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The Congressional Pork Barrel in a Republican Era

Kenneth N. Bickers and Robert M. Stein
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 62, No. 4 (Nov., 2000), pp. 1070-1086
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2647865
Page Count: 17
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The Congressional Pork Barrel in a Republican Era
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Abstract

In this article, we ask what the pattern of distributive spending has been during the 104th. Congress, in which Republicans have been in the majority, compared to the preceding Congress when Democrats were the majority party. We seek to understand the patterns of change in light of four alternative explanations of distributive spending. The changes in the content and recipients of federal domestic outlays between the 103rd and 104th. Congresses are suggestive of a partisan influence. Republican control of Congress does not appear to have significantly altered the politics of domestic spending. However, Republican control has influenced the content of domestic public policy. The House under Republican control produced significantly more contingent liability obligations than the 103rd. Congress-programs that are ideologically and politically compatible with the interests of Republican representatives. Evidence suggests that Republican control has produced a partial shift in the interests that are rewarded by federal spending.

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