Congressional Committee Requests Revisited: Professional Expertise, Multiple Goals and Representation Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Faricy, Christopher George
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • House members pursue multiple goals during their legislative career. The goals of reelection, good policy making and power affect member voting and committee composition. Yet in arguably a legislator’s most important choice, committee request, only the goal of reelection has empirical support. I argue that a member utilizes all three goals when going through the committee process and requests a committee assignment that will maximize their utility across all legislative goals. Utility maximization is achieved when a member can gain influence within a policy jurisdiction through leveraging their prior expertise. I employ a multinomial logit model in examining committee requests, for eight committees over fifty years. My findings indicate that across five of the eight committees a member’s prior occupation is a strong and consistent predictor of a legislator’s request. It is plausible, given the results that members pursue multiple goals in making their request for committee assignment.
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  • In Copyright
  • Engstrom, Eric J.
  • Open access

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