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CongressThe First Branch$
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Benjamin Ginsberg and Kathryn Wagner Hill

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300220537

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300220537.001.0001

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Congress and the Bureaucracy: Who Makes the Law?

Congress and the Bureaucracy: Who Makes the Law?

(p.239) 8 Congress and the Bureaucracy: Who Makes the Law?

Benjamin Ginsberg

Kathryn Wagner Hill

Yale University Press

This chapter concerns how Congress deals with bureaucratic power. Much of today's federal bureaucracy can trace its origins to Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. Under FDR's leadership, the federal government began to take responsibility for management of the economy, provision of social services, protection of the public's health, maintenance of employment opportunities, promotion of social equality, protection of the environment, and a host of other tasks. As the government's responsibilities and ambitions grew, Congress assigned more and more complex tasks to the agencies of the executive branch, which sometimes were only too happy to expand their own power and autonomy. Executive agencies came to be tasked with the responsibility for analyzing and acting upon economic data; assessing the environmental impact of programs and projects; responding to fluctuations in the labor market; safeguarding the food supply; regulating the stock market; supervising telecommunications and air, sea, and land transport; and, in recent years, protecting the nation from terrorist plots.

Keywords:   federal bureaucracy, bureaucratic power, Franklin D. Roosevelt, federal courts, government agencies, New Deal

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