With the Help of Their Friends: Lobbyists and Legislators in Health Policymaking

Award Year:
Richard Hall
Interest Groups, Politics and Policymaking
Exploring the role and influence of interest groups in policymaking, Dr. Hall will build on previous experience in developing a new theoretical framework, which casts lobbying in a different light. Rather than influencing legislators' positions, lobbying is viewed as a form of legislative subsidy (a grant of staff time, legislative intelligence, policy information) selectively given to congressional allies in order to more effectively fight for proposals on which the legislator and the group agree. The theory assumes that, to have a real impact, a legislator must engage in labor intensive and costly activities, which exceed available financial resources. Health legislation and agency rulemaking will be explored to help public health advocates better understand how to overcome impediments to important policy proposals. Data will be obtained from a variety of sources including interviews with lobbyists and legislative staff.