfully outlines the sorts of activities that the House and the Senate undertake with respect to making policy: legislation, budgeting, oversight, and investigations. For three of these categories, legislation, oversight, and investigations, it is possib le to discern the differences between the House and Senate in utilizing these tools. For instance, we can identify how many committee hearings both the House and Senate hold during a given period of time just as we can identify the number of investigation s undertaken by each. Budgeting, however, is a
92 different type of activity. Because of the complicated nature of the budgeting process, the type of intensive examination required to discern the difference in activity between the House and the Senate is ou t of the scope of this project. This does not mean that budgeting is not important or influential for both of the policy areas under consideration it is an intrinsic part of the policymaking process. Without minimizing this, this chapter focuses on exam ining the difference in House and Senate activities with respect to legislation, hearings, and investigations. There are other ways in which members of Congress, individually and as groups, act to influence policy. These methods include media and public a ppearances designed to bring attention to a policy problem or advocate a particular solution, cooperation with interest groups or even the relevant bureaucracy to advance a policy position, bargaining behind closed doors with public officials, signaling th rough non public activities, and even signaling through changes in committee make up or congressional make up. These types of activities, while performed by an elected representative, are not necessarily activities taken under the guise of a congressional mandate. Further, these activities are difficult to track as many occur behind closed doors. As such, I do not consider these. Rather, we focus on activities performed and required to be performed by members within their respective chambers. Thus, this chapter explores the areas of legislating, oversight, and investigation, all three of which are public, required, and can be tracked not at the level of the Congress as a whole but at the level of each individual chamber. This will allow a fair compariso n of congressional activities on equal footing that will allow for a real test of the hypotheses laid out by the institutional policy lifecycle.
93 Before moving on to an examination each of these activity levels, the content analysis introduced in Chapter 3 also provides some data on what the two chambers of Congress are doing with regards to each policy area. As each article was categorized, I was also able to breakdown the Congress category as a whole into individual chambers. Figures 4 1 and 4 2 provide the results of these analyses for human spaceflight and clean air, respectively. Although there are differences between the two graphs, we can see a general pattern emerge from each: at the beginning of each series, the Senate gets a larger chunk of the p olicy coverage followed by a drop off and spike in House coverage. During certain periods, the Senate coverage increases once again only to give way to House coverage in the following years. With respect to human spaceflight, in Figure 4 1 we can see that from the beginning of the series through the mid 1960s, the Senate numbers are larger than the Senate articles compared to six for the House. By the mid 1960s, the Senat e does begin to fall; from their peak of ten, the Senate has three articles in 1967 compares to out the 1970s and into the 1980s, both chambers show little interest as demonstrated by the New York Times although the House does outnumber the Senate slightly. Come the Challenger disaster in 1986 (a time of crisis), once again. At the 1986 peak, there are 12 Senate articles and 10 House articl es. The interest from both chambers clearly falls in the following year with there being only one Senate article compared to none for the House in 1987. Throughout the 1990s, the
94 House consistently outnumbers the Senate articles although by the end of th e first future of American spaceflight begins to heat up. In the last year of the series, there are five articles concerning the House and five concerning the Senate. Clean air policy has a pattern of a dominating Senate, but a Senate not so dominating as to leave no room for the House. Although the first 15 years of Figure 4 2 in th is early period in 1967 when it has nine articles compared to zero articles related to the House), by 1976, the House starts to try to take charge. It would not be until 1982, however, when there are seven clean air House articles compared to two clean ai r Senate articles where the House becomes consistent in obtaining more coverage than the Senate. This changes in the late 1980s where, coinciding with the passage of the 1990 Clean Air Act, the Senate experiences a spike in 1990 only to be followed by a d again in the early 2000s, as clean air is considered through the lens of George W. clean skies initiative although no major legislation is ever passed in reference to it. Following the Senate peak of six articles in 2005, we return to a pattern where neither the House nor Senate has more than two articles in a year. Once again, the resu lts of this content analysis provide a general backdrop to view the data presented in the rest of this chapter. Although the content analysis cannot prove the institutional policy lifecycle theory on its own, as the limitations discussed in the Chapter 3 still hold, it does help to show that a general pattern does exist.
95 Legislating Perhaps the most basic task a legislature is tasked with, making laws can be onerous, time consuming, complicated, and quite meaningful. Because making laws can be quite comple x, the move to make and pass a law can signal the level of commitment members of Congress are willing to make to a policy area. All we need to do is think of the complex process that the Congress goes through in trying to pass a major piece of legislation ; there is bound to be conflict between any number of members, between committees, between parties, between leadership, and that might only be in one chamber. With the growth of party polarization, this process has become all the more difficult resulting in the historical trend of fewer and fewer bills being passed during each session. For members to want to pass a bill, there must be a certain level of dedication and desire to see it through not only the hearings and the mark ups but to convince other la wmakers to put it on the calendar and not only vote but vote yea on it. Importantly for our purposes, Johannes (1974) argues that in the process of legislative initiation, senators tend to introduce more policy initiatives. In order to gauge this, we must know which chamber initiates significant legislation. Although bills that are passed by the Congress and signed into law by the president are those bills which have been voted on not only affirmatively but also in the same form, by both chambers, when a bill is first introduced in each chamber it becomes either a House resolution or Senate resolution. Thus, while both chambers must vote on the same bill, the origin of the resolution may differ. This does not mean, either, that the Senate did not make chan ges to the House resolution or the House did not make changes to the Senate resolution; the origin of the legislation indicates only which chamber the bill began in.
96 The origin of the bill can help us to identify which chamber is more interested or more i nfluential in the ensuing legislation. The two policy areas to be dealt with here interact with this lawmaking activity in very distinct ways. Human spaceflight, aside from the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 which established NASA and the spac e program, has been annually authorized through authorization bills for NASA. Up until the 1990s, these authorizations happened on a n almost yearly basis. Table 4 2 displays which years these authorization bills were passed for. It is clear from Table 4 2 that authorization legislation is passed fairly regularly; between 1961 and 1980, it was passed each year. As NASA moved into its third decade, authorization legislation began to be passed every couple of years, rather than every year. As to the origin of each authorization, it is interesting that in most years the originating chamber was the House of Representatives. However, there are years in and 2010. For reasons w e have already examined, each of these years is significant with regards to policy change in the human spaceflight program. In addition to the 1967 Apollo 1 accident, the 1980s also represent a significant period for US space policy. While the shuttle was just beginning to operate, NASA had come under increasing criticism for its administration of the program, culminating in 1980 as the shuttle began its test flights. Following Challenger in 1986, the program found itself in a difficult position while the shuttle program was relatively new and would be used to support the Reagan approved space station project, many questioned its capabilities. Despite this, there were never any serious calls for an end to the program
97 with members of Congress, particul arly in the Senate, calling for funds to be appropriated for a replacement orbiter. Finally, human spaceflight policy was changed significantly in both 2005 and 2010. calle d for a return to the moon by 2020 and manned trips to Mars by 2030. As has been detailed previously, the Constellation project that resulted from this policy was called into question by the Obama administration with 2010 marking the year in which Constel lation was ended and NASA was directed to begin developing a heavy lift rocket while private developers would help supply the US with spacecraft to be used in earth orbit. In sum, we can see that in most cases, the House resolution is the bill that is sent to the president after being voted on in each chamber. During significant periods of Unlike human spaceflight, clean air policy is not dealt with through regular authorization legisla tion. Instead, the Congress passes reauthorizations of and amendments to the Clean Air Act of 1970. While reauthorizations are supposed to happen at regular intervals, they have not. Table 4 3 displays the legislative history of the Clean Air Act. In ad dition to these major bursts of legislation, members of Congress have also inserted into bills on other topics, language regarding the Clean Air Act in the form of policy riders. Policy riders are usually used in a negative sense in that the Congress is f orbidding appropriated monies from being spent in specific ways, such as formulating
98 f particular proposed rules, (2) restrictions on regulatory activity within certain areas, (3) implementation or enforcement restrictions, and (4) conditional restrictions (e.g., d 2008, i). In his recent work regarding riders, Jason MacDonald (2010) argues that policy riders are important sources of congressional influence over what is normally an executive driven area regulations. Further, this legislative tool may actually be easier to use than normal legislative action in that it is incorporated in appropriations legislation that is not the sense that the government requires a budget to contin ue operating. MacDonald finds that over a roughly ten year period (1993 2002), over 4,000 riders were offered by the House Appropriations Committee. With respect to the Clean Air Act, this tool has been used approximately 11 times over t he period of inte rest. Table 4 4 displays these legislative riders that have all occurred in appropriations bills and the length of each. To give just one example of the content of these riders, in public law 111 88, the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Relate d Agencies Appropriations Act of the funds made available in this Act may be used to promulgate or implement any regulation requiring the issuance of permits under t carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, water vapor, or methane emissions resulting from prohibits the EPA from creating regulations that would be in line with the Clean Air Act thus establishing a policy of non regulation. Each of the riders noted in Table 4 4 are
99 along the same line; they establish policy by forbidding the regulating agency, the EPA, from spending appropriated funds to perform some sort of function. Despite MacD use of policy riders in recent years, it is surprising that there are relatively few instances of riders associated with the Clean Air Act. Further, because of the increased scrutiny over the role of increased emissions in global climate change, we should further expect that there would be more policy riders associated with emissions then the legislative history shows. Regardless, compared to the enormous amount of regulations that currently exist regarding clean air, as a result of the Clean Air Act, there is little evidence that the Congress, through legislative and statutory action, has been interested in involving itself in the making of regulations. Unlike the NASA authorization acts whic h occurred at regular intervals, it is difficult to establish any clear pattern of House Senate interaction with regards to initiating legislation. Even though the House resolution was the bill voted on for the 1963 Clean becomes the focal point in both 1967 and 1990 when significant changes were made to the legislation. The 1990 amendments in particular have a clear Senate fingerprint on them as then Majority Leader George Mitchell (D Maine) worked in concert with George H.W. Bush to ensure the passage of the bill. had centered on acid rainfall on his home state that was caused by air pollution while Bush had campaigned on being the firs t environmental president. Because of Republican concerns over regulations on businesses, both Mitchell and Bush had to work to closely tailor the bill so that the Clean Air Act Amendments would be passed.
100 From examining the origin of major legislation, w e can elucidate which chamber was more influential in crafting it. As is apparent in the history of NASA authorizations, the Senate takes a leading role in periods of policy crisis. While this is less clear in the case of clean air because of the smaller number of cases, the Senate still does lead at major junctures in policymaking. Hearings Although they can be seen through a symbolic light, congressional hearings are important avenues through which the Congress and the rest of the government communica te. Jahnige (1968, 227) has described the oversight process as being more general legislative process by being concerned with controlling the content and administrat ion of ongoing, established programs rather than the creation of new Congress can influence agency actions. Aberbach (2002), in a continuation of his earlier argument in Keeping a Watchful Eye argues that congressional hearings are an often overlooked form of congressional influence, one whose frequency has continued to grow since the 1970s. Further, Bawn (1997) makes the explicit argument that oversight hearings are one of two f orms of congressional influence with the other being statutory control. Thus, in examining the extent to which oversight occurs in both chambers, hearings are representative of the types of concerns that each chamber and committee have. They are another w ay to measure the activity levels of each house in comparison to one another, an activity wherein the Congress can clearly influence the behavior or bureaucrats.
101 Within each committee and subcommittee, it is the chairman (or woman) that is afforded the a bility to call hearings. While members of the committee can request hearings be held or the committee as a whole may feel as if a hearing is necessary, the ultimate decision lies with the chairman. This is certainly a limitation of looking at congression al activity through the lens of hearing activity the decision of a singular individual is often influential in determining how many hearings there are and what topic they focus on. However, to the extent that the committee and subcommittee chairmen are r eflective of not only their respective committees but also their chambers, the concerns that their hearings focus on should be indicative of the focus of both the House and the Senate. There are two ways that we can dice up hearing activity: by chamber an d by type of issue. Following Dodd Shipley, and Diehl (1978 ), hearings can be classified through being centered on policy or oversight of the policy; this can give us an idea of what types of concerns the House and Senate have. For example, committee he arings called for the purpose of considering new policies or the altering of current policies would be classified as policy related hearings whereas hearings concerned primarily with how those policies were being carried out would be categorized as oversig ht. After reviewing each of the relevant committee hearings for both human spaceflight and clean air policy over the time period of interest, I have categorized each hearing as either being a policy focused hearing or oversight focused. Because of the wa ys we can look at hearings, I will consider spaceflight and clean air separately. Clean Air In order to aid interpretation of the data below, I have included three different presentations of the relevant information: hearings disaggregated into annual num bers,
102 hearings over each two year congressional session, and the percentages of hearings in the House and Senate (or between policy and oversight) in five year periods. Figu re 4 3 displays the overall clean air hearing activity divided by chamber over the period being studied. Over this period, the House held an average of 4.7 hearings per year and the Senate, three hearings per year. For most years between 1964 and 1985, the Senate holds a greater number of hearings regarding clean air in general than th e House (with the exceptions being 1961, 1969, 1971, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1984, and 1985). For example, the peak in 1969 had the Senate holding six hearings compared to the to a mere two in the House. Following this time period, however, the number of hearings in the House rises and outnumbers the Senate; in 1986, for instance, the House holds six hearings compared to one in the Senate. Throughout the 1990s, the House conti nues on this pattern as they hold an average of five hearings during this decade compared to an average of 2.3 in the Senate. Finally, in the 2000s, the Senate increases its hearing load, peaking with six hearings in 2004 compared to just three in the Hou se. Although this time series regarding congressional hearings does tend to be Senate dominated, we can still discern a pattern with regards to the House becoming more interested in the policy area following periods of policy cha nge, particularly in Figure 4 4 There is another way to look at these hearings and it is by the types of concerns the hearings are centering on. Figures 4 5 and 4 6 and Table 4 6 take the total number of hearings in both chambers and looks at them as being policy centered and over sight centered. The average number of hearings in both categories is roughly even with 2.5
103 policy hearings and 2.9 oversight hearings. Although not readily apparent in the first figure, it is clear from Figure 4 6 (with the data divided by congressional session) that during the different phases laid out by the institutional policy lifecycle theory, the focus of congressional hearings does change. In the early years of the policy history (phase one), the focus is squarely on policy, with three policy rela ted hearings in 1965 and zero oversight hearings. This shifts in the late 1960s, as hearings begin to focus on policy oversight rather than policy itself in 1968, there are three oversight hearings and zero policy hearings. As the Congress began to deba te a reauthorization of the Clean Air Act (although it would never be passed), the pattern of hearings topics shifts to policy with 13 policy hearings in 1981 and 24 in 1982. Once the reauthorization is passed in 1990, hearings again focus on oversight wi th a peak in 1997 of 13 oversight related hearings. What Figures 4 5 and 4 6 demonstrate is that during the issue uptake phase, the focus is on policy. As the policy moves into the routine phase, members of Congress begin to concentrate on oversight. As the policy encounters crisis, the emphasis once again shifts to policy, only to cycle back to phase two following the crisis. Figure 4 5 and 4 6 and Table 4 6 only show the breakdown in topic for the total number of hearings; Figures 4 7 through 4 10 and T ables 4 7 and 4 8 show how this occurs in each chamber, House and Senate respectively. In the House of Representatives, policy hearings were more frequently held throughout the 1960s, with one oversight hearing being convened in 1960, 1968, and 1969 each. The 1970s and 1980s, then, appear to be periods of transition as oversight hearings become more frequent with a high of six oversight hearings in 1987. It is noticeable that during the
104 early 1980s as the reauthorization of the Clean Air Act were being d ebated that more policy hearings were held in the House with five in 1981. Once the amendments to the Clean Air Act were passed in 1990, oversight hearings again become the order of the day in the House with a spike in oversight activity in 1997 with eigh t hearings. Following that, the frequency of hearings decrease with oversight hearings dominating the series except for 2005 when one additional policy hearing was held compared to oversight. The pattern under investigation here is much clea rer when it co mes to Figure 4 9 through 4.16, the hearing topics for the Senate. For 1963 1965, no oversight hearings were held, compared to a total of five policy hearings. Following this initial period, oversight hearings begin to be held and increase through the 19 70s with policy becoming a greater con cern towards 1976 and 1977 when six policy hearings were held within a two year span compared to zero oversight hearings. Policy hearings are more frequent in the Senate during the 1980s as the debate over the Clean A ir Act was being held; during 1982 alone, there were 23 policy hearings in the Senate. As that debate culminated in 1989 and 1990, policy hearings fall and oversight hearings become dominant with an average of 1.4 policy hearings and 2.4 oversight hearing s between 1990 and 2010. The dat a presented in Figures 4 7 through 4 10 show that during periods of policy crisis, both chambers do focus their hearing activity on policy. While this is something we might naturally expect, what is significant is that this is far more apparent, especially during the early years of clean air pol icy, for the Senate. Figure 4 7 shows that the House tends to be more or less consistent in looking at both policy and oversight, but t with periods of policy change.
105 Human Spaceflight While little scholarly attention has been afforded to the space program from the perspective of political science, we are fortunate to have an account of early congressional oversight towards NASA during t he 1960s. Following an APSA sponsored congressional fellowship, Thomas Jahnige offered his views in e of Congressman Charles Mosher, Jahnige found that, much like the theory proffered here, it was quite difficult for congressional committees to grasp the workings of NASA programs in the early 1960s not only because of the astounding technical complexity involved but just from the sheer newness of the program. Jahnige argues that the four major congressional committees charged with overseeing NASA (the House Committee on Science and Astronautics, the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, an d the House and Senate Appropriations Committees) had to go through a in the program, the establishment of relevant contacts outside of NASA, and the development of a b asic feel the policy NASA was charged with carrying out (ibid., 229). As a result of the basic incapacity that these committees had with NASA and the human spaceflight program, Jahnige argues that space policy had little choice but to be executive oriente d during this period. tested here; because the policy area was new, the Congress had to go through a period of acquaintance in which it would work out the channels and methods through which it would not only control policy legislatively but oversee it through hearings and other
106 methods. Although Jahnige does not distinguish between the actions of the House and Senate committees except to say that the Senate often offered an op portunity to restore funding cuts made by the House, from the data presented below, it is clear that the Senate took on a different sort of interest than the House committee overseeing NASA. Where the Senate tended to dominate clean air hearings, just the opposite is true fo r human spaceflight. Figures 4 11, 4 12, and Table 4 9 show the hearing activity by chamber for human spaceflight. Although the onset of Senate activity is somewhat delayed in the early years of the policy (indeed, the House has a spik e of four hearings in 1961 and 1962 before the Senate outnumbers them nine to three in 1967), the Senate does come to life in the mid to late 1960s at precisely the time NASA was dealing with the Apollo 1 tragedy and questions of what policy would be like following the Apollo program. As the series moves in the 1970s, however, the House clearly comes to be dominant in the amount of hearings being held. In that decade alone, the House held an average of 2.3 hearings compared to 1.7 for the Senate. The Sen activity rises in 1986 during the Challenger c risis (although it does not hold more hearings than the House) as well as 1992 as debates over the s pace station project were held. During that 1992 peak, the Senate only held two hearings, but in compar ison, the House convened none. Following 1992, the House holds more year. When we look at this hearing activity by topic, a curious pattern emerges. Unlike the clean ai r data where policy was clearly the focus of hearings held in the early period, while p olicy is an issue in Figure 4 13 oversight is also a focus of hearings in
107 Congress. Even prior to the 1967 hearings regarding Apollo 1, there were two spikes in overs ight hearings in 1960 and 1962 with four oversight hearings held in 1960 and five in 1962. This could be a reflection of the presidential policy setting actions taken by John F. Kennedy in 1961; because the president had acted largely unilaterally, focusi ng spikes do occur during the mid 1960s as well as early 1970s as NASA transitioned from Apollo to the shuttle era. For the remaining years in Figures 4 13 and 4 14 th e data appears much as we would expect. Oversight hearings dominate policy ones with the exception of 1989, 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2010 where a greater number of policy hearings were held compared to oversight. All of these years, except 2000, represent ye ars in which policy was attempted to be changed or did indeed change. Like the clean air breakdown by hearing topic, I have done the same for human space flight. Figures 4 15 through 4 18 and Tables 4 11 and 4 12 show the by topic analysis for th e House an d Senate. With respect to Figure 4 15 which shows the hearing activity for the House, oversight hearings dominate the agenda when they are held. The House held an average of 1.5 policy related hearings compared to 2.3 oversight hearings conducted during the entire time period under study. The years in which policy hearings are held the most (1961, 1969, 1972, 1975, 1978, 1980, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2010) are only the majority because no oversight hearings were held. Figures 4 17 and 4 18 and Tabl e 4 12 demonstrate that in the early years of human spaceflight, the Senate took a major interest in policy as policy hearings are
108 more frequently held than oversight. Between 19 58 and 1965, the Senate conducted a t otal of eight policy hearings compared t o two oversight hearings. It is only after the mid 1970s when ov ersight hearings in the Senate begin to be held more frequently than policy hearings. Significantly, when policy hearings are held by the Senate, (early 1980s, 1989, and the 2000s), they are held during periods of policy change. This lends credence to the institutional policy lifecycle theory. When we look at the results of both of these data sets, we can see that the House is fairly consistent in focusing on human spaceflight as compared to the Senate. Also, much like the clea n air hearings, the results also show the Senate to be quite interested in policy at the beginning of the space program. While this interest wanes, it then picks up again during periods of policy change, only to reced e once again following. Investigations Often connected to committee hearings, investigations can take place outside of hearings as well. One of the most common methods of congressional investigation utilizes the Government Accountability Office (GAO), pre viously known as the General Accounting Office. This non partisan arm of Congress performs investigations into particular areas at the request of members of Congress and sometim es independently. The GAO then prepare s a report for the Congress regarding t he investigation. Often, the GAO will present their findings in a committee hearing along with their prepared report but more often than not, the investigation findings are merely published The number of GAO reports requested in each chamber helps to sup plement the data on congressional hearings detailed above. Where the committee chairmen can only call hearings, GAO reports can be requested by any member of Congress from leadership down to the rank and file. Thus, this data is a great equalizer in the sense
109 that every member in both chambers has equal access and equal ability to request that the GAO examine a certain problem. There is a limitation inherent with the use of these reports. Although the GAO has posted on their website all of their availabl e reports, no reports were constructed for human spaceflight before 1969 and none for clean air prior to 1970. This data, then, is missing the first roughly ten years that we would like to investigate, a period that encompasses the first phase of the inst itutional policy lifecycle. Aside from this issue, the data are able to give us a sense of how these two policies have proceeded with regards to the second and third phases of the lifecycle, the routine and crisis stages. What is important to note about t he GAO investigations is that most of them are congressionally instigated, that is, a member of Congress request s an investigation. Thus, GAO reports are another way we can examine the amount of activity and concern each chamber has with a policy area ove r time and by topic area each report addresses. Clean Air Figures 4 19 displays the number of GAO reports regarding clean air over the 40 year period. Each year, there is an average of 7.3 reports requested concerning clean air. Beginning in the mid 1980 s, the number of reports begins to rise and stays consistently hi gh for approximately seven years, peaking in 1986 with ten requested reports. Another spike is seen in the mid 1990s with nine reports in 1997, but the frequency once again falls in the rest of the period. What is more important for our purposes than simply knowing the frequency of GAO reports is which chamber initiated more, the House or Senate. Figures 4 20 and 4 21 and Table 4 13 d isplay this data. The House requested an average of two r eports
110 annually and the Senate, 0.7. Initially, the Senate requested one report a year between 1970 and 1973. Following this, the House begins to utilize this tool, requesting one report in 1974 and one in 1977. Beginning in 1982, however, the pace of H ouse requested reports picks up drastically, peaking with ten in 1986 and nine again in 1990. This pattern continues with the House requesting more reports than the Senate until 2000 when senators request three reports and the House, none. Following this the Senate then request s reports more frequently through the end of the period with a high of four in 2003. The p attern displayed in Figures 4 20 and 4 21 and Table 4 13 is slightly different than the one we have encountered previously. The hearing da ta showed the Senate to be far more interested in clean air during the 1980s than the GAO data would have us believe. Because a single member of Congress can trigger an investigation, this data may reflect the desire of House members to consider clean air policy more so than their committee and subcommittee chairmen would allow. Like the hearing data, GAO topics can also be classified by the topic they are covering: policy or oversight. Figures 4 22, 4 23, and Table 4 14 show how the total number of GAO reports regarding clean air has been distributed between these two categories. There has been an average of 0.9 reports annually focused on policy and 3.2 on oversight demonst rating that the focus is on oversight. Policy reports emerge predictably when c hanges to the Clean Air Act were being considered the early 1980s, late 1980s, and early 2000s. This data does not tell us about the frequency with which each chamber has requested topics regarding clean air po licy or oversight. Figures 4 24 through 4 27 and
111 Tables 4 15 and 4 16 do show this with F igure s 4 24 and 4 25 showing the House reports by topic and Figures 4 26 and 4 27 GAO reports centers on oversight. The peak in 1986 (with one policy report and nine oversight) reflects the overall frequency with which reports were requested. After 1986, the number of reports requested by the House overall falls, with the focus remaining on oversight rather than policy. Policy reports were only requested again in 199 6, 1998, 2001, and 2005 with one in each year. The Senate data in Figures 4 26 4 27, and Table 4 16 that there are more oversight reports than policy. During this forty year period, policy reports were only performed in 1992 and 2003. Interestingly, the Senate has been fairly consistent with its use of GAO reports except for a complete absence during the 1980s. Once again, this could be reflective of the amount of hearings that were being held in the Senate; because clean a ir was being considered in the venue of a hearing, perhaps senators did not feel the need to request these reports. On the other hand, representatives might have wanted to consider clean air more but were thwarted because they could not call hearings with out their committee or subcommittee chairmen. Human Spaceflight I have gathered the same data on GAO reports for human spaceflight as has been previously detailed for clean air policy. Figure 4 28 shows the frequency of GAO reports on human spaceflight between 1969 and 2010. Historically, there have been a total of 110 reports requested with an average of 2.6 per year. Between 1969 and the late 1980s, the number of reports requested never exceeded four, with four reports coming in only one year, 1970. Between 1987 and 1994, reports on human spaceflight
112 rose, leading to a peak of nine in 1992. This coincides not only with Challenger and debates over the space station project Following this, the trend line falls, but consistently ranges between two and four reports a year. To tell us more about cong ressional activity, Figures 4 29 and 4 30 and Table 4 17 show the frequency of GAO reports by chamber. The House has averaged o ne a year while the Senate has averaged 0.7. Until 1976, the Senate requested more reports with one coming in 1970, 1973, and 1976. Following a period in which neither chamber requested GAO reports (1979 1982), the number of reports reque sted by the Hous e rises with a peak of seven coming in 1992. Once again, this is consistent with debates in the House over spending on the space station. The Senate again requests more reports in 1994 and 2003 2005 with the second period reflecting concern over Columbia Figures 4 31 through 4 36 and Tables 4 18 to 4 20 show the categorization of human spacefligh t reports by topic. Figure 4 31 shows the total number of GAO reports classified by their topic. Human space flight reports requested by both chambers tend to focus more on oversight; the average number of policy reports is 0.7 while the average number of oversight reports is double at 1.9. Through the mid 1980s, the main focus of the GAO reports was oversight, however, beginning in the early 1980s, policy concerns begin to steadily build until peaking in 1990 with three policy reports and two oversight reports. Following this policy peak, oversight once again becomes the dominant concern until policy once again returns in the early 2000s. This data reinforces the
113 trends seen previously that congressional concern for policy does increase during periods of policy change or policy crisis. The classification of GAO reports for t he House found in Figure 4 33 is indi cative of the overall frequency of reports for the House, with House members requesting reports rather infrequently until the late 1980s. Once they begin utilizing this tool, oversight appears to be the dominant concern except for 1989 and 1990, years in which the House asked for one policy report in 1989 and two in 1990. After this, policy disappears from the GAO reports directed towards the House. Policy reports do not appear again until 2007 and 2008, with one report in each year. On the other hand, t he Sena te data reflected in Figure 4 35 shows a more overriding concern with policy particularly in the already identified periods of change. In the period 1986 1989, the Senate requested a total of six reports, all focused on policy compared to none con c erning oversight. Between the periods of the late 1980s and early 1990s and 2000s, oversight is the main topic for reports requested by senators. Discussion From the three activity areas reported here, it is clear that the House and Senate do vary in how they act towards policy over time, but is it really consistent with what the theory predicts we will see? Hypothesis 1B: Senate Precedence in Phase One The first congressional hypothesis predicts that in the issue uptake phase, the Senate will take the l ead in setting policy over the House. This pattern is apparent from data in the content analysis, hearings, and GAO report data First, the data in Figures 4 1 and 4 2 from the New York Times content analysis shows that Senate coverage exceeds that of th e House in both clean air and human spaceflight. Although the
114 Senate is more dominant with regards to clean air, it is clear that House activities are just not covered as much in the early years of policy. Of course, this data comes with a caveat that Ne w York Times coverage does not necessarily equate with institutional influence. Senate dominance is also found in congressional hearings on clean air. Although the Senate is more dominant in clean air than it was in spaceflight, it undertakes more activit ies in regards to these policy areas than it does during routine period s of policymaking. With respect request more GAO reports than the House in the early years of the spaceflight program (Figure 4 29 ) helping to demonstrate that the Senate acts more often in this early period than the House. Beyond the quantitative data regarding activity level, the data presented here also show that the Senate is more interested in policy during this early phase. Al though the institutional policy lifecycle does not explicitly predict this, we would expect that when a new policy area enters the political arena, the focus would be on setting policy rather than the implementation of it. In both the clean air and human spacef light hearing data, the Senate focuses on policy issues as opposed to oversight issues during this early period. Hypothesis 2A: House Leadership in Phase Two In comparison to Senate dominance in the early phases of policy activity, hypothesis 2A foc uses o n how the House acts during routine phases of policy. The data analyzed in this chapter help to support this proposition. In addition to the increase in House coverage during routine periods evident in the content analysis, we also see an increase in House activity in both hearings and investigations. Additionally,
115 authorization for NASA programs in the form of legislation is more often passed in the guise of a House resolution in these regular periods. In Figure 4 11 the number of House based he non crisis periods. Although this is not as clear for clean air, during the 1990s, a non crisis period for clean air, the House does become more interested than the Senate. Much like th during this period is more apparent for human spaceflight in G AO report requests. Figure 4 29 shows that the House requests more GAO reports on human spaceflight during non crisis period s. Additionally, when the GAO reports as well as hearings are normal and routine periods is on oversight. In both House hearings and House requested GAO reports for clean air, the discussions are centered on policy oversight rather than policy topics alone. The same pattern is evident for hearings and GAO reports for spaceflight with the overwhelming focus being on oversight. That the House would direct its attention to o versight of policy areas during these routine times is something we would expect to see under the institutional policy lifecycle theory. With the greater direction of policy set in the first stage by the Senate and the president, what is left for the Hous e to do is to ensure that the policy is being carried out properly. This does not mean that they do not make policy changes at all; the House can and certainly does. But the overwhelming focus of the House in these normal periods is on oversight and the attention paid to policies is greater than that paid by the Senate.
116 Hypotheses 3A and 3B: Congressional Influence in Times of Crisis These two hypotheses concern congressional influence in times of policy crisis or upheaval postulating that the Senate onc e again becomes dominant in policymaking (hypothesis 3A) and in turn the House falls back (hypothesis 3B). W hen we begin to look for evidence of this, the content analysis presented at the beginning of the chapter is indicative of the overall pattern we w ould expect. With regards to human spaceflight, the analysis shows a Senate on the upswing during policy crises in 1986 and the early the data show Senate dominance compared to the House in 1989 and 1990 and the early 2000s, both being periods in which major policy changes were considered. When we consider the origin of legislation passed, the history of NASA authorizations show that in periods where human spaceflig ht policy is being questioned, the Senate resolution introducing the authorization is more often the version that is ultimately passed. Although there is not enough clean air legislation to show a similar pattern, the Senate took a clear interest in passi ng this legislation in the 1960s and once again in 1989 1990. GAO reports also help to demons trate Senate resurgence in crisis period s In both cases, the incidence of Senate requested GAO reports was higher than House requested in critical policy periods For clean air, we can see this rise in the early 2000s as George W. Bush pressed his clean skies initiative. Senate GAO reports also rise in comparison to House GAO reports in the early 2000s for spaceflight but also in the early 1990s as George H.W. B ush pressed his version of space policy and NASA encountered serious policy obstacles with respect to the space station program.
117 T he focus of both Senate hearings and GAO reports shows that what the Senate chooses to co ncentrate on during these crisis peri ods is not ov ersight but policy. Figures 4 9 and 4 17 displaying the topics of Senate hearings on clean air and spaceflight show that hearings during crises are on the subject of policy. This would again be expected under the institutional policy lifecyc le theory since it stipulates that policy would be easiest to change during these critical junctures. It would only be natural for politicians to consider alternative policies when the current ones seem to be failing. The data presented here go some way to supporting that. Conclusion The data in this chapter demonstrates that there are differences in the way the House and the Senate behave over time with respect to individual policies. These differences are apparent not only in the actual legislation tha t gets passed over time, but also in the way hearings and oversight are conducted. Initially, the Senate behaves in a way that shows they are more interested in the policy area. This is seen in the quantitative measures showing that the Senate holds a la rger number of hearings and requests a larger number of GAO reports compared to what the House requests. Further, the nature of the interest of the Senate is qualitatively different in that they focus on actual matters of policy compared to the implementa tion of already established policy. As policies become more established, the behavior of the two chambers changes. Instead of greater interest on the part of the Senate, the House initiates more legislation, holds more hearings, and requests more GAO inve stigations. This does not mean that the Senate does not act at all, but that the activities of the House eclipse those taking place in the Senate. The focus of the actions in the House is not on policy
118 like it was with the Senate; instead, the members of the House tend to focus to a greater degree on policy oversight and administration. This reflects the fact that by this point a policy response has been formulated and implemented to a degree. Why would this change in behavior occur? Because the policy becomes a part of the normal political process and the initial policy has been implemented, House members become more aware of the implications of the policy not only through the yearly round of budget negotiations but through contact with their constitue nts. House members can more clearly see how individual policy areas affect them and the division of labor in the House is more conducive to individual members becoming policy specialists to a greater degree than the smaller Senate allows. The pattern wher ein the House dominates the Senate in normal policy matters does not continue without interruption. The data demonstrate that at certain periods in the history of both clean air and human spaceflight, the Senate once again becomes more interested in polic y areas than the House. These periods tend to coincide with periods of crisis in the policy areas themselves. During these crisis times, the Senate increases its activities; they hold more hearings, request more investigations, and tend to initiate legis lation more often. Additionally, because crisis periods tend to open up a number of previously foreclosed upon policy options, the Senate often considers alternative policy avenues during these periods. This is demonstrated through the focus of Senate ac tivities during the crisis period on policy rather than oversight and administration. This does not mean that policy is always changed during this period, but that a wider range of policy options may be considered.
119 What is significant about particularly t he clean air data is the extent to which the Senate is dominant for an extended period of time. This pattern is seen not only the content analysis but also the hearing data presented. Why should the Senate be as concerned as it apparently was over the is sue of clean air and for such an extended period of time? There are qualitative di fferences between the two policies considered here that could be contributing to this phenomenon. While human spaceflight took on the guise of a national concern in roughly the first decade of its existence, since that period, human spaceflight policy has become more of a local concern. Because California, Mississippi, among others, there is a g reater interest from representatives who have a NASA center in their constituency. This localizes space as an issue to a greater degree than c lean air. Clean air is something that is not relegated to one district or state; it is a more national issue and more constantly a national issue. While some states have more or less problems with air quality, clean air affects larger electorates, the types of electorates that senators wish to reach. As noted earlier, senators, because of their larger constituenc ies, are forced to focus on less local issues and think of more national ones, particularly those senators who wish to get national media coverage. The varying nature of clean air and human spaceflight and the similar patterns we see between the two only help to add further credence to the theory laid out here. Because clean air is more of a national issue, we should expect that the Senate would take a greater interest in it. That the House does take a greater interest in clean air compared to the Senate in periods of policy stability only indicates that the Senate does take less of an interest at particular points in time.
120 Further, because human spaceflight is more of a local issue and the Senate takes interest in it at periods of policy crisis, we can lend even more support to the institutional policy lifecycle. The Congress, of course, cannot act on its own. The president also comes into the picture at important points in time. Chapter 5 will consider presidential actions as well as how the president and the Congress interact in the course of setting policy over its lifetime.
121 Table 4 1. Institutional differences between the House and the Senate and their effects Characteristic House Effect Senate Effect Size Majoritarian; members able to specialize More individualistic; members must focus on more issues Frequency of elections Seek short term gains Can focus on more longer term issues Electorate Can focus on more specialized interests Must consider more numerous issues and interests C onstitutional duties Appropriations: Must consider all policy areas on a consistent basis Appointments, treaties: Less time for other issues Figure 4 1. Human spaceflight content analysis by chamber
122 Figure 4 2. Clean air content analysis by chamber
123 Table 4 2. NASA authorization bills YEAR PASSED ORIGINATING CHAMBER 1961 House 1962 House 1963 House 1964 House 1965 House 1966 House 1967 Senate 1968 House 1969 House 1970 House 1971 House 1972 House 1973 House 1974 H ouse 1975 House 1976 House 1977 House 1978 House 1979 House 1980 Senate 1981 House 1982 House 1983 House 1984 House 1985 House 1987 House 1988 Senate 1990 Senate 1991 House 1992 House 2000 House 2005 Senate 2008 House 2010 Senate
124 Table 4 3. Clean air legislation Legislation Year Passed Originating Chamber Clean Air Act 1963 House Air Quality Act 1967 Senate Clean Air Act Extension 1970 House Clean Air Act Amendments 1977 House Clean Air Act 1990 Senate Table 4 4. Clean ai r riders Year Public Law Words 2010 111 88 66 2003 108 199 59 2001 106 377 113 2000 106 554 113 1998 105 174 39 1995 104 19 153 1996 104 134 101 1993 103 124 63 1987 100 202 324 1983 98 45 63 1980 96 540 89 Figure 4 3. Clean air hearing ac tivity by chamber (annually)
12 5 Figure 4 4. Clean air hearing activity by chamber (by session) Table 4 5. Clean air hearing activity by chamber in percentages Years % House % Senate 1960 64 50 50 1965 69 36.8 63.2 1970 74 25 75 1975 79 33.3 66.6 1980 84 31.1 68.9 1985 89 57.1 42.9 1990 94 73.1 26.9 1995 99 61.8 38.2 2000 04 27.3 72.7 2005 10 37.5 62.5
126 Figure 4 5. Clean air hearings by topic (annually) Figure 4 6. Clean air hearings by topic (by session)
127 Table 4 6. Clean air heari ngs by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1960 64 83.3 16.7 1965 69 57.9 42.1 1970 74 25 75 1975 79 55.6 44.4 1980 84 73.8 26.2 1985 89 59.5 40.5 1990 94 19.2 80.8 1995 99 32.4 67.6 2000 04 22.7 77.3 2005 10 29.2 70.8 Figure 4 7. House clean air hearings by topic (annually)
128 Figure 4 8. House clean air hearings by topic (by session) Table 4 7. House clean air hearings by topic in percentages Years % Policy Oversight 1960 64 66.7 33.3 1965 69 71.4 28.6 1970 74 33.3 66 .7 1975 79 50 50 1980 84 57.9 42.1 1985 89 45.8 54.2 1990 94 21.5 78.5 1995 99 47.6 52.4 2000 04 33.3 66.7 2005 10 55.6 44.4
129 Figure 4 9. Senate clean air hearings by topic Figure 4 10. Senate clean air hearings by topic (by session)
130 Tabl e 4 8. Senate clean air hearings by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1960 64 100 0 1965 69 50 50 1970 74 22.2 77.8 1975 79 60 40 1980 84 81 19 1985 89 77.8 22.2 1990 94 14.3 85.7 1995 99 7.7 92.3 2000 04 18.8 81.2 2005 10 13.3 86. 7 Figure 4 11. Human spaceflight hearing activity by chamber (annually)
131 Figure 4 12. Human spaceflight hearing activity by chamber (per session) Table 4 9. Human spaceflight hearing activity by chamber in percentages Years % House % Senate 1958 59 25 75 1960 64 76.2 23.8 1965 69 22.2 77.8 1970 74 50 50 1975 79 71.4 28.6 1980 84 81.8 18.2 1985 89 64.3 35.7 1990 94 77.3 22.7 1995 99 72.2 27.8 2000 04 81 19 2005 10 68.8 31.2
132 Figure 4 13. Human spaceflight hearings by topic (ann ually) Figure 4 14. Human spaceflight hearings by topic (by session)
133 Table 4 10. Human spaceflight hearings by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1958 59 50 50 1960 64 52.4 47.6 1965 69 22.2 77.8 1970 74 42.3 57.7 1975 79 21.4 78 .6 1980 84 45.5 54.5 1985 89 21.4 78.6 1990 94 18.2 81.8 1995 99 27.8 72.2 2000 04 38.1 61.9 2005 10 43.8 56.2 Figure 4 15. House human spaceflight hearings by topic (annually)
134 Figure 4 16. House human spaceflight hearings by topic (by se ssion) Table 4 11. House human spaceflight hearings by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1958 59 0 100 1960 64 43.8 56.2 1965 69 25 75 1970 74 30.8 69.2 1975 79 30 70 1980 84 44.4 55.6 1985 89 33.3 66.7 1990 94 23.5 76.5 1995 99 38.5 61.5 2000 04 47.1 52.9 2005 10 27.3 72.7
135 Figure 4 17. Senate human spaceflight hearings by topic (annually) Figure 4 18. Senate human spaceflight hearings by topic (by session)
136 Table 4 12. Senate human spaceflight hearings by topic i n percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1958 59 66.7 33.3 1960 64 80 20 1965 69 21.4 78.6 1970 74 53.8 46.2 1975 79 0 100 1980 84 50 50 1985 89 10 90 1990 94 0 100 1995 99 0 100 2000 04 0 100 2005 10 80 20 Figure 4 19. Clean air GAO repo rts, 1970 2010
137 Figure 4 20. Clean air GAO reports by chamber (annually) Figure 4 21. Clean air GAO reports by chamber (by session)
138 Table 4 13. Clean air GAO reports by chamber in percentages Years % House % Senate 1970 7 4 16.7 83.3 1975 79 40 60 1980 84 83.3 16.7 1985 89 94.1 5.9 1990 94 93.1 6.9 1995 99 81.8 18.2 2004 04 30.8 69.2 2005 10 37.5 62.5 Figure 4 22. Clean air GAO reports by topic (annually)
139 Figure 4 23. Clean air GAO reports by topic (by session) Table 4 14. Cl ean air GAO reports by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1970 74 0 100 1975 79 0 100 1980 84 30 70 1985 89 5.4 94.6 1990 94 10 90 1995 99 10.7 89.3 2000 04 26.7 73.3 2005 10 20 80
140 Figure 4 24. House clean air GAO reports by topi c (annually) Figure 4 25. House clean air GAO reports by topic (by session)
141 Table 4 15. House clean air GAO reports by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1970 74 0 100 1975 79 0 100 1980 84 0 100 1985 89 6.3 93.7 1990 94 7.4 92. 6 1995 99 22.2 77.8 2000 04 25 75 2005 10 33.3 66.7 Figure 4 26. Senate clean air GAO reports by topic (annually)
142 Figure 4 27. Senate clean air GAO reports by topic (by session) Table 4 16. Senate clean air GAO reports by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1970 74 0 100 1975 79 0 100 1980 84 0 100 1985 89 0 100 1990 94 50 50 1995 99 0 100 2000 04 22.2 77.8 2005 10 0 100
143 Figure 4 28. Human spaceflight GAO reports Figure 4 29. Human spaceflight GAO report s by chamber (annually)
144 Figure 4 30. Human spaceflight GAO reports by chamber (by session) Table 4 17. Human spaceflight GAO reports by chamber in percentages Years % House % Senate 1969 74 33.3 66.7 1975 79 66.7 33.3 1980 84 33.3 66.7 1985 89 54.5 45.5 1990 94 72.2 27.8 1995 99 53.8 46.2 2000 04 45.5 54.5 2005 10 70 30
145 Figure 4 31. Human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (annually) Figure 4 32. Human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (by session)
146 Table 4 18. Human spaceflight GAO reports by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1969 74 0 100 1975 79 12.5 87.5 1980 84 50 50 1985 89 54.5 45.5 1990 94 44 66 1995 99 6.3 93.7 2000 04 18.8 81.2 2005 10 38.5 61.5 Figure 4 33. House human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (annually)
147 Figure 4 34. House human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (by session) Table 4 19. House human spaceflight GAO reports by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1969 74 0 100 1975 79 50 50 1980 84 100 0 1985 89 16.7 83.3 1990 94 38.5 61.5 1995 99 0 100 2000 04 0 100 2005 10 28.6 71.4
148 Figure 4 35. Senate human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (annually) Figure 4 36. Senate human spaceflight GAO reports by topic (by session)
149 Table 4 20. Senate human s paceflight GAO reports by topic in percentages Years % Policy % Oversight 1969 74 0 100 1975 79 0 100 1980 84 50 50 1985 89 100 0 1990 94 40 60 1995 99 0 100 2000 04 50 50 2005 10 33.3 66.7
150 CHAPTER 5 EXECUTIVES AND POLIC Y Presidents are placed in a unique institutional position. The only nationally elected figure, presidents are afforded any number of public platforms to use as they see fit with initiative s or changes, force the Congress to consider a particular issue or act in a certain way, to bring attention to neglected issues, to praise individuals and groups for noteworthy achievements, or just to advance their own political position, among other uses the ability to pursue policy changes that are on their current agenda. There is no shortage of presidential policy proposals that could be mentioned with respect to hu man spaceflight and clean air. These include (perhaps most famously) Environmental Protect ion Agency and amendments to the Clean Air Act, George H.W. Vision for Space Exploration and Clear Skies Initiat ive. The record of success these presidents have experienc ed in regards to these proposals is mixed; while Kennedy and Nixon were successful, both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush had one of these major policy proposals fail. Although presidents are endowed with the bully pulpit, it does not mean they are alw ays successful at using it. While this chapter will focus on four of these cases, there are other tools that the president can use to affect policy. In addition to the advantage the president has in having a national platform, the president is constitutio nal ly enabled to appoint members to the bureaucracy, establish
151 budgets, and supervise extents. Since Nixon, pres idents have been more cognizant of how they utilize the appointment power; instead of just focusing on major appointments, presidents now realize the importance of placing trusted allies in lower level positions that will allow for a greater control of the bureaucracy. Additionally, presidents have expanded the use of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to craft budgets that highlight presidential policy goals and also screen and even recommend regulations to be established. While there is some over lap in these abilities between the president and the Congress (primarily in terms of appointments and budgets), presidents still have significant leeway to use these tools to their liking. These tools, however, cannot be used with all agencies. Bureaucrac ies that have particular qualifications for their leadership positions cannot always be filled with the agencies that have regulatory power. The influence of the OMB m ay be tempered by the existence of powerful interest groups or lobbyists that also seek to change policy. Finally, some agencies may be more or less insulated from presidential control leading to situations where the president has less leverage over burea ucratic decisions (Lewis 2003 ). In order to test the hypotheses of the institutional policy lifecycle, we must determine whether there are changes in presidential behavior over a poli As laid out in Chapter 2 the following hypotheses rega rding the president must be examined:
152 Hypothesis 1A: When a policy problem first emerges and thus lacks an institutionalized response, the president will move to take advantage of this opportunity to set the agenda for a new policy. Because the president must attend to a national agenda, the policy problem will recede in importance for the president over time. Hypothesis 3A: During times of policy crisis, the influence of the Senate and the president with respect to the policy under study will increase. In other words, we would expect presidential activities to increase as policies begin to emerge. Because new policy problems tend to take on a national light initially, presidents, being the only nationally elected politician, have an incentive to respond to these new policy problems. However, the double edged sword of having to consider issues from across the country cuts both ways; as a solution to the policy problem is formalized and implemented, the issue will fall off the presidential agenda. Follow ing this initial stage, then, we will expect presidential activities to decrease. Presidential attention does not remain low forever; when policie s experience crisis, they will emerge onto the presidential agenda, forcing the chief executive to deal with them once again. Thus, we will expect presidential activities to increase during times of crisis only to recede as the crisis is resolved. In order to test these hypotheses, we can look to the policy tools noted above the bully pulpit, appointments, budg et, and regulatory activities. However, because of the differing natures of the relevant bureaucracies, NASA and the EPA, we must determine what activities the president can utilize to control both policy areas. The most striking difference between the n ature of these two policy areas is that the EPA has power to
153 regulate clean air policy whereas NASA cannot regulate human spaceflight in the sense that they develop rules that private individuals and businesses must follow. 1 T o be able to examine human s paceflight and clean air on the same basis, this chapter examines p residential policy proposals, presidential statements and nominations. First, I will examine the nominations of administrators for the EPA and NASA; the leadership and changing leadership of these agencies can reflect the direction that the president wishes to take in the relevant policy areas. Second, I will present data on the mention of human spaceflight and clean air in the Papers of the President. This can indicate whether the issue is on the presidential agenda and give us a rough idea of how important the policy is to the president at any given time. Finally, this chapter will exploit the natural experiment of two presidents each proposing changes to clean air and human spacefligh t policies: George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. While it is easy to examine early presidential initiatives, policy proposals that come later on in the lifetime of a policy and presidential success a t having them implemented allow for a more nuanced anal ysis of the role presidents play in changing policy. In this case, both presidents Bush proposed policy initiatives in both of the policies under study; more interestingly, for George H.W. Bush, his clean air proposals succeeded where his human spacefligh t proposals failed with just the opposite being t rue for George W. Bush. T hese two administrations provide an excellent opportunity to explore the role of presidents controlling for extraneous political factors and conditions. 1 With the growth of private and commercial human spaceflight, the regulation of human spaceflight is becoming more important. However, NASA does not regulate commercial spaceflight the Departments of Commerce and Transportation share this responsibility.
154 Nominations One of the main mechanisms through which presidents can affect policy is through their choic e of agency leadership. As noted in C hapter 1, any number of studies has confirmed the influence that presidential nominations have on agencies. Although this significant power i s shared, it is perhaps the most primary way that presidents can direct policy change. Table 5 1 presents the eleven men who have served as administrator of NASA from its beginning in 1958 through today. It has been customary that as presidents begin thei r own terms, they are in the position to nominate a new NASA administrator. Depending on the length of their stay in the White House, some presidents have been able to nominate two administrators although critically, Bill Clinton only had one NASA adminis trator through his two terms in office, Dan Goldin. Although there is an extensive literature examining the role of presidential leadership in the course of NASA history, with some arguing that the president is essential to the course of space policy and i n particular human spaceflight policy (Lambright 1992) and some arguing that presidential support is simply a myth and very little on the influence of the administrator. Despite this lack of study, very few space scholars and historians would argue that the administrator is not important is some way. For example, James Webb, NASA administrator during the pivotal period leading up to the moon landings, played a critical ro le in shepherding the space program through the political ups and downs of Washington. Webb, unlike some other administrators, had no background in aviation or astronautics; instead he was the consummate Washington insider having served as director of the Bureau of the Budget
155 for Henry Truman after service in the Treasury Department. His remarkable political pollo 1 fire and assisted NASA in avoiding even greater budget cuts during the 1960s. W. Henry Lambright has written to an extent on the role of leadership in NASA, policy in the realm where technological politics and administration converge, expediting some effective administrators take advantage of historical opportunities to influence natio nal policy (ibid. 202). For instance, Dan Goldin was effectively able to spare the ISS the misery of a congressional death in the early 1990s by convincing President Bill Clinton to include the Russians as part of the project. Inviting the Russians to cooperate with the US on gaining the support of the president and alleviating some congr essional pressure on the program. Lambright has also written on the role Administrator Goldin played overall in NASA during the 1990s. Goldin is important for NASA not only because he has been the longest serving NASA administrator, serving for two presid ents over nine years, but because he initiated a series of changes internally at NASA designed to make the way of conducting business at NASA led to a series of significant achievements including successful rover landings on Mars and the initial construction of the ISS but also some significant
156 operating on a smaller budget made NASA fit with the times. Part icularly following the Republican Revolution and the ensuing budgetary changes, that NASA was focused on doing more with less helped NASA win favor in Washington and avoid the criticism it had faced in the early 1990s. Appointment of administrators for an y agency is also significant in that they can be representative of the direction presidents wish to take the agency. This has been true efe, as NASA administrator in 2001 signaled to many the focus on costs that would be coming at NASA. Further, appointments to the EPA have also been incredibly representative of the tone presidents adopt towards environmental politics. The appointment of Anne Gorucsh by Ronald Reagan in 1981 represented the eventual cutbacks in environmental policy that would eventually be experienced in the agency. After Gorusch was forced to resign and in the midst of the environment, his next a stiffer, and perhaps more conciliatory, stance towards the environment. Table 5 2 presents the eleven men and women who have led the EPA fro m its start in 1970 until today. Interestingly enough, there have been more EPA administrators appointed by Republican presidents than by Democratic. True, this data is skewed by the fact that Carter served only one term and Obama has only served the maj ority of one term thus far, but the turnover in Republican administrations for EPA administrators is somewhat high. Both Reagan and George W. Bush each appointed
157 three administrators during their two terms in office. For both of these presidents, the tur nover could possibly be attributed to the raucous debates and ensuing criticism leveled at both for their supposed anti environmental leanings. Much like the experience of NASA administrators, individual EPA administrators can also influence the activity o f their agencies. Golden (2000) has explored the extent to which Anne Gorusch was instrumental during her term at the EPA. In the early 1980s, Gorsuch oversaw the largest cuts in the EPA budget, a reduction in employment at the EPA, and an easing of envi ronmental regulations. Gor u s with the general view that Reagan pursued during his presidency of fewer regulations n agency but also how the appointed administrator is absolutely essential in implementing that at the agency level. A similarly difficult experience faced former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman during her years at the EPA from 2001 2003. Althou gh Todd Whitman had been involved in environmental regulation in New Jersey, her views on the environment clashed with those of George W. Bush. In some cases she supported more stringent regulations resulting in disagreements between her and the Bush admi nistration that eventually led to her resignation in mid 2003. Bush would then nominate Michael Leavitt would be rewarded for his loyalty to the administration by being nomi nated to head the Department of Health and Human Services in 2005. From the experience of administrators of both NASA and EPA, presidential nominations of agency leadership are significant in two ways. First, the choice of an
158 individual to lead a particul ar agency can be symbolic in the sense that the background of the individual may signal the direction the president may wish to pursue with respect with the second appointme nt of William Ruckelshaus by Reagan, among others. T wo, presidential appointees can significantly alter the course of policy by implementing changes that the president supports or desires (as was the case of administrators in the EPA) but also by making p olicy decisions in such a way as to elicit support from the president and other political players in Washington (as was the case with NASA). Because of the differing nature of the agencies themselves, appointees are able to intervene in policy decisions i n different ways thus reflecting the different methods that the two administrators use to change policy in each of these areas. Presidential Papers While a president may install supportive allies within the agencies themselves, presidents can influence the direction of public policy through the extent to which they address it and place it on the presidential agenda. But how can we determine what the president is setting on his or her agenda? There is clearly any number of issues that a president may be fo rced to deal with on a daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. A president may make statements regarding policy issues, mention a policy issue in the context of a greater, wider ranging speech, or may go so far as to make a full policy proposal. Each o f these categories clearly cannot be considered to be equal in regards to importance; policy proposals are more significant than mere mentions and statements focusing on one issue (but not containing a policy proposal) are more important than mentions but not as important as policy proposals.
159 In examining the presidential agenda then, we must make distinctions between these different types of presidential statements, speeches, and proposals. A president who mentions the ideal of clean air for all in 50 s peeches may not actually consider clean air to be an agenda item whereas a president who makes a substantive policy proposal on clean air standards does. The frequency with which a president invokes a policy over the course of his or her term does tell us something about the importance that issue has for the executive but the frequency of statements is an incomplete measure of a presidential agenda. When the president is taking the time to bring up the issue more or make a policy proposal, the policy is o bviously taking on some greater importance with respect to the president. When we see the frequency of these agenda that we distinguish between the types of statements a president is making and not examine only the frequency with which statements are being made. To determine the nature and frequency with which presidents have brought up both clean air and human spaceflight, we can turn to the Public Papers of the Presidents. These documents provide the most comprehensive coverage of presidential speeches, documents, and resources. In examining this source, I have searched through the Public Papers utilizing the 2010. Once the relevant documents were identified, I characterized each document as containing either a mention of clean air (this could either be a reference to clean air in passing or a reference to clean air in the context of some larger speech), a presidential statement (a speech that focused solely on clean air or the Clean Air Act), or a
160 presidential proposal (a speech that contained a proposal for further actions to ensure clean air in the United States). Figu re 5 1 displays the number of clean air mentions in presidential statements between 1 960 and 2010. There is a spike in 1990 where presidential mentions number 60. These statements made by George H.W. Bush were made in reference to attempts to amend the C lean Air Ac t; in most of these speeches Bush would reference the Clean Air Act Amendments that were working their way through the Congress and urge the came in the co ntext of praising the efforts of the Congress and, more importantly, claiming credit for the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments. This contributes to the continuing number of high mentions by Bush in 1991 as he went on the campaign trail. Other, small er spikes in presidential mentions have also occurred in 2000, 1996, and 1970. Two of these years, 2000 and 1996, were election years. While we would expect that Bill Clinton would mention clean air often in election centered speeches in 1996, why would the tally also rise in 2000? Much like George H.W. Bush in 1991 in 2000 were in the form of retrospective speeches on his presidency. The final spike in presidential m entions occurred in 1970, the year in which Richard Nixon not only established the EPA but the year where major amendments to the Clean Air Act were passed. In sum, examining just the frequency with which presidents mention clean air, we can surmise the e xtent to which the issue was placed on the agenda and the nature in which it was used.
161 While mentions in speeches can only tell us so much, we can also examine the frequency of presidential speeches and statements focusing solely on clean air or the Clean Air Act. Figure 5 2 presents this data for clean air; while presidential statements on clean air specifically are much less frequent in number compared to mentions in larger statements, the spikes in the data generally accord with the spikes in presidenti al mentions, although not completely. The largest spike occurs in 1978 with 10. These statements, however, were not speeches relating to clean air but executive orders allowing states to suspend provisions of the Clean Air Act in the case of energy emerg encies. The second spike in the data comes where we would expect it; in 1990, George H.W. Bush made six statements solely focused on clean air and the passage of the Clean Air Act Amendments. The other spikes in presidential statements come in 1968 and 2002 2003 with two statements in each year. In 2002 and 2003, the George W. Bush administration was trying to advance its Clear Skies proposal that will be discussed below. A final special category of presidential statement is the State of the Union, us ually the centerpiece of the presidential agenda. Because of its nature, the State of the Union, while containing presidential proposals and policy mentions, is not a speech that solely focuses on any one policy area. In 21 out of the 51 years of the tim e period under study, a president has mentioned clean air during his State of the Union. Meanwhile, presidents have only put forward clean air proposals for clean air in five years: 1970, 1975, 1989 (however, this was an unofficial State of the Union giv en by George H.W. Bush shortly after his inauguration), 1999, and 2003. Four of these
162 years coincide with major presidential policy pushes, most obviously 1970 (1970 Clean Air Act Amendments), 1975 (culminating in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1977), communities reduce greenhouse and other pollution, and tax incentives and investmen presidential legacy especially since the large bump in presidential mentions of clean air did not occur until a year after in 2000. Compared to the frequency of clean air mentions an d statements, presidential statements regarding human spaceflight occur much less often. In order to search the concentrated solely on those statements that specifically mentioned human spaceflight activities. Using the same coding sche me as clean air above, Figure 5 3 comprises the data on presidential mentions, statements solely on human spaceflight, policy propo sals on the part of the president, and mentions in the State of the Union. Unlike clean air, presidential statements focusing solely on human spaceflight come at a greater frequency compared to basic mentions of human spaceflight. Further, the rate of hu man spaceflight statements nearly drops out completely during the 1970s. The reason for the 1970s drop and the difference in frequency compared to clean air is that presidents have either talked to crews on space missions or congratulated these crews thro ugh statements fairly often. During the 1970s, the pace of these space missions fell
163 dramatically, accounting for the relative lack of presidential statements during this period. Given the history of the space program, the peaks in the data are generally as we would expect. The 1960s represent a high point for human spaceflight with the program being mentioned in most of the State of the Union addressed of the decade. Further, presidential statements during the 1960s were rather frequent with five human spaceflight statements in 1965, 1968, and 1969. Following the end of the Apollo program in 1972, we see that presidential discussion of the program also drops; there are, however, two statements in 1975, the year in which the Apollo Soyuz Test Project occ urred. The pace of presidential statements pick up in the 1980s as the space shuttle began its flights. In 1982, Ronald Reagan began consideration of a space station project with the decision culminating in his State of the Union address in 1984 during wh ich he officially directed NASA to begin such a program. The 1986 spike, which is the highest in this data, is obviously connected with the ill fated Challenger. While presidential statements fall after this, they pick back up again between 1989 and 1990 as George H.W. Bush pushed his Space Exploration Initiative (to be discussed below). Following this, the frequency of statements falls to a relatively stable level except for 1998 which witnessed the launch of Senator John Glenn on the space shuttle. Ov erall, the data on presidential statements for both clean air and human spaceflight demonstrate that these issues do rise on the presidential agenda, only to fall again. While these peaks and valleys coincide with the pattern we would expect given the maj or events in the history of both policy areas, this data does not tell us whether
164 the president is actively controlling the agenda by choosing to give either clean air or human spaceflight a higher priority or whether outside events dictate a rise on the p residential agenda. To explore this further, we can look to four case studies in policymaking under presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Case Studies in Presidential Initiatives Aside from the historical significance of a father and son both se rving as president of the United States, it is an extraordinary coincidence that both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush both made policy proposals regarding clean air and human spaceflight. Making it even more unique, in the case of George H.W. Bush, hi s clean air proposal succeeded and was passed in the form of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and his human spaceflight proposal, the Space Exp loration Initiative failed. J ust the opposite occurred for George W. Bush with his Clear Skies Initiative fai ling and his Vision for Space Exploration authorized by the Congress. Exploring these four policy cases under two presidents allow us not only to examine in depth why these presidents have been successful and why they have failed, but also allow for a cer tain amount of control of extraneous political factors. In this section, I will first discuss the two cases of space policymaking, the Space Exploration Initiative and the Vision for Space Exploration and then the two cases of clean air policymaking, the Clean Air Amendments of 1990 and the Clear Skies Initiative. Human Spaceflight: Similar Proposals, Different Outcomes Plans for missions to Mars were not just dreamed up during the George H.W. Bush administration. The policy history of a permanent manne d presence on the Moon and missions to Mars goes back to the 1950s in popular culture and the late 1960s in
165 NASA planning circles. Following the manned landings on the Moon, public approval and political support for continued space endeavors at the rather high funding levels that had been approved during the 1960s, was no longer possible. As a result, throughout the 1970s and 1980s, NASA quietly built support piece by piece for expanded human spaceflight missions beyond low Earth orbit. The result of seed s planted during the Reagan administration and uncertainty about the future of NASA following the Challenger disaster in 1986, George H.W. Bush announced his Space Exploration Initiative on July 20, 1989, the twentieth anniversary of the first Moon landing With the Apollo 11 astronauts in attendance on the steps of station that would serve as a jumping off point for mis sions to the Moon and to Mars. At the time, Bush was criticized for his airy rhetoric and his lack of timetable and budget ( New York Times 1989a). These missing details led many to the conclusion that Bush was not serious about his proposal but the future NASA Administrator Sean ials at the time estimated the cost to go back to Mars would hover around $400 billion and that going back to the moon would require a doubling of the NASA budget to $11 million in 1989 dollars (Leary 1989). In the following weeks and months, a series of r outline and add specifics to it. By November of 1989, a NASA report laid out five
166 endeavor ( New York Times 1989b). It was not until May of 1990 that Bush himself would set a target date for a Mars landing 2020 (Wilford 1990b). nt that many members of Congress were wary of committing to an advanced NASA was announ ced early in 1990, NASA stood to increase its budget by $2.8 billion but What motivated Bush to announce these particular plans? Surely, it was not simply the twentieth anniversary of the original moon landings. Not only had NASA consistently lobbied for such a proposal, but a number of key officials within the Bush administration also supported such a plan Vice President Dan Quayle and the White House budget director, Richard Darman (Broad 1989). For the Vice President, the SEI served as a jumping off point for him to place his stamp on Bush administration policies in advance of his own probable president ial campaign. Quayle would eventually become the point man for this program, concentrating the planning process within the White House and leading to the resignation of then NASA Administrator Richard Truly in 1992. A year after the initial introduction o f the SEI, not much progress had been made either in NASA or in the Congress in moving the proposals along. Rumors began to circulate of a rift between Administrator Truly and Vice President Quayle over who
167 of 1990, the Vice President announced that the space agency was being asked to form term direction in space. Following in the wake of the discovery that the brand ne w Hubble Space Telescope had a flawed lens, with in NASA as a threat. Disagreements over the centralization of space policy within the White House led to the resignation of Adm inistrator Truly in February of 1992. A report in the New York Times reported that Truly had been forced to resign by Vice President Quayle because changes in managing th space shuttle at all costs, in turn leading to his resignation (Broad 1992). Following tion, the National Space Council, the space steering council located Mars project among several government New York Times 1992). By this time, NASA had only SEI was all but dead. Although as president Clinton was not as interested in the space program as other presidents, the 1990s were relatively good to NASA. By inviting Russia to join the space station project, the agency was finally able to get the first pieces of the International Space Station (ISS) into orbit in 1998. The landing of the Mars rover,
168 Path finder in July of 1997 highlighted the ability of NASA to continue to inspire the public and scientists with its scientific program. Above all, no major disasters befell the agency until 2003. Although one would assume that a former governor of Texas, a s tate that contains a major NASA presence, would be more interested in space, initially it was not the case for George W. Bush. This is highlighted by his lack of visitation to the Johnson Space Center in Texas during his time as governor as well as the re lative absence of major presidential statements regarding the space program in the first two years of his presidency. This would change when NASA experienced the loss of its oldest shuttle, Columbia, on February 1, 2003. Disintegrating upon reentry into the atmosphere, the shuttle had been struck by foam from the external fuel tank upon its lift off. Similar to the aftermath of the Challenger incident, NASA was once again the center of criticism for its lax safety and management practices. In late 2003, the Bush White House began to consider alternative missions for NASA. While initial speculation centered on a State of the Union announcement in January, Bush introduced his Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) on January 14, 2004 in front of an audience at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. While the broad Initiative, a return to the Moon and eventually on to Mars, the specifics of the VSE were more clearly detailed. Wi th the VSE, Bush aimed to complete the International Space Station by 2010 and then utilize it to conduct experiments on the long term viability of humans in space. Following completion of the station, the remaining orbiters in the space shuttle fleet wou ld be retired and development of a new family of spacecraft
169 would begin in earnest, utilizing the money from the space shuttle program to fund its development. The new craft would be operable no later than 2014 and a return to the Moon would happen no lat er than 2020. Mars would be the eventual goal with a timetable for landing centering around 2030. astronomically high estimates of $400 $500 billion, Bush estimated the cost over five years would be in the $12 billion range, with only $1 billion of that being new money; the ter Bush left office and after the shuttle was retired that development costs would rise. Congressional response to the proposal was rather muted with concern over exactly where the $11 billion NASA was expected to reallocate would come from. Additional ly, the New York Times noted that Democrats were already preoccupied with weeks after the a nnouncement, however, members of the House Science Committee SEI nearly 15 years prior. At the same time, NASA officials canceled a planned servicing
170 mission to the Hubble in response to recommendations from the Columbia Accident Investigation Board and as a way to reallocate funds to the VSE. The White House qu ickly formed a presidential commission to study and develop the SEI proposal, the new commission would not have to undertake the work of estimating future costs, only how t o go about implementing the VSE under the financial announcement, the commission issued its recommendations for achieving the goals of the VSE; in order to implement the program, however, NASA would need to be largely all but its most specialized tasks to private i 2004b). Careful to understand the political realities in Congress, the commission did not recommend closing some NASA field center Without embracing the more drastic proposals made by the commission, 004c). The steps NASA took to help itself were seen favorably in Congress and helped to translate into a hefty budget increase for the agency at the end of 2004. NASA received a 5% increase in its budget giving it $16.2 billion for fiscal year 2005 which
171 back to the Congress on the a In the summer of 2005, progress on the VSE began to quicken. First, a bill that New York Times 2005a). In Aug ust and September, NASA began rolling out a comprehensive plan to achieve the goals set out in the VSE that consequently won White House approval. The plan introduced by the new NASA Administrator Michael Griffin endorsed a shuttle replacement called the crew exploration vehicle (CEV) that would basically be a larger version of the Apollo capsules that carried Americans to the moon in the 1960s. The rockets on which the CEV and its unmanned version would be carried into space would be designed from existi ng shuttle components thereby lowering the cost and keeping the shuttle contract ors in business. The plan, known as Project Constellation, would take humans to the moon by 2018 and cost just over $100 billion. The date for a moon landing would not be set in stone, however, as Griffin called for a pay as you go plan; the progress of Constellation would be dictated by the financial allocations for NASA each year. Vision for Spac New York Times 2005b). Having won approval for the VSE in Congress and having begun to implement certainly advanced m Clean Air Unlike human spaceflight at the beginning of the George H.W. Bush administration, the battle over clean air had gone on for nearly a decade. Despite
172 amendments made to the Clean Air Act in 1977, the legisla tion was once again considered by the Congress beginning in the early 1980s. An intense stalemate had settled over the issue from three directions. First, the Reagan White House was seen as rather hostile to new clean air legislation. Keeping in line wi th the larger administration priority of cutting regulations they deemed unnecessary or burdensome, (Bryner 1993, 86). urther amendments to the Clean Air Act, there were significant hurdles within the Congress. First, the Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, hailing from a state which produces large amounts of air polluting coal, refused to advance clean air legislation to the Senate floor (ibid.). Finally, there was a long running dispute in the House Energy and Commerce committee that had a major piece of jurisdiction over clean air. John Dingell, as chairman of Energy and Commerce, represented a district from Michigan, a state whose economy was heavily invested in the automobile industry. As such, Dingell was an ardent opponent of any legislation that placed further burdens on automobile manufacturers to reduce air pollution via tailpipe emissions. These regulations wo uld have required cars to have either more expensive pollution reduction technology installed on all new cars or required technology that simpl y did not exist yet. T he automobile industry argued that such regulations would result in undue cost for them. On the other hand, Henry Waxman chair of the Subcommittee o n Health and the Environment, supported further environmen tal legislation. A ny clean air legislation coming out of the House faced major
173 hurdles in the form of disagreements between the subcommit tee chair and committee chair that had jurisdiction over the bill. These circumstances led to a stalemate in Congress during the 1980s regarding clean air legislation. Despite repeated introductions of new amendments to the Clean Air Act, proponents were constantly stymied by the White House, Senator Byrd in the Senate, and the Waxman Dingell dispute in the House. By the end of the 1980s, political pressure continued to mount to amend the Clean Air Act. The summer of 1988 had been the hottest on record a By the time George H.W. Bush entered office in January of 1989, clean air was high on his list of priorities. Bush b egan his push for clean air legislation in June of 1989 by releasing broad outlines of new Clean Air Act Amendments. Recognizing the need to appease environmentalists by proposing a serious clean air measure but also needing to balance pressure from indust ry lobbyists, Bush focused on controls for acid rain, stationary sources of air pollution, and air toxics (Hager 1989a). While the general outline was out a month later much of what had been hailed in the original proposal was now facing legislation would soften pollution restrictions for cars, trucks and buses; substantially st (Hager 1989b). Despite this, the heart of the Bush proposal remained a plan to r educe
174 acid rain through an emissions trading program that would allow manufacturers a specific allowance of emissions which they could use, bank, or sell to other businesses that needed to increase their emissions. s legislative specifics in June, the White House scored political points when Chairman Dingell of the House Energy and Commerce C ommittee agreed to sponsor the ad Given that Dingell had previously resisted efforts to strengthen clean a ir provisions, this move helped to support the growing momentum in both chambers to consider the presid Once he announced his support, the Health and Environment subcommittee began its strong support of the measure, Dingell, having utilized his power as committee chairman, had stacked the subcommittee with his own allies making the deliberations all the more difficult. Although Waxman and Dingell had agreed to compromise on a number of provisions, the committee debate was still difficult. For instance, during discussions over provisions for cleaner burning fuels and c ars, the Bush administration signaled differing positions through its EPA administrator, William Reiliy, and the preside of staff, John Sununu (Hager 1989c). This was only one contentious issue that helped contribute to a significant slow down in House discussions as the fall of 1989 wore on. swiftly to consider three different bills that together mirrored the Bush proposal. The smoothness of this debate was helped by the members of the committee themselves who were generally seen as supportive of environmental issues (Bryner 1993). By Novem ber 16, 1989, the committee reported out a bill although difficult issues remained
175 to be worked out on the Senate floor including clean fuels, tailpipe restrictions, and acid rain (Hager 1989d). Once Congress reconvened in January of 1990, Senate Majorit y Leader George Mitchell was poised to introduce the Clean Air Act Amendments on the Senate floor. However, after a month of debate, it became clear that the bill was going nowhere fast and Majority Leader Mitchell decided to pull the bill from the floor. Contributing to the cost over 10% more than his proposal (Hager 1990a; Bryner 1993). With the Senate legislation poised to break that ceiling, Mitchell entered into in tense, closed door discussions with the White House during February. During these negotiations, the White House had 24 priorities which it wished to have addressed in the Senate legislation including a provision regarding a second round of tailpipe stand ards that would be imposed later in the decade if pollution had not been reduced in the worst offending cities (Hager 1990b). Additionally, the White House did not support carbon dioxide limits that the Senate had included in the bill. By the end of the month, the negotiations resulted in an amended bill that was able to move forward on the Senate floor without the threat of a filibuster or veto. As the House debate moved into March, unable to make any more progress on the c lean air bill. As a result, Energy and Commerce Chairman Dingell decided to bring the bill before the full committee for debate (Hager 1990c). As a result of several compromises between Dingell and Waxman, the bill finally began to take shape. Deals on urban air quality, reformulated gas, and toxic air pollutants helped to structure a House bill. These compromises would
176 help contribute to the rather smooth experience the bill would experience on the House floor. While the Energy and Commerce Committee i n the House continued to debate and compromise, the bill faced some hurdles on the Senate floor. Senator Robert Byrd proposed an amendment to give support to miners who may lose their jobs as a result of the legislation that would greatly increase the ove rall cost of the Clean Air Amendments. Because of the Bush veto threat, senators were wary of passing the amendment but did not want to upset Byrd who was the chairman of the Appropriations Committee. The second amendment to be considered was an amendmen require an aggressive alternative fuels program, plus tough, second round standards for 1990c). Finally, there was the Kerry amendment, which would stren gthen smog provisions to match those that were being considered in the House. With the latter two funding level, the Senate approved the Clean Air Amendments in early April. At the same time in the House, the legislation was finally approved by the Energy and Commerce committee and reported out. Debate on the floor was finally conducted with further deals being reached over outstanding issues. Unlike the negotiations that took pla ce between the White House and the Senate when the bill reached the same point in the Senate, the White House was not invited to participate in the House negotiations over the bill. Most of the disagreements that needed to be considered at this point in t he House centered on regional differences. Because most of the sources of acid rain producing pollution were located in the Midwest, many Midwestern
177 representatives were hesitant to support legislation that would increase the costs on their home states. As a result, these industries were allowed a greater number of acid rain emissions which they could sell to generate money that would be used to reduce their own emissions. As the summer of 1990 approached, the Clean Air Act Amendments had been passed in separate versions in the House and the Senate and now proceeded to a conference committee. These negotiations dragged on through the summer with the Bush administration continuing to pressure the conference committee regarding costs. In September, Bush s ent a letter to all members participating in the conference that proposed a number of compromise measures that would continue to keep costs down. Following a number of late night negotiating sessions in October, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 were a pproved in the House on October 26 and the Senate on October 27 with President Bush signing them into law on November 15, 1990 (Bryner 1993, 114). Much like his father, George W. Bush moved to introduce clean air legislation shortly after his inauguration. would languish for some years in the Congress before being dropped completely. Utilizing his 2002 State of the Union introduce mandatory cuts in emis sions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and mercury (Adams 2002a). Noticeably absent from Clear Skies was any attempt to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, something Bush had campaigned on, but then walked back from once elected. As further details of t he proposal were released in the spring of 2002, Bush also intended to amend current regulations regarding new source review
178 (NSR) that would require power plants to update pollution control measures if they underwe t the end of the Clinton Administration, the EPA had made efforts to push for a more stringent interpretation of NSR something that Bush wanted to end through his Clear Skies policy. Additionally, Clear Skies would also implement a similar emissions program t hat had been signed into law under the 1990 amendments for mercury emissions. In the end, it would be seven months from the State of the Union until the Bush Administration unveiled legislative details of Clear Skies. In August of 2002 Representative Jo e Barton of Texas introduced legislation in the House and Senator Robert Smit h of New Hampshire introduced a companion bill in the Senate (Adams 2002b). Early on, it became clear that the legislation would face significant obstacles particularly in the Se nate where competing legislation offered by Senator Jim Jeffords would increase the restr ictions and do so by 2008 (ibid.). B usiness interests favored a good deal of t he content of the Bush proposal; they did not support the new restrictions on mercury. A t the same time, environmentalists criticized all aspects of the Bush bill, calling it i Clear Skies languished through the fall of 2003 and as the new congressional session started in 2003, it was still slated to go nowhere. With reelection on his mind, Bush believed he could use the issue to bolster his environmental c redentials but both
179 centered on Clear Skies versus the Jeffords legislation an d whether to regulate carbon dioxide emissions and if so, at what level. As 2003 moved on, industry bec ame increasingly hostile to Clear Skies over its proposals to regulate mercury for the first time. Because of the pressures surrounding the 2004 presid ential and congressional elections, Clear Skies was destined to sit in the Congress and go nowhere. Although Bush used his State of the Union addresses in both 2002 and 2003 to push his proposal, as the data above on presidential statements indicate, the bill was not one that he continued to push for and advocate through statements and mentions in other speeches. With the large number of other issues on the presidential agenda at the time including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, clean air policy simply did not become a presidential or political priority. Unlike the circumstances surrounding the Clean Air Act Amendments in 1989 1990, there was no public or congressional pressure to consider the issue with most preferring to let it alone during the elect ion year. Although there was some optimism that Clear Skies or some sort of clean air died a quiet death for both the administration and Congress with no further menti ons of it after 2004. Discussion From these fo ur cases of policy, we can glean some lessons about when presidents are capable of influencing the course of policy in the later stages of the policy lifecycle. It is helpful to remember that under one of the assumptions of the institutional policy lifecycle, I assume that policies assume a path dependent course where the general course of the policy is held rather steady but during times of policy crisis, the
180 opportunity is available for policymakers to change the general direction. This assumption bears out for these cases. When these two policies have experienced a significant crisis (the fight over clean air throughout the 1980s and the environmental shocks of the late 1980s that culminated in the Clean Ai r Act Amendments and Columbia in 2003 that led to the VSE), presidents have been able to successfully alter the policy course. However, when this crisis is absent and the policy is pushed onto the agenda through presidential choice (the SEI in 1989 and Cl ear Skies in 2001), these policies are more likely to fail. While this finding may not hold for policies that are generally seen to be more important or are considered first tier policies in Washington, for those policy areas that are of secondary or ter tiary concern, policy crisis significantly alters the ways in which policy is considered. When policy is locked in during the routine period of policy, presidents and other policy entrepreneurs find it more difficult to upset the balance of policy support ers and stakeholders. When this stability is upset and the routine policy results in a crisis, it is easier for presidents to influence the direction in which future policy will take. The role of the president and his administrator is also important in th ese cases of policymaking. Numerous reports on the Clean Air Act between 1989 and 1990 attribute the process of passing the amendments to the active role that George H.W. Bush was playing in the process. Because the president was active in keeping clean air on the agenda and on the minds of members of Congress, Bush was able to pass amendments to the Clean Air Act that had not been passed in nearly a decade. Further, agency administrators play an equally important role in advocating policy
181 change. Altho Skies in the early 2000s, the responsibility of advocating for change fell to his agency introduction of th e VSE to reorganize NASA in a way to put policy into action. This is compared to the lack of action on the part of Richard Truly following George H.W. Todd Whitman h ad relatively little impact as the Congress considered the proposal. This is perhaps due to her disagreements with the administration on environmental policies as noted above. There seems, then, to be two reasons presidents tend to be successful in cases of policymaking that take place later in the institutional policy lifecycle. First, presidents must be willing to take advantage of the situations that present themselves in the form of policy crisis. It is during these periods that the dominant policy p aradigm is weakened and in a place to be altered. Second, if the president is not going to take the lead on policy change, they must have a willing and capable administrator in place that can fill that role. Without an active proponent of policy change, position may be changed or ignored altogether. Conclusion In terms of the institutional policy lifecycle under consideration, presidents clearly have the opportunity and means to affect policy. The major hypotheses that must be consid ered are that presidents help to influence the initial direction of policy in the issue uptake phase only to have the issue fall off the presidential agenda during the routine phase. We then expec t presidential interest to pique once again during times of policy
182 crisis and once again direct the course of policy. The evidence presented in this chapter is supportive of these hypotheses. First, it is quite clear from the policy history of both clean air and human spaceflight that presidents are important in establish the Environmental Protection Agency and propose what would become the Clean Air Act of 1970 is also quite apparent. F urther, the data in terms of presidentia l statements and proposals demonstrate that these issues begin quite high on the presidential agenda. This data also shows that the issues of clean air and human spaceflight do fall off the presidential agenda durin g routine periods of policy normalization. During these normal periods, however, presidents do make indelible marks on agencies through their appointment power. While the general course of policy is usually set, the role of administrators in both EPA and NASA has been to make policy decisions regarding the implementation of the generally agreed upon course. These administrators must make significant choices regarding regulation of major legislation in the case of EPA and choices regarding the means to car ry out US goals in the case of NASA. This role, then, is somewhat analogous to the role that the Senate plays in phase two; although other institutions may be more important during the routine phase, it does not mean that the Senate and the president lose all significance to the policy process. Finally, the influence of presidents is most importantly felt during times of crisis. Although presidents can often choose whether or not to elevate a particular policy on
183 their agenda, it appears that they are usu ally more successful when the issue attains importance through a policy crisis. These policy crises open the window of opportunity for presidents and other major policy players to change policy in a direction of their liking. From the cases of policymaki ng presented here, presidents are simply more successful in policymaking following these periods of crisis rather than simply elevating the issue themselves. That presidential appointments are important in the routine period also indicates another importan t player in the policymaking process: the bureaucracy. After examining both the Congress and the president, it is only natural that we now turn to the EPA and NASA.
184 Table 5 1. NASA administrators, 1958 2011 Administrator President Nominati on Date Term Start T. Keith Glennan Eisenhower 8 August 1958 19 August 1958 James Webb Kennedy 31 January 1961 14 February 1961 Thomas O. Paine Nixon 5 March 1969 21 March 1969 James Fletcher Nixon 27 February 1971 27 April 1971 Robert Frosch Carter 2 3 May 1977 21 June 1977 James Beggs Reagan 23 April 1981 10 July 1981 James Fletcher Reagan 6 March 1986 12 May 1986 Richard Truly H.W. Bush 12 April 1989 1 July 1989 Daniel Goldin Clinton 12 March 1992 1 April 1992 W. Bush 27 November 20 01 20 December 2001 Michael Griffin W. Bush 14 March 2005 14 April 2005 Charles Boldin Obama 23 May 2009 17 July 2009 Table 5 2. EPA administrators, 1970 2011 Administrator President Nomination Date Term Start William Ruckelshaus Nixon 6 November 1 970 4 December 197 0 Russell Train Nixon May 1973 12 September 1973 Douglas Costle Carter 16 February 1977 7 March 1977 Anne Gorusch Reagan 21 February 1981 20 May 1981 William Ruckelshaus Reagan 21 March 1983 18 May 1983 Lee Thomas Reagan 29 November 1984 8 February 1985 William Reilly H.W. Bush 22 December 1988 6 February 1989 Carol Browner Clinton 10 December 1993 23 January 1993 Christine Todd Whitman W. Bush 22 December 2000 31 January 2001 Michael Leavitt W. Bush 11 August 2003 6 November 200 3 Stephen Johnson W. Bush 4 March 2005 26 January 2006 Lisa Jackson Obama 15 December 2008 23 January 2009
185 Figure 5 1. Clean air mentions in presidential statements Figure 5 2. Clean air presidential statements
186 Figure 5 3. Human spaceflight presidential statements
187 CHAPTER 6 BUREAUCRATIC INFLUEN CE AND DISCRETION Introduced as part of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments, New Source Review (NSR) was originally designed so that as industrial sources of pollution were upgraded or built to replace existing and out of date producers, the most up to date environmental protections would be included as part of the new construction. In order to build new sources of pollution, states would issue permits for the new construction only when the design of t he facility would meet the new source standards (Bryner 1993). Over time, the expectation was that as industrial plants that produced the most amount of pollution were retired, the newly built replacements would incorporate better anti pollution technolog y thus allowing businesses to slowly replace their highest sources of emissions over time. However, because of the large amount of capital that is required to build a new plant, producers soon discovered that it would be easier to upgrade their existing f acilities rather than rebuild from scratch. In most of the circumstances in which upgrades were utilized rather than replacements, businesses did not need to incorporate better standards of environmental protection. By the end of the 1990s, when most of the original emission releasing facilities should have been rebuilt under higher standards, this had not happened. Why? The answer comes in the form of bureaucratic discretion. Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA had the ability to issue regulations concern ing NSR. Under regulations that permit triggered by NSR (Devine 2004). Because of this ru le, industry has been able to manipulate NSR arguing that even extensive remodeling and updating of plants would
188 to be installed. Thus, many utilities and plants that wo uld have otherwise been replaced by more efficient utilities or been forced to install updated technology throughout the Clean Air Act to regulate NSR. This perspective wou ld change in the late 1990s during the Clinton Administration. Once again utilizing the ability given to them by Congress to regulate NSR, the EPA companies. Finding th at much of the maintenance done at existing plants should have triggered NSR, the EPA began to refer cases to the Department of Justice for prosecution in 1999 and 2000 (Devine 2004). However, these referrals were almost too little, too late. With the in auguration of George W. Bush in 2001, the influence of the coal industry resumed in force. Wishing to end the NSR prosecutions, trade associations and large corporations lobbied the new administration to return to the more lax interpretation of NSR that w ould allow them to continue upgrading facilities instead of building new ones with better anti pol lution measures. T he Bush administration directed the EPA to review and update NSR regulations and the Justice Department to review the current N SR cases (ib id.). As a result of the delay in cases at Justice and the new regulations coming from EPA, most of the NSR cases were dropped. As defined in Chapter 1 bureaucratic discretion is power delegated to the bureaucracy by the Congress and the president to mak e determinations and clarifications of policy and law. In the case of NSR, the EPA utilized its discretion in different ways over time. Under Reagan and Bush in the 1980s, it was used to broaden
189 the meaning of the NSR provisions to allow for extensive mai ntenance that should have was followed. The choices made by EPA in how to implement NSR provisions of the Clean Air Act directly led to increased pollution in circumstan ces where the original intent was to limit new emissions. While this example reflects bureaucratic discretion used at the direction of the president, there are numerous other ways in which bureaucracies can utilize this independent power to determine the ways in which policy is eventually implemented. This chapter will examine the influence of the EPA and NASA on clean air and human spaceflight policy. To do so, I introduce a measure of bureaucratic discretion based on the number of words in annual pieces of legislation related to human spaceflight (as will be noted below, there is insufficient data to do so with respect to clean air politics). This measure of discretion is then used as the dependent variable in a model exploring the factors influencing b ureaucratic discretion in order to test three of the major hypotheses of the institutional policy lifecycle What Influences Discretion? Discretion is a means through which bureaucracies can influence their own policy area. Discretion is what allows the EPA to decide on definitions and procedures to use in implementing legislation. Discretion is also at play when the EPA decides how to utilize its funds to undertake enforcement activities. NASA utilizes its discretion in determining what spaceflight sys tems might be most appropriate to the tasks being given it by the Congress and the president. Discretion also gives NASA an ability to influence political actors as to the course of future policy. In this formulation then, discretion is the ability to in fluence policy direction and even more important than how
190 an agency uses its discretion is to know under what conditions political actors give discretion and take it away. A number of scholars have examined the conditions under which political actors such as the Congress and the president give more or less policy discretion to the bureaucracy. To begin with, there are a number of practical reasons political actors seek to grant broad areas of discretion to bureaucrats including a lack of time or expertise to deal with the issue sufficiently. The Congress and the president, as noted before, have an immense amount of policy issues crowding the agenda; therefore they often see fit to give bureaucracies a large degree of leeway with which to make policy decisi ons. Additionally, some political actors, seeking to avoid blame for making tough decisions will want to give more discretion to agencies to make the choices they cannot politically make. Finally, if politicians believe agencies will behave in a manner c onsistent with their own political desires, more discretion might be granted (MacDonald 2007). Some researchers have posited a more complex set of considerations at work in decisions on discretion. Congressional committees and their ideological make up ca n play an important role in conditioning the amount of discretion agencies have (Bawn 1997; Shipan 2004; MacDonald 2007). However, the mechanism through which congressional committees influence these decisions is not clear. Shipan (2004) argues that the ideological preferences of the committee are a deciding factor whereas Balla (2000) finds no role for committee membership in his study of the use of congressional review. Meanwhile MacDonald (2007) stresses the role of disagreement between the president, congressional committees and coalitions in his study of grants of discretion.
191 While the results of these studies have been mixed, the theory proposed here also offers hypotheses concerning grants of bureaucratic discretion. In the studies of discretion noted above, scholars have focused on elements of the transitory political environment in determining how much discretion an agency gets and when an agency gets it. Unlike these studies, the institutional theory of policy lifecycles stresses the role tha t political institutions play in determining bureaucratic discretion. While there is certainly a case to be made for the mediating effects of the political environment, this theory represents a new direction for studies of bureaucratic discretion. As su ch, the following hypotheses are proposed: Hypothesis 1C: As a new bureaucracy is established, its ability to independently advocate for their policy area will be lessened. In other words, newly formed agencies will lack the ability to guide policy as th ey focus on building their own capabilities, implementing early stages of the policy response, and consolidating their own bases of power. Hypothesis 2B: As newer bureaucracies age, they will become more competent in their policy area and thus better posi tioned to exert an independent influence whether through discretion or other advisory means on the given policy. Hypothesis 3B: During times of policy crisis, the influence of the House of Representatives and the relevant bureaucracy will decrease. What t he theory predicts, then, is that in the first stage of the lifecycle, because a new agency does not hav e as much expertise and must focus on other consolidation influence t o be highest in the second stage as hypothesis 2B predicts; because they have now gained some experience in the policy area and consolidated their own power bases, they are in a better position to exert influence over the policy direction. However, in the crisis stage, the influence of the bureaucracy is likely to recede as a policy crisis will most likely be blamed on the actions, or lack thereof, of the
192 in stage three While discussions of bureaucratic discretion have been relatively absent to this point, the previous chapters have implicitly dealt with this topic. For instance, when analyzing the amount of congressional influence in Chapter 4 we assume that increase s in congressional influence often mean corresponding decreases in bureaucratic influence. Previous research has demonstrated that changes in congressional oversight activity like hearings, reports, and legislative action do indeed alter the activities of bureaucracies. Further, when looking at the influence of the president in Chapter 5 we also assume that as presidential influence increases, bureaucratic influence decreases as well. Once again, research has demonstrated that actions undertaken by the president such as appointments, proposals of policy, and the usage of other tools in the administrative presidency tool belt affect the beh avior of bureaucracies. A s we consider changes in bureaucratic discretion, we can use the analyses previously presen ted to inform a quantitative analysis of discretion moving away from the analyses of political environment previously found in the literature. Measuring Discretion The key variable in the institutional theory of policy lifecycles is that of influence. As gauge, it is possible to measure agency discretion. Huber, Shipan, and Pfahler (2 001) and Huber and Shipan (2002), in their explorations of policy discretion at the state level, utilize the number of new words in annual statutory, nonappropriations, legislation to measure how much discretion a legislature grants to a bureaucracy, or ra ther takes
193 away. The argument presented by Huber, Shipan, and Pfahler (2001, 336 337) is that specifics of a program than it does to simply charge an agency to do something. While Huber, Shipan, and Pfahler utilize this measure at the state level, there is nothing theoretically prohibiting its use at the federal level. We can examine this concept by simply examining the total number of words in NASA authorizing legislation b e tween 1961 and 2010 in Figure 6 1. This data was compiled by examining the annual volumes of the United States Statutes at Large. Once the relevant legislation was identified, I extracted it into a Word document which allowed me to calculate the words i n the bill. While it is readily apparent that the total number of words in this legislation has risen over time, particularly from the 1980s on, there have been rather significant changes in total number of words. Between 1968 and 1969, the number of wor ds jumped from 1,673 to 3,573 while falling back to 2,161 by 1970. This slight increase in words, and thus decrease in agency discretion, follows the 1967 Apollo 1 fire on the launch pad. Throughout the 1970s, the number of words stayed fairly constant, averaging 2356 between 1970 and 1979. Beginning in the 1980s, NASA authorization legislation beg an to be passed less frequently Despite this, there is a large jump in the length of legislation following Challenger in 1986. In the last authorization prio r to Challenger, the number of words stood at 3,172. By 1987, that had jumped to 8,723 and in 1988 the figure stood at 9,174. The final jump in length of this legislation occurred in the 2005 authorization, the first one following Columbia in 2003 and th e first to incorporate language supporting
194 of words increased by 11,565 from 9,975 in 2000 to 21,540 in 2005. Just by examining the number of total words in NASA authorizatio n legislation, it is clear that following major crises, the amount of discretion that NASA has been accorded seems to fall. But to further ensure that this is a reliable method of measuring bureaucratic discretion, we can also examine examples from the le gislation. The bureaucratic discretion: Section 303, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 2000 (PL106 391 ): It is the sense of the Congre ss that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall purchase commercially available space goods and services to the fullest extent feasible and shall not conduct activities with commercial applications that preclude or deter commercial space ac tivities except for reasons of national security or public safety. A space good or service shall be deemed commercially available if it is offered by a commercial provider, or if it could be supplied by a commercial provider in response to a Government pro curement request. For purposes of this section, a purchase is feasible if it meets mission requirements in a cost effective manner. Section 206, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 1993 (PL102 588): Where the Administrator d etermines that new developments or scientific or engineering changes in the national program of aeronautical and space activities have occurred; and that such changes require the use of additional funds for the purposes of construction, expansion, or modif ication of facilities at any location; and that deferral of such action until the enactment of the next authorization Act would be inconsistent with the interest of the Nation in aeronautical and space activities; the Administrator may transfer not to exce ed one half of 1 percent of the funds appropriated pursuant to section 102 (a) and (b) to the "Construction of Facilities" appropriation for such purposes. The Administrator may also use up to $ 10,000,000 of the amounts authorized under section 102(c) for such purposes. The funds so made available pursuant to this section may be expended to acquire, construct, convert, rehabilitate, or install permanent or temporary public works, including land acquisition, site preparation, appurtenances, utilities, and e quipment. No such funds may be obligated until a period of thirty days has passed after
195 the Administrator or the Administrator's designee has transmitted to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives a written report describing the nature of the construction, its cost, and the reasons therefor e Section 104, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Act of 1988 (PL 100 147): Notwi thstanding any other provision of this title, no amount appropriated pursuant to this title may be used for any program (1) deleted by the Congress from requests as originally made either to the Committee on C ommerce, Science, and Transpor tation of the Sen ate or the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology of the House of Representatives; (2) in excess of the amount actually authorized for that particular program by section 102 (a), (b), and (d); and (3) which has not been presented to either such Commit tee; unless a period of 30 days has passed after the receipt by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representa tives and each such committee of notice given by the Administrator or the Administrator's designee containing a full and c omplete statement of the action proposed to be taken and the facts and circumstances relied upon in support of such proposed action These three examples demonstrate that legislative language is often used to limit the amount of discretion an agency can utilize. In each, the language prohibits NASA from spending money on particular programs or construction of facilities or directing NASA to purchase goods from a particular source. appropriat ions legislation. Could this be expanded to include appropriations language as well? The basis of their argument for non appropriations legislation is that it takes more words to give bureaucracies specific instructions as to the acts that they should ta ke, thus decreasing bureaucratic discretion. There is nothing to say that this logic should not apply to appropriations legislation. It certainly takes more words to be specific as to what types of activities or projects money should be directed towards. Just as easily as
196 it can in non appropriations legislation, Congress can choose to be either specific or general in its annual doling out of federal funds. This extension of the Huber, Shipan, and Pfahler argument is importan t because, as noted in Chap ter 4 the EPA does not receive regular authorizations for its clean air activities. As a result, we cannot similarly track discretion through legislation as was done above for NASA. However, just as NASA is often constrained through its authorizations, the EPA is constrained through the use of legislative riders in appropriations legislatio n. These riders, discussed in Chapter 4 are provisions that restrict the EPA from conducting certain activities or promulgating specific regulations. These riders c learly infringe on the discretion allocated to the EPA to implement clean air legislation by restricting their activity. Table 4 4 displays the frequency of these clean air riders and the number of words contained in each. From the data in Table 4 4, the re is no clear pattern that emerges regarding the imposition of legislative riders for clean air policy. Despite this, that policy discretion can be decreased through the use of appropriations legislation demonstrates that the number of words in such bill s might also be used to track discretion. In an attempt to furth er examine this issue, Figure 6 2 displays the total number of words in clean air appropriations legislation between 1963 and 2010. I utilized the same method described above to obtain this d ata, however, instead of searching for allocating funding for clean air related activities; as such, each year represents the total number of words inclusive of the multiple bills.
197 There were many years in this series that contained no clean air specific appropriations. This is because the EPA is usually appropriated a particular amount which it must then decided how to dole out towards enforcement and regulation of each environmental area it has under its control. The trend in Figure 6 2 is that the number of appropriation words has increased over time, ballooning particularly in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This time period coincides not only with George W. Bu Clear Skies but also increased concern over the regulation of pollutants such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide. T he increase in words is partly due to the increase in appropriations riders not ed in Table 4 4. Appropriations riders h ave also been used for NASA. For example, in the provided in the funding for NASA. These provisions cover any number of topics including limitations on the amount of fu nds the NASA administrator can transfer between accounts, a restriction on implementation of Reductions in Force (RIF), and restrictions on unexpired funds. Another interesting example comes from the Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2006. This provision restricts even further bureaucratic discretion by specifying that the funding provided by the act should be governed not only by the previous authorization but should be governed also by the conference report ac companying the legislation. The use of administrative provisions is not just restricted to later NASA legislation. Appropriations legislation from 1990 and 1991 contains language specifying employment characteristics at NASA headquarters. In fact, admi nistrative provisions of these sorts appear as early as 1963 when included in an appropriations bill was a
198 clause restricting the use of appropriated funds for participation in a joint lunar landing program with an y other country Although the NASA clause s are framed as the bureaucracy to spend money on certain activities and hence limiting bureaucratic discretion. The data described here for NASA has thus far been g eneralized to the entire agency. In order to obtain a measure of total legislative words (words from both authorization and appropriations legislation) for human spaceflight in particular, it is necessary to go through both categories of bills and parse o ut those portions specifically discussing the human spaceflight activities of NASA. Once again, these portions were placed in a Microsoft Word database to allow for easy calculation of words. The resulting data app ears in Figure 6 3. The series shows th at for the first 20 spaceflight remained fairly stable. However, beginning in the 1980s, the number of words begins to grow in particular years. The years in which the spikes occ ur coincide to become more extensive and less frequent. In sum, we can use the number of legislative words as a measure of bureaucratic discretion. Because it take s a greater number of words in both authorization and appropriations legislation to specify to an agency exactly what the Congress would like them to do, increasing the number of words in a bill decreases the amount of bureaucratic discretion the agency ha s. When bureaucratic discretion is lessened, the influence the agency itself can have on a policy area is in turn decreased.
199 A Model of Bureaucratic Discretion This discussion provides the backdrop for a quantitative examination of bureaucratic discretion Previous chapters provide not only clues as to where we can look for limits on bureaucratic discretion, but the data itself which can be used in such an analysis. Unfortunately, because the amount of data on clear air legislation is not as numerous as human spaceflight, this quantitative analysis must be restricted to human spaceflight alone. The following independent variables, drawn from earlier chapters, will be used. House and Senate Hearings : Because the institutional policy lifecycle gives dif ferent weight to the House and Senate, the annual number of House based and Senate based congressional hearings is included. GAO Reports : The number of total GAO reports produced regarding human spaceflight is used as a yearly total. Although individual House and Senate hearings are used separately, I do include a measure of total GAO reports aside from the number of reports requested by each chamber. This is because the GAO does perform reports without necessarily being requested to do so; thus, the tot al number of GAO reports is often greater than the number of House requested and Senate requested reports combined. House and Senate Requested GAO Reports : Once again, it is necessary to divide the frequency of GAO reports into its Senate and House consti tuent parts to account for differences between the two chambers. Presidential Appointments : This variable is a dummy variable representing the years in which presidents made appointments to NASA. When the president must take
200 such an action, we can assume that the agency has risen, if only slightly, on the presidential agenda. Presidential Vision : An additional factor representing presidential interest in human spaceflight is whether the president puts forward a new policy or not. This dummy is included to mark the years in which presidents have proposed and pursued policy innovations in human spaceflight. Presidential Statements : Examined previously, the frequency with which the president speaks about a policy area is helpful to gauge not only the presi in the policy but its place on the presidential agenda. Here, I use the annual number of presidential statements and mentions regarding human spaceflight. Major Events : A key trigger in the institutional policy lifecycle is that of a poli cy crisis. The events dummy variable is used to signal these crises in 1967, 1986, and 2003. However, because it is likely that the full effect of these crises will not be felt immediately, but in the years following the problem, I have lagged this varia ble by one year. This has the effect of placing the effect of a crisis in the year following it as legislation regarding human spaceflight is discussed. Phase : This variable represents the phase in the lifecycle that human spaceflight is in at the time. While this variable can be easy to distinguish in later parts of the cycle (shifts from phase two to three in times of crisis), estimating when phase one ends and phase two begins can pose a challenge. Political Party : This series of three variables is i ncluded to control for the effect of changes in political party. For the House and the Senate, party is represented in the number of Democrats in a given year while for the president, the party variable is a
201 dummy with 1 representing Democratic leadership in the White House and 0 for Republican. Authorization Legislation : A final control variable is included in the form of a dummy for those years in which NASA authorizing legislation is passed. The years in which this does occur, the dependent variable h as a tendency to spike as is obvious in Figure 6 3. As such, this dummy variable helps to control for these spikes in the data. The dependent variable to be utilized is the total number of legislative words devoted to human spaceflight in a given year (19 58 2010 for an N for 53). However, two caveats are required. First, in interpreting the results below, we must remember that an increase in legislative words means a decrease in bureaucratic discretion and vice versa. Second, running an ordinary least s quares model with this basic variable as the dependent results in an enormous amount of heteroscedasticity (Breusch Pagan value of 25.6 with a p<0.000). In order to correct for this problem, I have logged the dependent variable which eliminates this probl em and allows OLS to be used (the resulting Breusch Pagan statistic falls at 1.46 with a p<0.2271). Results Table 6 1 provides results from a regression of these variables. The OLS model used for this analysis does a fair job in explaining the variance i n bureaucratic discretion over time. In order to put this into greater context, I will look at each of the significant variables in turn. It is important to remember that for purposes of interpretation, an increase in the dependent variable translate int o an actual decrease in bureaucratic discretion. The first set of significant variables affecting bureaucratic discretion is that of GAO reports. What is interesting about this set of variables, is that as GAO reports in total
202 increase in number, the mode l suggests that bureaucratic discretion actually increases whereas when the number of House requested reports and Senate requested reports increases, there is less bureaucratic discretion. Further, of these three variable, House requested reports is by fa r the most significant variable signifying that the House seems the total number of GAO Reports including those initiated by the GAO themselves. T he difference betwee n these drivers is in who is requesting the reports. When the GAO is performing more reports, NASA is being granted more discretion. Without delving into the content of the GAO reports, it is difficult to discern just what about these GAO initiated repor ts is different from those requested by members of Congress. It is possible that when members request reports f rom the GAO themselves, they tend to pay more attention to those reports compared to the reports done by the GAO on their own. Because a member specifically requests a report to examine an issue that they believe is a concern, it is easy to surmise that this will lead the member of Congress to be more critical of the agency. On the other hand, because a GAO report was not requested by a member mi ght indicate that there is little interest from the members in the i ssue GAO is investigating and they may pay less attention to it. Of the three presidential variables, appointments, vision, and statements, the only significant variable is that of preside ntial visi on. W hen presidents do present new policy directions (and as we have seen, this itself is done at significant points in time), bureaucratic discretion is lessened to a degree. This suggests that presidents continue to play an important role in setting human spaceflight policy contrary to arguments suggesting otherwise.
203 The variable representing the phase in the lifecycle is also significant indicating that as the phase moves from phase one to phase two and to phase three, bureaucratic discreti on decreases. According to the theory being tested, we would expect bureaucratic discretion to increase when moving from phase one to two but to decrease from phase two to three. However, because of the way this variable is coded, it is not possible to d iscern whether the move from phase one to two, the move from phase two to three, or the move from phase three to two is driving the impact of the variable. Different specifications of the variable were tested including separate dummies for each phase of t he cycle, however, when these specifications were used, none of the variables were significant. Finally, the dummy variable for authorization bills is significant. In years in which We would easily expect this to be the case simply from the value of the dependent variable; particularly in later years, authorization bills drive the value of legislative words overall. However, it was important to include this variable as a control for those large increases in the dependent variable. It is equally important to understand what is not significant in this regression model. Surprisingly, the number of hearings held in both the House and the Senate seem to play little role in delineating th e amount of bureaucratic discretion available. This would seem to support the view that congressional hearings tend to be more symbolic in nature as opposed to substantive events. Additionally, although political party variables were included as controls for party control, that none of the three party variables were significant indicates that these
204 processes determining bureaucratic discretion seem to be occurring outside of political party dynamics. To be sure, this may not be the case for every policy area that this theory could be applicable to, but it reinforces the importance of institutional characteristics in determining the amount of influence a bureaucracy may have. It should be noted that the R2 for this model comes in at only 0.4672. To be sur e, this indicates that the model may not include enough variables to account for the variation occurring in legislative words. The analyses of Huber, Shipan, and Pfahler and Huber and Shipan (2002) on which the dependent variable is based could point in a possible direction. In these examinations of state level variations in bureaucratic discretions, these authors include legislative capacity, the bargaining environment, and other means of controlling bureaucratic actions. In turn variables such as divid ed and unified government, legislative professionalism, and the existence of the legislative veto. Many of these variables are included in the analysis above; the bargaining environment is captured by the variables representing party control and other mec hanisms of control are included through hearings and reports. Measuring legislative professionalism, while entirely appropriate at the state level where many legislatures are part time, however, at the federal level where members of Congress work full tim e, utilizing legislative professionalism is not necessary. In order to continue exploring this, I did attempt model specifications including variables such as budget, issue salience (represented by total number of New York Times articles per year), economi c indicators, and time for a president to m ake an appointment to NASA however, including these variables did not improve the performance of the model.
205 Beyond Discretion: Other Forms of Bureaucratic Influence Because there was insufficient data with res pect to clean air, the results of this analysis suffer from some limitations. First, because the nature of the two agencies, EPA and NASA, are quite different, we cannot be sure that the same political dynamics are in play for the EPA. Second, even thoug h the model provides support for some of the assertions of the institutional theory of policy lifecycles, it explains less than half the variance of the data. This could be the case for any number of reasons including incorrect specification of the model or the measure of bureaucratic discretion may not be capturing other forms of bureaucratic influence. Aside from utilizing their own discretion, how else may bureaucracies be able to influence the direction of their policy area? To be sure, discretion is not the only way to examine bureaucratic influence; just because an agency has discretion does not mean it will be used and conversely, just because an agency has less discretion does not mean it cannot be used to a large degree. Other areas in which we m ay view this gain public support, behind the scenes maneuvering by top bureaucrats for agency wishes, and historical examples of an agency succeeding in influencing polic y direction. The difficulty in establishing patterns of any of these activities is clearly demonstrated in studies of bureaucratic discretion that focus on measures of discretion built on the actions of the Congress or the president, much as this chapter does. Two of these four possibilities are rather difficult to establish; capturing how bureaucrats work behind the scenes with the media or politicians are methods that must be reserved for deeper analysis through interviews with responsible personnel. As such, they are out of the scope of this dissertation. We can, however, examine some
206 examples of when NASA and the EPA have utilized their discretion and knowledge to influence the course of policy. Human Spaceflight Although the initial direction of t he human spaceflight program was set through program, NASA found itself in a position in which it could influence the choices of top policymakers. In the late 1960s as NASA p ondered its future policy options in an environment of reduced public and political interest, it set its cap on what would become the space shuttle. At the same time, NASA also expressed a desire for a permanently manned space station but realizing the po tential costs settled for the shuttle only With the 1970s dedicated to the development of the shuttle, a space station project was placed on the backburner. In 1981, the initial test flights of the shuttle occurred. With the shuttle de signed as a space truck having only the ability to go into low earth orbit, its duties would revolve around hauling satellites and experiments back and forth between the earth and space. While under development, NASA had claimed that the shuttle would be economical; being reusable, it would launch, land, and be turned around so efficiently that the frequency of flights would lower the cost of travel to space. NASA used a number of questionable accounting moves to support this contention. In its 1976 report on the shuttle house ovative design and refurbishment techniques which account for much of the
207 projected cost o f the program appear lower. These moves allowed NASA to use their informational advantages to argue to the Congress and other political actors that the space shuttle would be a successful and worthy program. Further, NASA compromised the design of the shu ttle in order to persuade other government agencies to give support to the shuttle. One of the primary customers NASA pursued was the military. In order to bring the military on board with the shuttle, NASA had to make certain compromises as to the functi on of the shuttle to allow for military operations. They also had to convince the military to make the shuttle their primary means of launching satellites into space. This agreement would later come back to haunt the military on the destruction of the Ch allenger in 1986. By the early 1980s, it appeared that NASA would need to find something for the shuttle to do, that something else would be a space station. Military flights and deployment of satellites would not send the shuttle into orbit as frequently as would be needed to make the system cost efficient. With the palpable success of the shuttle (prior to Challenger in 1986), the station seemed to be the next logical program. In order SA had presented the space station differently depending upon the audience. The practical effect was to 2001, 183). The space station would be a statement to the Soviets, a mode for industrial applications and manufacturing, a foot for the military in space, and even a scientific and medical laboratory. Realistically, the station could not be all of this, a fact
208 that NASA knew. Regardless, they utilized their own knowled ge and experience to convince possible participants of the usefulness of coming on board with the program. NASA had convinced the President to support a space station program not only for Cold War propaganda purposes but also for the industrial applications and private industry partners that NASA argued would be possible through a space station (Klerkx 2005). ce than advancement. By the time NASA presented the program, NASA was largely construing the station to be whatever the political actor being pitched the program needed it to be (Handberg 2001). Not only had NASA actively lobbied for such a program but h ad done so for some time; the space station had become a top policy priority for the agency. In sum, NASA used its specialized policy knowledge to lobby the President and other governmental actors to support a space station, a program that NASA had wanted to pursue since the late 1960s. This policy move stands in stark contrast to other were pushed on NASA from the top down. In the absence of policy crisis, NASA was able in the early 1980s to pursue policy of its own making, persuading the president and the Congress to approve what would eventually become the International Space Station. Clean Air Recognizing the independent influence of the EPA is more difficult because o f the nature of its activities. What the EPA has discretion to do is choose whether to engage in enforcement activities or craft regulations. Even in crafting regulations, the EPA often has little choice as they are constrained by other actors and legisl ation to do so.
209 Previous studies of the EPA have shown that these sorts of activities have indeed been altered as a response to political stimuli. Both Golden (2000) and Nathan (1983) have stration in an attempt to control and influence agency actions. Hedge and Johnson (2002), in an analysis of bureaucratic actions following the 1994 elections, show that in the wake of the Republican Revolution, the number of enforcements that the EPA initi ated drop dramatically. Additionally, although the rates rate of EPA referrals to the Department of Justice and state administrative actions continued to drop dramatically after the election cycle. In all three of these activity areas, however, the drop would be only temporary; by the late 1990s following public pushback of Republican efforts, EPA activities increased once again. Another scholar who has looked at the resp onse of the EPA to political variables has been B. Dan Wood. In his 1988 article, he uses data on EPA activities disaggregated into monthly intervals to test whether and how the EPA responds to its political environment. Wood finds that following the ina uguration of Ronald Reagan, EPA clean air enforcement and abatement activities rose by 30% over the previous month while after the introduction of the steep budget cuts in 1982, EPA activity fell by 41% (Wood 1988). The final event that Wood examines is t he resignation of Anne Gorusch; following that event, EPA activities increased once again. For Wood, the resignation was expected, the increase in activity following the inaug uration of Ronald Reagan was quite unexpected.
210 Why did this finding surprise Wood? According to the principal agent model, we would expect the bureaucracy to respond to political principals in a way that accords with the views of the principals. In other words, knowing that Reagan had a particularly anti regulatory viewpoint, especially as regards environmental regulations, we would normally expect the enforcement and abatement activities of the EPA to decrease following his inauguration. Wood explains t was the discretion of the EPA itself that led to such an increase in activity at precisely the moment we would otherwise expect it to decline. The results of both Hedge and Johnson and Wood show that the EPA retains considerable discretion to act as it sees fit regardless of political condit ions. Although they do appear to moderate their efforts somewhat as a response to political influence, these changes have appeared to be temporary with enforcement activities increasing once again. That both Wood and Hedge and Johnson isolate scenarios i n which there was no great clean air or environmental crisis once again reinforces the idea that outside of periods of crisis, bureaucracies have a significant amount of discretion which they can and do use to influence the course of public policy. Conclus ion This chapter has endeavored to explore the concept of bureaucratic discretion. Because establishing measures of discretion are usually based on the actions (or lack thereof) of other institutions, quantitative analysis can be a difficult tool to use w hen trying to pinpoint the phenomenon. However, to that end, this chapter has expanded on an indicator of bureaucratic discretion first proposed by Huber, Shipan, and Pfahler and
211 Huber and Shipan. Because the Congress has the choice of how to write statu tory and appropriations legislation, they can choose whether to make it more detailed, thus curtailing the ability of the bureaucracy to make choices in how to implement the legislation, or less detailed, giving the bureaucracy more influence in putting th e policy in practice. Utilizing this principle, I traced the annual amount of legislative words dedicated to human spaceflight. As a result, a model of bureaucratic discretion was explored utilizing the actions of the president and Congress as independen t variables to explain the variance in discretion. The results of this examination were somewhat mixed. First, because there were insufficient legislative words with respect to clean air, I could only perform the analysis on human spaceflight. While it s upported the idea that congressional interventions in the form of investigations and presidential policy interventions were significant, the ability of the model to predict the overall variance was under 50%. To look at the issue further, I then explored some of the instances in which bureaucratic influence was keenly felt in the crafting of human spaceflight and clean air policy. The case studies demonstrate that both NASA and the EPA have utilized their own autonomy in implementing and even proposing po licy. Further, these instances occurred during what would be termed phase two of the policy lifecycle, the exact phase where we expect bureaucratic influence to be at its highest. It is clearly difficult to establish that bureaucratic discretion or auto nomy (a) exists and (b) is used. This chapter has made strides to developing a variable that can be used to track this phenomenon while using supporting events to further strengthen the arguments put forth by the institutional theory of policy lifecycles. The analysis in this
212 chapter also serves to bring toget her the arguments presented in Chapters 4 and 5 on the Congress and the president, respectively. While examining the issue of bureaucratic discretion, this chapter also shows that congressional and executive actions are also significant in determining the behavior of the bureaucracy and the amount of influence that it has.
213 Figure 6 1. Total words in NASA authorizing legislation, 1961 2010 Figure 6 2. Number of words in clean air appropriations, 1963 2010
214 Figure 6 3. Total words in human spaceflight legislation Table 6 1. Regression results Variable Coefficient S.E. House Hearings 0.0000264 0.038105 Senate Hearings 0.0624348 0.0494289 GAO Reports 0.2024566 0.07171* ** House GAO Reports 0.3744756 0.0924554**** Senate GAO Reports 0.2191573 0.1141345* Presidential Appointment 0.0713793 0.1550176 Presidential Vision 0.4826077 0.1875042** Presidential Statements 0.0002405 0.0259398 Phase 0.3253503 0.1541604** Major Events (Lagged) 0.3485999 0.2523714 Authorization Bill 0.5059681 0.1586333*** House Democrats 0.0011001 .0039156 Senate Democrats 0.017351 0.0170333 Presidential Party 0.0402378 0.1344026 Constant 2.905133 0.7595227**** ****p<0.0001 ***p<0.01 *p<0.05 *p<0.10 N=53 R 2 =0.6135 Adj. R 2 =0.4672
215 CHAPTER 7 LOOKING AHEAD WHILE LOOKING BACK Space policy and environmental politics have come a long way from their beginnings in the post war period. Each of these policy areas have witne ssed monumental changes from the Clean Air Act of 1970 and its subsequent amendments to the landing of a man on the moon and a permanently manned space station in earth orbit today. This research has traced much of this distinctive history. In doing so, it has also explained to a large extent, despite the differences in policy areas and concerns, the cyclical patterns inherent in American government. While many of the individual developments of policy over the past 50 years may seem isolated or even haph azard, the work presented here shows that this is far from the case; American politics proceeds in patterns that are not only relatively predictable but are drawn from the institutional characteristics of government itself. It is this finding, that there i s reason in the midst of seeming chaos, that is perhaps the most significant finding of this dissertation. Although much of the theory was drawn from the history of space policy, that the theory is equally applicable to clean air politics, a policy area q uite distinct from space, helps to further support these findings. To be sure, human spaceflight and clean air policy are similar in some areas; for example, the period of significant interest, the role of science, and connections between findings in spac e with events on the earth. However, these policy areas are just as, if not more so, distinct from each other. Clean air is heavily regulatory while space is more distributive; clean air tends to be more national in nature with strong regional discrepan cies whereas interest in space tends to focus on those states with a strong NASA presence. And yet, despite these very basic differences in the nature of policy,
216 this dissertation has posed a theory that can explain the policy history of both. From our i solated positions in time, it is often difficult to recognize these larger patterns, let alone the reasons for their occurrence and yet they drive, to a great extent, the American political process. When bridging fields as distinct as the presidency, the C ongress, bureaucracy, and public policy, any study necessarily generalizes and abstracts in order to apply its analysis. In the course of this dissertation, I have covered a broad range of topics from several different viewpoints. This chapter will sum u p the institutional theory of policy lifecycles and the findings of the research here as well as discuss the limitations of the theory. Finally, I seek to demonstrate how this theory can be used not only to explain what has already occurred but to specula te on what may come in the future for both human spaceflight and clean air politics. Findings Answering a basic question of which institutions influence policy the most, the institutional theory of policy lifecycles proposes a relatively simple idea: po litical actors are better placed to influence public policy at particular times in the policy lifecycle. As new policies enter the political arena, the president and the Senate are privileged actors. The president is uniquely able to intervene primarily because of his (or her) national constituency; the president is the only nationally elected politician. As such, presidents tend to place issues on their agenda that reach a vast majority of the US rather than focusing on particularly constituencies or ge ographical areas. New issues also tend to take over the political agenda placing even more impetus on the president to respond and respond quickly. With regards to the Senate, being smaller in size and
217 m ore individualistic, it is better able to respond q uickly to new issues. Additionally, their larger constituencies, compared to members of the House, force senators to consider more nationally focused issues compared to ones that impact smaller geographic constituencies such as those of the House. Parti cularly if we view policies as path dependent process, the ability of the Senate and the president to influence policy direction in this early stage is incredibly significant. The Senate and the president are able to set the policy paradigm thus directing the course of future policy for some time to come. This is not to say that a role for the House and any relevant bureaucracies is not possible. This theory simply argues for the institutions that are better able to influence the course of policy at part icular points in time. As the initial shock of the policy entrance into the system wears off and the policy begins to integrate itself into the normal political process, including the appropriations process, the ability of the president and the Senate to i nfluence the area declines. This happens for a number of reasons. First, the initial attention to the issue and its salience sponse set and any new bureaucracies established, local impacts of the policy will begin t o be felt. In turn the House, with its larger number of members who are better able to specialize in topics related to their constituency as compared to the Senate, is apt to invest a greater amount of attention appropriations process means that it will consider most every policy area on a yearly basis. Concurrent with the growth of House influence will be the influence of the
218 responsible bureaucracy; compared to the initial stages of policy, the bureaucracy, later in the lifecycle, is more likely to have a greater amount of expertise, knowledge, and insider ability to influence its policy area. This allows the bureaucracy to exert a greater amount of influence in this second stage compared to the first where the new agency has other things to worry about such as establishing its headquarters, hiring new employees, and implementing policy responses. During this second phase, major changes in the general policy direction are often not considered. This does not mean that the House and the bureaucracy are not influential in setting policy. They are often quite important in deciding how the p olicy is eventually carried out. Therefore, the changes that could be attributed to increased House and bureaucratic influence will tend to be smaller in nature compared to wholesale changes in policy paradigm. This pattern of increased House and bureauc ratic influence often continues for extended periods of time however, it is interrupted by periods of policy crisis. These crises can arise for any number of reasons but the period is marked by the policy making a resurgence onto the political agenda for reasons that are considered critical. Usually, policy failures are typical reasons for policies to enter into a crisis. In this acid rain and the shuttle disasters of Challenger and Columbia. During these periods of crisis, the president and the Senate are likely to become more influential again for many of the same reasons they were important in phase one; national issues call for a response from those institutions most suited to deal with them. Additionally, policy
219 failures might be blamed on current policy propagated by the bureaucracy and/or the House, increasing the importance of intervention by the president and/or the Senate. Crisis can also spur major policy change; the existence of such a crisis can reduce the transaction costs of switching to new policies or it might bring attention that policy has been lacking. It is not necessary for policy to change in a drastic way, however, during this phase. While i t is likely that some changes will be made, more often than not, they are smaller than wholesale shifts in paradigm. The crisis phase does not last long; just as quickly as the policy reaches the apex of the issue agenda, it can just as quickly fall. When this occurs, influence shifts back to the phase two pattern of the importance of the House and the bureaucracy. It is this shift between normalcy and crisis that marks the history of policy areas and can also shed light on how we might expect policy to c hange in the future. To a large degree, the data presented in support of this theory is supportive of its hypotheses. Chapter 4 presented data relating to the role of the House and the Senate in influencing clean air and human spaceflight. Since previous research has shown that activity such as legislation and oversight (including hearings and investigations) does influence the behavior of bureaucracies, this data can easily be used to show not only that differences between the two chambers exist but also that the differences exist as predicted. With respect to hearings, the data on the frequency of congressional hearings on clean air and human spaceflight show that the Senate does hold more hearings in the initial years of the policy history but that the House quickly begins to hold a greater amount. Further, hearing activity picks up again in the Senate at predictable points in time when each of these policies is going through a particularly tumultuous
220 period. To be sure, Senate activity remains rathe r high throughout the history of clean air policy but this can be attributed to the greater national focus of clean air compared to human spaceflight. Taken a step further, when congressional hearings are classified by whether they center around policy c on cerns or oversight concerns, Chapter 4 shows that hearings on policy increase when we would expect them: in the beginning stages of policy and during periods of crisis. In the intervening phase, hearings overwhelmingly have to do with issues of oversight in the bureaucracy. Further, the same findings with respect to congressional hearings is also found in patterns of congressional reports from the GAO: senators tend to request more GAO reports at the beginning of the series and during periods of crisis w ith representatives requesting more in phase two. To strengthen these findings even more, the same pattern of policy versus oversight discussed in committee hearings is also found in GAO reports. What makes Chapter 4 particularly unique is that the same h ypothesized patterns are found not just in one data set or in one policy area but across different levels of congressional activity for both human spaceflight and clean air. On its own, this chapter demonstrates that there are significant differences betw een how the House and the Senate operate; as such this contributes to our knowledge of the institutional differences between the two chambers. While many political scientists treat the Congress as a singular instituti on, Chapter 4 argues that this cannot be the case; the House and the Senate are distinct operations who act based on their own institutional prerogatives. Further, since we know that the activities studied in this chapter do influence
221 bureaucracies, it is possible to conclude that the House a nd the Senate do influence policy at different points in time, contributing substantial support to the institutional theory of the policy lifecycle. While any research project mak ing the conclusions drawn from C hapt er 4 could be considered substantial in i ts own right, the ambition of the institutional theory of policy lifecycles is to consider the role of all major institutions in policymaking. To this end, Chapter 5 considered the influence of the president in clean air and human spaceflight. It is clea r from th e policy histories laid out in Chapter 3 that presidents have been particularly significant as these two policy areas first emerged; John F. Kennedy paved the way for a mandate of government run human spaceflight whereas Richard Nixon established, by executive order, the Environmental Protection Agency and pushed for the Clean Air Act of 1970. While the influence of the president was particularly evident in the first phase of the lifecycle, C hapte r 5 focused not only on tracing human spaceflight a Chapter 5 presented a unique set of case studies from the George H.W. Bush administration and the George W. Bush administration thus allowing for control of extraneous variables. After examining the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the Space Exploration Initiative, proposed by George H.W. Bush, and the Clear Skies Initiative and the Visio n for Space Exploration, proposed by George W. Bush, the role of crisis in allowing the president to influence policy is clear. In the cases where each president was successful at exerting influence, the Clean Air Act Amendments in the case of George H.W. Bush and the Vision for Space Exploration for George W. Bush,
222 each president took advantage of periods of policy crisis to initiate a change. Not only does this chapter show, then, that presidents are more influential in periods of crisis, but it also pr ovides substantial support for the assumption that the policy process is path dependent. Finally, Chapter 6 explores the role of bureaucratic influence. Because of the ways that the bureaucracy can exert influence on their respective policy areas, it is o ften difficult to establish not only the existence of bureaucratic discretion but also its use. As such, most analysts have had to establish the existence of bureaucratic discretion based on the actions of other institutions, usually the Congress. As a w ay o f building on this literature, Chapter 6 shows that the amount of legislative words can be used as a proxy of bureaucratic discretion; more legislative language serves to diminish the amount of bureaucratic discretion whereas less legislative language can mean more bureaucratic discretion. Utilizing the data explored in previous chapters, Chapter 6 took this measure of bureaucratic discretion and data on congressional and presidential actions to show that certain behaviors of the House, Senate, and the president do impact the granting of bureaucratic discretion. Taken together, these lines of analysis provide broad support for the institutional theory of policy lifecycles. However, the analyses beg a further two questions: what are the limitations o f such a theory and how might we use it to predict future policy dilemmas? In the Universe of Policies: Potential Limitations to the Application of the Institutional Theory When we look at American politics from an everyday perspective, there are a small number of issues that remain important and remain on the political agenda.
223 Handberg (1998) argues that we can classify these issues into different tiers with the economy and foreign policy occupying the first tier of in that they stay on the top of the national agenda consistently; we would not expect their salience to increase or decrease but to remain relatively unchanged. Since the institutional theory of policy lifecycles is premised on the idea that the national agenda is limited and policies do not often remain consistently important, we should not expect the theory to be applicable to every policy area. While in some ways this could be a devastating limitation of the theory leading one to ask what the use of ha ving it is in the first place, we must also acknowledge that we expect our government to deal with an enormously large political agenda. If the theory simply excludes the very top of this issue agenda, it is still applicable to second and third tier issue s which make up the vast majority of issues we expect politicians to consider. Issues such as education, homeland security, financial regulations, immigration, national parks, energy, agriculture the institutional theory of the policy lifecycle is possib ly applicable to all of them. While this research certainly does not explore each potential application, the theory does not restrict itself in any way aside from applicability to the top tier agenda items. Indeed, that the theory could be used in a wide variety of issues further strengthens its importance and significance. Future research can be directed towards attempted applications to this wide variety of issue areas. But that this research has shown to the theory to be rather successful in explainin g policy influence in such distinct areas as clean air and human spaceflight gives encouragement to those wishing to apply it elsewhere. If this is truly the case, the theory will continue to show that
224 American politics does not occur in a haphazard way; the way we conduct our politics is methodical and explainable. In such political times as the ones we find ourselves in currently, this idea is not only comforting but also helpful in explaining political turbulence. The breadth of the possible areas in w hich this theory could be helpful in explaining political influence is intriguing. However, an additional limitation is connected directly to the variety of possible applications. A key characteristic of this lifecycle theory is that there are three dist inct phases in which we hypothesize that policy can pass through; determining when one phase begins and another ends is something that has to be determined policy by policy. Certainly, distinguishing when a policy crisis begins is rather easy; usually the attention. It is more difficult to establish when phase one or phase three end. For both human spaceflight and clean a ir policy, the initial phase lasted approximately ten years, however, the length of phase three in each of these has been rather different. In the case of NASA, crisis in the 1980s lasted, arguably from 1986 1988 at the very latest while policy crisis fol lowing Columbia was just slightly longer. To be able to distinguish these cut points in the theory is something that policy specialists will need to establish on a case by case basis. While it would be eminently more helpful if this theory could hypothe size without a doubt how long each of the three phases last, unfortunately, the unique nature of each policy area and the crises that arise are simply different. Additionally, the political environment at the time of each phase plays a role in determining how long an issue remains important or salient. For
225 example, the salience of one issue might increase at a certain point due to a crisis; however, we can imagine scenarios in which other policy crises pop up at close to the same time; in such an environm ent it will be difficult for the original policy to remain salient in the face of increasing competition. An example of this phenomenon can be seen following the Columbia accident in 2003. The level of salience of NASA and human spaceflight (as measured by the New York Times articles) did not remain as high following Columbia as it did follow ing Challenger in 1986. T hat Columbia occurred just a month and a half prior to the start of the Iraq War is a plausible explanation for this lack of extended salien ce. The same might apply for policies in their initial phase; with an onslaught of increasingly important issues, phase one might be shorter or longer depending on agenda competition Looking Ahead: Using the Institutional Theory of Policy Lifecycles to Predict As of this writing, both clean air policy and human spaceflight policy appear to be lingering in the midst of phase two maintaining a policy status quo with the House and the EPA and NASA. We can return to previously explored data to help support this conclusion: the incidence of clean air and human spaceflight articles in the New York Times Figures 3 1 and 3 3 show that for both issue areas, the total number of articles between 2008 and 2010 are well below historical highs. In the last year of the series, there were only 51 articles regarding human spaceflight (the average of the series being 86 per year) and 22 articles on clean air (the average being 30). Thus, the New York Times data tend to show that the salience of each of these issues is less than what we would see either in the beginning of the policy lifecycle or at times of crisis. Given that human spaceflight and clean air find themselves in phase two of the cycle, what might we expect in the future of each of these policy areas? Thi s section
226 will explore this possibility for both policies following a brief discussion of the status quo today. Human Spaceflight With the official end of the space shuttle program in mid 2011, the US now finds itself in a spaceflight limbo: with the Inte rnational Space Station in orbit and no government run or private industry run vehicle to ferry astronauts to and from space, the US is reliant on Russia for space transportation. In the meantime, NASA finds itself not only encouraging the development of privately run space vehicles who would be able to go to and from the ISS but also deciding on a new heavy lift rocket that would take US astronauts to a destination as of now, unknown. In September of 2011, NASA officially announced a successor to the spa ce shuttle utilizing many of the old shuttle components plus parts of the old Constellation program that grew out of George W. came from pressure from members of Congress, particularly in the Ho use, to utilize parts of the Constellation program in the hope that it would continue to spur economic development in states and localities throughout the US, something that many members of Congress are interested in continuing. Despite the decision to ba se the new heavy lift rocket on already developed technology, development of the rocket is expected to last until 2021 at a cost of $30 billion (Matthews 2011). Since cancelling Constellation and pushing NASA to develop a new rocket, President Barack Obama has been absent from further policy developments. The absence of White House influence has contributed to the confusion over the future of NASA. Tellingly, members of the administration have proposed that a future destination for human spaceflight would be a near earth asteroid whereas prominent members of
227 Congress, such as Senator Bill Nelson (D FL) have stated publicly that the US will be going to Mars next. The only agreement on the future of human spaceflight is that since we have already been to th e moon, it is only right that we look beyond it. NASA thus finds itself in a precarious position made even more so by failures in the Russian space program. On August 24, 2011, a Russian Progress capsule carrying tons of supplies to the ISS crashed when i ts third stage failed to place it into orbit. Because the rockets that carry the unmanned Progress capsules also launch the manned Soyuz capsules, no further launches can take place until Russia completes an investigation of the failure and can implement changes to prevent future failures. Because the Soyuz is the only lifeline astronauts on the ISS have to planet Earth, that no supplies or replacement astronauts can be launched is a critical situation. Further, the Soyuz capsule also serves as a lifeboa t of sorts for the six astronauts residing on the station; when it is attached to the ISS, Soyuz has a limited time it can spend there. What the situation adds up to is that if Russia cannot fix their rockets in time to take replacement crews to the stati on, the current six person crew must return to earth on the two Soyuz lifeboats prior to November. In abandoning the station, NASA could find itself facing a policy crisis. NASA has said that there is a better than 50% chance that if the station is abando ned it could be lost completely. This would mean losing an investment of well over $100 billion as well as a platform for research in space that was expected to last beyond 2020. Should NASA face this crisis, we could expect the dynamics of policymaking to change drastically conditioned to a large extent by the current federal fiscal battles. Where currently, NASA and the House are dominating the policy current (as evidenced
228 by debates over the design of a heavy lift rocket and what components will be u sed), should NASA be forced to abandon the station, we could see a resurgence of presidential and Senate interest. Further, the politics of the 2012 election could play a large role; with Obama looking to states such as Florida for an electoral bump, he w ill most likely be seeking to placate voters in Florida who do tend to be concerned about proponent of NASA and human spaceflight, will also be up for reelection and will be looking in particular for a favorable project to bring back to his home state. Although it would be unwise to predict the contours of possible policy changes (particularly given these political conditions), we can envision a resurgence of salience for the human spaceflight program if it faces a crisis over the ISS; with both the President and a spaceflight supporting senator facing electoral battles, we can be sure that spaceflight would become a major issue once again. If Russia, however, were able to identify and fix any malfunctions in its rockets in time to launch a replacement crew to the ISS, a crisis would most certainly be avoided. If no other policy crises emerge, it is likely that the course of policy for human spaceflight would remain relati vely unchanged with NASA and the House remaining particularly influential. As a result of this phase two dynamic, we would then expect any changes to the current policy paradigm to be incremental in nature, perhaps relating to the pace of development of t he new heavy lift rocket or even the determination of an eventual destination in space for American astronauts. These incremental changes might also be conditioned on the budget cutbacks that are occurring in the federal government. Indeed, these budget conundrums are already forcing NASA to make
229 difficult choices in the architecture of the heavy lift vehicle. Previously, NASA has been heavily criticized for not providing realistic or reliable cost estimates of their project in order to gain political su pport with a lower price tag, this line of argument goes, more people will be willing to support the project. With the heavy lift vehicle, however, NASA has already warned the Congress that developing a vehicle along the lines of the Saturn V from compon ents based on Constellation and the space shuttle, is likely to cost well over the anticipated budget for the program which is $1.8 billion this fiscal year. Despite amount s thus forcing NASA to build a system on a budget they recognize as unworkable. Between the design of the heavy lift vehicle and the failure of the Russian rocket, the debates over NASA have focused squarely on relations between NASA and the Congress. A h earing in the House in early July highlighted these difficulties with the NASA Administrator, Charles Bolden, unable to give members of the House solid through clearance with th e Office of Management of Budget. However, given the pressures that NASA now finds itself in with respect to the International Space Station, members of Congress are now urging NASA to make a final announcement regarding the design of the rocket so that t he time the US must rely on Russia for transport to space is lessened. Clean Air Clean air policy is in much the same limbo as human spaceflight; after attempts at greater regulation of carbon dioxide emissions shortly after President Barack Obama came int o office, little has moved the current state of affairs in the EPA. Despite the
230 growing recognition that carbon dioxide emissions have played a hand in causing climate change, clean air policy has rarely been invoked when discussing this state of affairs. Despite growing recognition of the problem, no major policy changes have occurred since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. To be sure, debate over carbon dioxide emissions has occurred. Although not mentioned specifically in the Clean Air Act as a po llutant that must be restricted, the Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that under the provision s of the CAA that give the EPA power to regulate any pollutant from car engines or car emissions that may harm the general public welfare, the EPA must set standards f or carbon dioxide emissions. The ruling came as a result of a suit brought by twelve states to force such regulation by the EPA since under the Bush administration the EPA had refused to do so. By the beginning of 2011, the EPA had finally instituted fin al rules concerning the emissions of carbon dioxide. The Obama administration also attempted to push carbon emissions legislation in the Congress in 2009 and 2010. The so place an emissions trading program not unlike the acid rain program instituted in the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. The bill proposed to limit the total amount of emissions of greenhouse gases, included carbon dioxide, while giving polluters a certain amount of credits allowing them to re lease certain amounts of the gases. Companies could then sell unused permits to other companies that needed them. While the House would eventually pass the bill, it never went up for a vote in the Senate.
231 With the economic and budgetary crisis deepening in 2010 and 2011, the new Republican House began to step up pressure on the Obama administration regarding the amount of regulations the government places on society. A main target of the criticism has been the environmental regulations promulgated by the EPA. Responding to such pressure, in January of 2011, President Obama ordered a review of all government regulations with an eye to easing pressure on businesses and hoping to stimulate job and economic growth. Although this order did not target clean a ir regulations in particular, it was a signal that other issues had eclipsed the traditionally Democratic position of government regulation. What has related to clean air in particular has been a recent decision by the President to overrule the EPA in inst ituting tighter smog controls. While a panel of scientists had recommended that the EPA institute a tighter restriction on smog, analysis also showed that such a regulation would cost approximately $90 billion and put more counties in violation of the sta ndard (Cappiello 2011). In a political concern over reducing regulatory burdens on businesses and increasing the certainty in an ever more perilous economy. In announcing th e decision, the Obama administration did pledge to revisit the restriction in 2013 after the next presidential election. What we are left with, then, is a situation in which no major alteration to clean air policy has come at the hands of elected politici ans, only the court system, in over twenty years. When considering the stimulus to the last major change, the 1990 amendments, we must remember that a significant increase in acid rain particularly in New England helped to lend pressure to Washington to m ake a change in the current policy. While
232 both chambers of Congress did consider revisiting the CAA throughout the 1980s, it did not happen without the added impetus of a major environmental crisis that helped to draw attention to the issue. We see much of the 1980s in the decades since 1990; politicians talking about making changes, but nothing significant ever occurring. What has clearly been missing is some sort of direct environmental crisis to drive policy change. Once again, this experience support s the proposition that policies tend to behave in a path dependent manner. Without a policy crisis to break the current paradigm, major change rarely happens unless there is an opportunity to make them. But what is also cl ear is the role of the House in pushing the only piece of major legislation regarding clean air since 1990. Particularly with the urgency of regional concerns in clean air debates, that the House could come to an agreement and vote to pass a cap and trade bill signifies the role that th is chamber plays in the policy process. W hat we are left with in the area of clean air is analogous to human spaceflight; in lieu of some crisis to make clean air policy salient again, the House and the EPA are likely to continue driving the policy area. Without intervention by the White House in the recent smog regulation, we would have continued to see this occur. Additionally, an argument could be made that without the extraordinary political and economic conditions the US finds itself in currently, th e President probably would not have to push clean air changes anytime soon. Policy and Politics This dissertation has taken the viewpoint of using institutional char acteristics to examine and explain the policy process. As such, it has brought together a number of
233 theoretical literatures and viewpoints into a comprehensive theory that helps to explain which institutions are more influential in policy at different poi nts in time. Although to a certain extent, the theory must be applied differently to various policy areas (due to the limitations discussed above), the idea that the institutional theory of policy lifecycles could be applied across a wide range of issues makes it significant in understanding and explaining American politics. Chapter 3 explored in brief the policy histories of both clean air and human spaceflight and looking at just that portion, the course that these two policies took not only seem haphaza rd in and of themselves, but it would be difficult to see any relation between how th e two areas unfolded. That in Chapters 4 through 6 the data show otherwise demonstrate the importance of taking into account institutional differences when looking at Ame rican politics. Certainly, how our major institutions behave is conditioned on the political environment they find themselves in, but in this analysis, individual political variables have played little role in explai ning policy aside from the variables pl aying into a policy crisis. This is not to deny that conditions such as the economy, party dominance, international relations, and the like do not play a role in American politics. However, the relative lack of their presence here strongly argues for suc h an institutional analysis. Aside from making this observation on American politics, this work should also draw the attention of policy analysts who become consumed in the world of bureaucracy, public administration, and policy analysis. The course of po licy is predicated on who has influence when; to ignore this is to leave out a key explanation of the policy process. As such, this dissertation also serves as an argument to continue
234 bridging the fields of public policy, public administration, and politi cal institutions. They are not separate and distinct but intertwined and connected. To truly appreciate any of these fields requires an appreciation of the others. It is somehow fitting that both clean air and human spaceflight stand on a precipice as of this writing; each could be poised to see major policy changes if only the opportunity arises. The situation is not unlike that of 1969 and into the early 1970s with NASA. Having landed on the moon and fulfilled their mission, what was left to do next? What do you do to top going to the moon, especially when little political or public will is left? We can say the same of the policies in place today; what is left to do when the politicians and the public have left the issue behind only to move on to th e next big thing? The answer to these questions is found in the theory postulated here; policies move on incrementally, influenced by particular institutional actors. We need only wait for the next policy crisis to see major change occur and crisis is mo re than likely to come.
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243 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Wendy N. the University of Central Florida. She graduated summa cum laude with University Central Florida and a second from the University of Florida. Her research focuses on political institutions and US space policy. She has taught political science at the University of Central Florida and Santa Fe College.