The republican revolution and the house appropriations committee
This study applies the theory of "conditional party government" to the interaction between the Republican party and the Appropriations Committee in the 104th House, seen in the context of developments since the 96th Congress. As expected by the theory, we find that the relatively homogenous preferences of the Republican contingent in the House led them to adopt new institutional arrangements to enhance the powers of their leaders, which in turn were used to advance the party's policy goals. Given that the leadership decided to use Appropriations as one of the vehicles of major policy change, they and the Conference sought to monitor the committee's actions, and to influence it to behave as they wanted. The leaders used their enhanced powers over incentives and with regard to the agenda to advance the party cause. Both leaders and the Conference sought to block policy shifts away from what they wanted, but facilitated changes in the desired direction. Finally, we expected to see evidence of the increasing applicability of the theory over time, culminating in the developments of the 104th Congress, and this expectation was borne out.
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