Congressional Law Case Study

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1) How do “the strain on institutional capacity and… the volume of rules affect implementation” of congressional laws? Congressional laws are intentionally crafted with a certain amount of ambiguity. Legislation intentionally lacks regulatory statutes as a means of allowing civil servants with the appropriate expertise to refine the rules required to achieve the broad goals outlined by a certain bill or legislative agenda. Essentially, the “operational details” of a policy initiative are delegated to the appropriate agency, guided by an outline of a program or initiative authorized by congressional legislation. As expected, an agency’s institutional capacity to develop and implement new rules/regulation varies based on several factors, including,…show more content…
For instance, little to no information is required in the development of intra-agency procedure, other than the knowledge that a change is required and the proposed solution is appropriate. In the cases where little to no information is available or required, agencies will develop rules determined to be “expeditious, convenient, or otherwise beneficial to the operation of its programs.” However, rulemaking that is highly technical often requires a high level of information/data, in these cases, inadequate information could be a serious obstacle to the development of high-quality rules. Additionally, highly impactful rules, particularly those focused on social regulation, are so far-reaching that a large amount of information is required to predict the second-order or disparate effects of a rule or regulation. Essentially, Kerwin’s statement is meant to highlight the multitude of environments in which rules can be developed, thereby requiring non-standard amounts of information in order to approve/deny a specific rule or…show more content…
In particular, Kerwin focused on the limitations of agencies, regulators, information, and Congress. Resolving the issues that may arise at each level of the rulemaking process, a product of the listed limitations, is often a complex and difficult task. In particular, the effects of a certain rule/regulation on the citizens in totality. If regulators choose to allow for appropriate time and analysis, the results of the rulemaking process will likely be proper rules/regulation. If regulators choose to ignore or shirk the complexity of the rulemaking process the potential for the results to be ill-fitting is particularly high. Kerwin provides the example of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 in order to illustrate the effects of half-baked rules/regulations. OSHA had been granted the ability to adopt “consensus nation standards” without regard for the rulemaking standards of the APA. The resulting rules were “met with cascades of criticism, outrage, and worse – ridicule.” The absence of professionalism in this relaxed rulemaking situation helped expose issues with expedient/limited rulemaking. In the case of OSHA, their willingness to disregard the inherent complexity of their regulations led to less than desirable
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